A Disquisition upon Deut 25.5. concerning the BROTHERS Propagating the NAME and MEMORY OF HIS Elder Brother deceased.

IN Which the Antiquity, Reason, and circum­stances of that Law are explained, the mistakes and impositions of the Jewish Rabbins, in this and other matters detect­ed, and a fair way opened for a clearer understanding of the most obscure and dark passages in the Law of Moses.

TOGETHER With a discovery of several things, as well in the Eastern, as the Roman Antiquities, never yet explained or understood by any.

By John Turner, Hospitaller of St. Thomas Southwark, and late fellow of Christs-College in Cambridge.

—Credat Judaeus Apella
Non ego—
Qualiacunque voles, Judaei somnia vendent.
Si veritas Nobiseum, quis contra nos?

LONDON, Printed by H. Hills Jun. for Walter Kettilby, at the Bishops-Head, in St. Paul's Church-Yard. 1685.

To the Right Honoura­ble, and my very Good Lord, George Lord Jef­feries, Baron of Wem, Lord Chief Justice of England, and one of His Majesties most Honou­rable Privy Council.

My Lord,

I Do humbly Dedicate this disqui­sition to your Lordship, after some small, though very Hearty endeavours, to let your Lordship and the World see how extreamly sensible I am of your goodness to me, not only out of a principle of gratitude, but interest too, in gratitude I was ob­liged [Page] to bethink my self of a present more suitable to your Lordships de­served Character and Greatness, than any I have yet had the hardiness or opportunity to make; and in in­terest, I considered with my self, that having engaged with so potent adversaries as the memory of Mr. Selden, who was the glory of the last Age, and the living fame of a Per­son yet in being, it concerned me to look out some Patron of the Highest Quality and the most universally ac­knowledged merit, to give some coun­tenance to my undertakings, which are intended purely for the discovery of truth, and for the benefit and ad­vantage of the World.

I have in this Essay given a deadly blow to the Rabbinical Learning, not that I pretend or would be thought to suggest, as if they were not to be believed in any thing they say, for who is so guilty of mistakes and im­positions [Page] as not to speak truth some­times? But if by virtue of a pretend­ed Tradition, they shall impose any falsity upon us, as I have proved in this Treatise, they have done very many, we are not to believe any thing upon account of any such precarious Tradition, without other circumstances and probabilities to vouch it, as a witness of crackt credit and profligate reputation, may yet put new wait in­to the Scale of Truth, if he have ei­their other circumstances or more al­lowable testimony to concur with him, but upon his own account he is no­thing, and if any have a mind to sup­port the credit of the Rabbins, it is not to be done by proving that in some things they have been in the right, but that they are so in those parti­culars, wherein I have laid falshood and forgery to their charge.

If Mr. Selden were alive, I should not despair but he would acknowledg his Error and that of those upon whose [Page] authority and credit he depended, but of the other I have no other hope, then only that he will not pretend in scriptis to confute me, though he may possibly whisper in the dark, where I can neither hear nor see him, and may have a party in the Coffee-house to stand by him.

But not content barely to have con­futed these two Learned Gentlemen, I have substituted positive and affir­mative Doctrines in the room of those which they would have obtruded upon us, I have, I hope, held out a Key to the Learned World, by which the most difficult passages in the Law of Moses may be explained, and have besides given so fair an entrance into the Antiquities of Rome, and shown so plainly their dependance upon those of the East, from whence they are un­questionably derived, that it is clearly a new sort of Learning scarce ever yet so much as pointed at by any, and ca­pable of very great and very usefull [Page] improvements, all which I do humbly submit to your Lordships known Can­dor, and unbyast Judgment, and with my most earnest Prayers to Almighty God for the continuance of your Lord­ships health and safety, in which that of the publick hath so great a share, I am, may it please your Lordship,

Your Lordships most Humble, Obedient, and Obliged Servant, John Turner.



I Here Present you with a Dis­course, the greatest part of which was long since Written, up­on that Law of Moses, by which the surviving younger Brother was obliged to propagate the name and memory of his Elder Brother in his stead, in which I will be bold to say, I have discovered more of the Jewish Antiquity, then all the Rabbins put together have with the same certainty and convincingness done, for most of what they tell us amounts to no more then hear say, depends upon very uncertain and questionable Traditions, and is [Page] Jumbled together with such an og­lio of monstrous and impertinent Winter-tales, that it is very difficult, where there is any Truth, to sepa­rate the Truth and Falshood from each other, and besides this, I have occasionally so far inquired into the most remote Antiquities of Rome, as to show they were mani­festly of Eastern growth, and the comparing of the Customs and Language of the one with the o­ther, which I take it for granted is a subject, which neither one Man nor one Age can exhaust, is that, that will give great light and cer­tainty to both, and may with much more reason be depended upon in our inquiries into Truths of this na­ture, then any of those pompous Tales the Rabbins tell us, though drest up in Hebrew, and coming into the World in the shape and appearance of profound Learning.

You will find by several passages, up and down in this Treatise, that what I have now written, was de­signed as preparatory and intro­ductory to another, which it is now a long time, that I have promised or threatned, or what you please to call it, concerning the Marriage of Cosin Germans, if you ask in what sense, this may be thought prepa­ratory to that, though it may seem an hard Question, yet I will make it easie, by giving it a plain An­swer, and indeed the Answer is two fold.

First, This was a Matrimonial Case as well as the other, which though it be now perfectly Antiquated and out of date, not only amongst us, but even the Jews themselves, yet I had a mind to shew by an Essay upon this subject, that I was not altogether a stranger to subjects of this nature, that upon the Cre­dit of this performance, I might [Page] remove the prejudices that lie a­gainst me, and might be thought possibly to understand what I said▪ better then those that censure me▪ when I affirmed the Marriage of Cosin Germans to be in all Christian Politics and in all ordinary Cases ex antecedenti prohibited and Un­lawful.

In the Second place, it is to be considered, That the Brothers Mar­rying the Brothers Wife under the Law, was by virtue of a particu­lar dispensation in a particular Case, though otherwise the same Mar­riages were punishable with death, and the Case is the same in any dispensation, it imports an Unlaw­fulness in non exceptis, otherwise, if the thing dispensed with, were generally Lawful, nothing could be more frivolous or more absurd, then a particular dispensation in the Case proposed, let it be what it will; wherefore by the same rea­son [Page] that the Leviratical or Anchi­stutical sanction of the Mosaic Law, being a particular dispensation in a particular Case, did imply a pro­hibition, where that Case was not concerned, by the very same reason does the Marriage of the Daughters of Zelophehad in the 36 of Numbers, imply a prohibition in all other Cases, where the same circumstan­ces could not lay claim to any such particular and extraordinary dispensation, which having only a regard to the partition of Inheri­tances among the Jews, which par­tition is now finally destroyed, such Marriages are now Unlawful to the Jews themselves, and much more certainly to all Christian peo­ple, to whom the natural reasons upon which the Matrimonial pro­hibitions depended are the same, that they were to the Jews, and the obligation to all the instances of charity, friendship and good will, [Page] and all the means conducing to it, is greater and more binding then it was upon them, for the sake of our common Saviour who loved us so much, and who made this the Mark and Character of his Disci­ples, by which they might always be discerned from the rest of the World, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye love one ano­ther. But however this Christian Charity as great and as universal, as it is or ought to be, yet it does not forbid us in Cases of necessity, to de­fend our Persons or Possessions, or to assert or vindicate our good Names against such as make it their business to injure and de­fame us, therefore you are not to expect, that I should upon this Text, stand up and Preach a Recantation Sermon for the late severities upon Dr. C. which I am so far from, that in this very Discourse I have follow­ed my blow and have resolved of [Page] a long time, neither to give him any Quarter nor take any from him, and yet now I think of it, I have given it notwithstanding, for there are faults in the System, which I have not exposed, and there are faults in the Systemer, which are not in the System, but if any else have a mind to try their parts upon the same Arguments, I have engaged him upon, without making the Controversie personal between us, I shall not be behind hand in Civi­lity with them, only there are two things in this following Discourse, for one of which I must Apologize, and the other I find my self obliged to Recant that which needs an Ap­ology is this p. 205, &c. where spea­king of the fact of Zimri, of whom it is said, 1 Kings 16. that he went into the Palace of the Kings House and burnt the Kings House over him with fire, and dyed. I may be thought upon this occasion to have spoken [Page] too favourably concerning self ho­micide in some Cases, wherefore since I have dipt into this contro­versie which is very nice, that I may set all things right, and offer my most mature sentiments concern­ing it, I desire it may be considered, First, That I have not in the least ex­cused any who out of fanciful Cau­ses or a vincible Melancholy not yet improved into a state of frenzy, have been the Authors of untimely death to themselves, because all these Cases are manifestly supposed to be so many instances of unreasonable Actions, and therefore can by no means justifie themselves. Second­ly, There are some instances to be met with in the World, of mis­chiefs that are unquestionably real, exquisitely painful, and utterly in­curable, or such as at present seem so, without any hopes of remedy, not only in the opinion of the par­ty affected, but also of the wisest, [Page] most experienced, and most dis­cerning Physitians themselves, and this was Seneca's Case by reason of a Chronical suspirium, or short­ness of breath which he complains of in several of his Epistles, and in one of them he says, that if it had not been in consideration of his Aged Father, and out of tenderness to his Relations, who might have taken his death immoderately to heart, he would have made away with himself, and I am far from discou­raging any such considerations as these, to persuade a Man even in the worst circumstances, yet notwith­standing to endure them with con­stancy and steady resolution, and to expect with patience the call of nature, rather then to get rid of them by any act of violence com­mitted upon himself.

Thirdly, As in the Case of bo­dily pain, so also in that of ex­tream and irretrievable ignominy [Page] and disgrace, which is the most ex­quisite and insupportable torment of a reasonable or a gallant mind, if I have spoken any thing favoura­bly concerning the practice of self-homicide likewise in this Case; I did it only out of a charitable Principle to those gallant and good Men, whose Virtue and Wis­dom in all other respects were scarce ever called into question by their greatest Enemies themselves; and such an instance as this would Seneca have been, if he had done what he designed in the former Case of pain, and such Cato was in the latter of disgrace, for the avoid­ing of which, and that he might not fall into the hands of his in­veterate and mortal enemies, he thought it his wisest course to pre­vent, and anticipate their contempt of his person, and all the barbarous outrages of a victorious Army, by a generous contempt of that small [Page] remainder of life, which either his nature or his fate had left him, and yet this is that Cato of whom Lu­can gives so lofty and so excellent a character, that no mortal Man can ever deserve a greater, and one particular ingredient of it, is, that nature and reason were in all his actions his perpetual guides. l. 2.

—Hi mores, haec duri immota Catonis
Secta fuit, servare modum, finem­que tenere,
Naturamque sequi, patriaeque im­pendere vitam,
Nec sibi, sed toti genitum se credere mundo.

Fourthly, It seems something hard and unequal to condemn that as unnatural, and in all circum­stances whatsoever prohibited and unlawful to a wise Man, which the Stoicks a wise sect, and the greatest Masters of their passions of any other, did universally allow, [Page] when ever life became burthen­some or uneasie to its owners, and which notwithstanding that there are many instances of it to be found in Scripture, yet it is no where, that I know of, mentioned with any reprehension.

Fifthly, I say, that Life being the most precious and valuable gift that nature can bestow, and Pati­ence the greatest Ornament and Supporter of it, as well in single per­sons, as in a society or body of Men, there being but few Men whose circumstances would not be uneasie, and no society that could subsist without it; it becomes a wise Man, and it is his duty upon natural reasons for the good of the World, for the promoting of which pro virili parte he is sent into it, to be so far from giving way to fancy or to melancholy, or from sinking into dispair under small and tolerbale mischiefs, [Page] that even in the worst of ills that can befall him, he ought to en­deavour his utmost, and to muster up all the strength of his body and mind, to give a remarkable example of that virtue, which is so becoming and lovely in it self, and of such use and service to mankind.

Sixthly, In Cases of pain or of disgrace, if they are the just con­sequence of an ill spent life, as in­deed for the most part they are, if they are owing to intempe­rance or other crimes, a Man in this case owes an example to the World, and as the best amends he can make for the guilt he hath contracted, he ought to endure patiently whatsoever befalls him, for the publick good, that so his sufferings may be the greater warning to others, not to tread in his steps, or imitate his exam­ple; and therefore in this respect I confess, that Zimri and Sarda­napalus, [Page] whom I may seem to have justified for their last Act, which was an Act of violence up­on themselves, were guilty of as great and real a sin, as any they committed in the whole course of their lives, because they ought ra­ther to have suffered the utmost indignities, and the most exqui­site torments in the view of Man­kind, and from the hands of their Enemies, that so the memory of their wickedness, and the dread of doing like them, might take the deeper root in the minds of such as beheld it, but all that I have re­presented in their behalf was only this, that it was an Argument of some gallantry, and greatness of spirit to do as they did, in the ex­tremity to which they were redu­ced; however, whan all things [...]re impartially consider'd, it may and it does appear to be a breach of Duty.

Besides, that upon supposition of a future life, of which not only revelation, but nature doth suffi­ciently assure us, wherein it shall be better or worse with us for e­ver, according to our behaviour or deportment here, it is foolish and unreasonable for Men in such circumstances, that they may a­void less painful, and less durable mischiefs, to leap into those by an untimely Fate, which are at once more miserable and morel ast­ing, and which it is utterly im­possible for them to escape without repentance; and he cannot pro­perly be said to repent him of his past crimes, who takes his leave of the World, by an action including an offence against it, as I have shewn all self-homicide in this Case to do, but bating these reasons, and consi­dering only what there is else to be considered, I cannot understand the courage of encountring to no [Page] purpose, with hopeless, helpless, endless, and insupportable calami­ties; and it seems a kind of contra­diction, that it should be thought a sign of magnanimity for a man to continue any longer upon the stage of Life, when at the same time, he either is or ought to be ashamed, and afraid to see the light any longer.

Seventhly, I am, notwithstand­ing any thing I have said, and have always been a profest admirer of of the Wisdom of our Laws, which have loaded the Authors of untimely death to themselves, with marks of the highest ignominy and disgrace, and besides have punisht them severely in their po­sterity, though they are past the sense of any human punishment, in their own persons, the reason is, because whatever may be said in some Cases, for private and single persons considered by them­selves, [Page] yet it is the undoubted wisdom of a society or body Po­litick, to take the most effectual care for its own preservation, and not to suffer any member to with­draw it self, from that Service and Duty which it owes to it, without any brand of punishment or token of disgrace; besides, that since every Man is the best judge of what he feels, and perceives within himself, that may be in­supportable or insufferable to him, which is not so to another, and therefore, if it be not Lawful for every Man to quit his station, and shut up the scene of Life, as often as guilt, or melancholy, or fancy shall make life troublesome and uneasie to him, it must, and can only be restrained by an univer­sal and general prohibition, whose sanction shall be impartial and e­qual in all Cases, and it must be acknowledged to have been a very [Page] great defect in all those ancient Laws, before Christianity took place in the World, which do not seem to have made that provision against so bad a practice, and so perni­cious to the welfare of society, which ours are known to have done.

Eighthly, Where the Laws of any Country or Society, do for­bid and punish such violencies as these, committed by Men wilful­ly upon themselves, there it is for that very reason absolutely Unlawful, because this is the na­ture of Society, that every Mem­ber of it, whatever natural liberty he had before, he hath only so much freedom left him after his entring into, and ingaging in it, as the Laws of that Society have not restrained, and with as much reason as one Lawful Command of our Superiours, or our Legisla­tors may be violated and broken, [Page] all may, and so the Society is actually dissolved, which is fenced in by Laws and cannot otherwise be preserved, then by a consci­entious and dutiful observation of them.

Ninthly, If against this it be objected, that he who is the cause of untimely death to himself, is not bound before hand, when he deliberates concerning it, to have any regard to the Laws of that Society, which by this fact he is about to leave, and consequently expects no further favour or pro­tection from it, and after the exe­cution of his intended design, is out of capacity of receiving any, which is the true reason why eve­ry Man becomes or continues to be a member of community, that the Laws of that community un­der which he lists himself may guard and defend him against vi­olence [Page] and wrong, and protect him in the pursuit of all his rea­sonable projects and designs; To this there are three things to be Answered.

First, When a Man enters and ingages himself in a Society, ei­ther he looses all that liberty of action, which the Laws have thought it necessary to restrain, or he does not, if the former, then the prohibition of self-homicide, as being ex hypothesi a branch of the said Laws, is as much and as firmly obligatory and binding, as any other restraint or prohibition whatsoever; if the latter, then the obligation to all Laws, and the Authority by which they are En­acted, being equal and the same, it is manifest we may dispence with our selves in any other instance, as well as in this, and so the whole Fabrick of Govenment falls to the ground.

But Secondly, We are not only tyed to the observation of all the Lawful commands of our Prince or Country, by the Authority of men, but by the Oath of God, by which all the Laws of our Coun­try are tyed upon us, and nothing certainly can be of more fatal con­sequence to a man in the other World, then, that the last action of his life, should be a willful breach of that Oath, which includes a defiance of the Divine Power and Justice, in this, and such a defiance as frequently gives no time at all, but very rarely affords in the dis­consolate anguish, and perplext hur­ry of a wounded mind and body, sufficient means, opportunity and time for an hearty and a serious re­pentance.

Thirdly, By the same reason that a man shall pretend it Lawful to rid himself of an uneasie World, notwithstanding the Laws of his [Page] Country forbid any such practice, under pretence that the reason why he entred into Society, was only to receive a safe guard and pro­tection from it, and that now dis­claiming all benefit from its pro­tection, he is under no obligation to its Laws, by the very same reason an Highway-man, or a Midnight, house-breaker, may excuse him­self; for he also by affronting and violating the Laws, does disclaim all benefit and protection from them, yet he is never the less guil­ty for all this, for he does still break and violate the Oath of God, and disturb the peace and welfare of mankind, one of which the Laws of nature, and the necessities of humane life, do forbid him to do, and the other is a breach of a no less sacred, though a superinduced and positive obligation, and this brings me to a Tenth thing to be consi­dered.

For in the Tenth place, Though the Laws of a Society should not peradventure forbid the practice of self-homicide, yet it is sufficient that the nature of a Society does, as if the Laws should not forbid Adultery or Theft, yet notwith­standing they would be never the less unlawful, because they tend to contention and strife, to the di­sturbance of the publick peace, and to the dissolution of Society, the end of which is mutual happyness, and mutual preservation, and so in this case also, of self-homicide in any instance, though it might perhaps be justifiable, or at least ex­cusable as a single instance consider­ed by it self, and without relation to any civil Society; of which he that committed it, was formerly a member, yet standing in this re­lation, let the circumstances of his action be never so favourable, and propitious to themselves, yet it is [Page] enough that the action it self, with whatever circumstances it may happen to be clothed, yet it is of pernicious consequence to the pub­lick, and that it would certainly produce very bad effects, if it should be drawn into president or example, as if, we should suppose a man otherwise of an exact, or at least an unusual and extraordi­nary virtue, labouring under some hereditary distemper, of Gout or Stone, or Consumption, languish­ing for a long time under the one, and afflicted with frequent and vi­olent returns of the other, against whom the above mentioned Ar­gument does not lie, that he owes an example of punishment to the World, to which he is sensible he can be no longer useful, but is and is like to be, without any hopes of remedy, a perpetual plague and torment to himself, I should not much doubt the Lawfulness [Page] of this Mans action, considered as a single person, and without regard to Society, (if such a sup­position can or ought to be made) though he should make use of some violence upon himself, ra­ther then conflict any longer with exquisite Torments and incurable Evils, to little or no purpose; but if we consider this Man as a member of Community, then whatever may be pleaded in ex­cuse of his fact considered by it self, though it may appear never so reasonable, so necessary, or so just, if you respect no body but him, yet in its consequence it will Patronize Fancy, and Melancholy, and Womanish fears or frantick despair, or any thing else that shall be the occasion of the same violence, acted upon themselves, in others. For this is certain, that incurable Fancies are as real things to those that are actuated and [Page] possest by them, and every whit as painful and tormenting, as the most uneasie realities that the World affords, or the utmost pos­sibility of misfortune can aspire to, and every man being the best judge of what he endures him­self, for none knoweth the thoughts of a Man, but the spirit of a Man which is in him; from hence it will unavoidably come to pass, that that action which in another might have appeared reasonable, or excusable at least, will be drawn in its consequence to Pa­tronize all the Tragedies, which either Melancholy or guilt shall act, and upon the same principle, upon which some have killed themselves, to get rid of their own fears and Fancies, by which they were incessantly pursued, o­thers in a fit of Melancholy have been known to make away their Wives and Children, to take them [Page] away from the evil to come, or to prevent that Scene of mischiefs, which Fancy had painted as hang­ing over their heads, and ready to fall down in showers of misery, and misfortune upon them: now this is enough to make any action Unlawful, though by it self it might possibly do no hurt, if Imitated by others upon the same or like pretences, it shall appear to be pernicious to the publick, as I have elsewhere argued con­cerning the Marriage of Cosin Ger­mans, we are to consider what the consequence would be, if it were frequently practised, not what it is where the instances are so few, for there is no doubt but publick and private good, are the measure of good and evil in these cases, and whatever that action is, which growing fashionable, and being generally practised, would redound to the prejudice of the [Page] publick, that action even in a sin­gle instance is Unlawful, because every pattern hath a tendency to imitation, and that imitation pro­pagated wide, would be of dan­gerous consequence to the publick. So that I must here inculcate once more, that if I have any where spoken favourably of the practice of self-homicide, it was only in these respects, that in some Cases it may appear to be an Argument of gallantry and courage, and that I am very willing to entertain some Charity for those great Men, es­pecially among the Romans, who have been guilty of it, and who are so far from being blamed for what they did, in the circumstan­ces they were in, that they are mentioned for it, with Honour and Commendation by the Roman Authors; not to add that they seem to have received this, as well as other of their Customs from the [Page] East, where it seems to have been a very common practice, we have several instances of it in the Scrip­ture, of Sampson and Saul and his Armour-bearer, and Achitophel, and Judas, all of whom, whatever o­ther personal faults they might be guilty of, as some of them were guilty of the greatest that can be committed, yet they are no where blamed for this last act of their lives, and perhaps upon suppositi­on that there was no life after this, which most if not all of them seem to have believed, and a my­stery it was with which Rome Pa­gan was utterly unacquainted; it might appear more reasonable then it can do now, after life and immortality are brought to light by the Gospel.

Eleventhly, What hath been said above of wicked Men, that they owe an example of punish­ment and disgrace to the World, [Page] and therefore that others may take the more effectuall warning by them, they are to endure with pa­tience the worst that can happen, which is the best amends they can make for the mischiefs, or wicked­nesses of their life past, and which added to an hearty and sincere re­pentance, may perhaps be available with God in their behalves to ex­act no further punishment in the life to come; The same is true likewise of those that suffer for a good and righteous Cause, that they are not to withdraw them­selves from any torment, or persecu­tion by an untimely death, wilful­ly committed and brought upon themselves, but are rather under a great and sacred obligation, if they cannot avoid it by flight or by concealment in a dangerous time, to stand the brunt of their adversaries, and expect the worst that can befal them, though for [Page] another reason, viz. That they may bear the more effectual Testi­mony, and do the more signal and remarkable service to the Cause and Principles for which they suf­fer, it being natural for great and publick sufferings to create a pity for the worst of Men; but for such as die, or are exposed to poverty, contempt or torments for the sake of goodness, or because they will not start from their Principles, or flinch from their Religion, but are resolved to bear a constant and unshaken Testimony to it, this hath a strange power of Rhetorick and persuasion, and is naturally apt to inspire, and actuate the minds of Men with pity, love, and venera­tion for the persons of the sufferers, and for the Cause for which they suffer, according to that known saying, Sanguis martyrum semen Ecclesiae.

Twelfthly, If a Man perceive himself to labour under any such fearful apprehension, and dejected prospect of the sufferings he is to undergo, that he is in danger ei­ther to renounce the truth, to pur­chase his quiet and deliverance, from those evils that hang over his head, and fill his mind with ter­rour and dreadful apprehension; or otherwise that he is not like to support himself under his calami­ty, so as not to do disparage­ment to the Cause for which he suffers, instead of giving reputati­on or advantage to it, yet even in this case he is not by any means to cast away himself, but to call to his aid the consideration of his Innocence, the pleasant and cheer­ing reflections upon his virtue, to­gether with the hopes of a glori­ous recompence in the World to come, which will have a natural tendency to create a contempt in [Page] him, of the malice of his enemies, and of the utmost cruelty of the most ingenious tormentors; and he ought besides to fly to God for the assistance of his Grace, and to believe stedfastly that he will not fail to afford it in the Critical time, (whatever dejection of Spirit he may labour under at present) which whoever shall distrust, being placed in such cir­cumstances as these, that do so naturally require the assistance of Divine grace, and so powerfully draw down its influence upon themselves, he is guilty of a crime that deserves a worse punishment, than any his persecutors can in­flict upon him.

Thirteenthly, Notwithstanding what hath been said, yet it is cer­tain that the Mosaic Decalogue in that precept of it, which is con­ceived in these words, Thou shalt not Kill, or Thou shalt do no Murder, [Page] did not forbid self-homicide, or self-Murther, for it is manifest by our Saviours partition, that all of those precepts concerned only God and our Neighbour, God as the object of Religious worship, and our Neighbour as the object of Civil conversation, where he tells us, that on these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets; Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy Heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy Mind, and thy Neighbour as thy self.

And that this is plainly so, ap­pears by this, that there are crimes whose guilt was Capital by the Law of Moses, which yet are no where forbidden by the Decalo­gue, or Ten Commandments, I will instance in the habitual Drun­kard, which was one of the crimes laid to the charge of the Rebellious Son in the Law, who after admo­nition continuing unreclaimable, [Page] was to be brought forth, and ston­ed by the Congregation, and yet this sin is no where forbidden in any of these Commandments, the reason is, because it was only a personal crime, and did not in­clude any sin against God, in that sense in which the Decalogue for­bids it, which is concerned only in the prohibition of Idolatry, and Perjury, which includes a de­nial of the Divine Existence, or which is worse, a manifest defi­ance and contempt of it; and in separating the Sabbath from the rest of the week, and devoting it to his peculiar, and incommuni­cable Worship and Service, nor any breach of Duty towards our Neighbour, any otherwise then by the bad example, which for the most part, is so far from being intended, that it is not so much as thought of by the guilty per­son, and which it is always in his [Page] Neighbours power either to imi­tate, or let alone as he pleases him­self, so that there is no violence committed either upon his person, or any of those rights, priviledges, or possessions which are external to him.

So also when the Law forbad Sodomy, or the use of Carnality contrary to nature, and when it forbad incestuous Conjunctions, or Marriages within such certain degrees, how severe soever the Sanction of these prohibitions is, in those places of Leviticus, and Deuteronomy where they are found, yet the Decalogue does not at all concern it self about them, the reason is, because though in this case there be a mutual offence, committed between both of the contracting parties, in one of these instances, and between the Pathicus and the Cinaedus in the other, yet it was not an offence violently [Page] committed by one of the parties upon the other, for then it could not be mutual in them both, but it was by mutual, reciprocal and interchangeable consent; whereas the Decalogue was only concern­ed in those injuries, which were done violently and without his consent to our Neighbour, as will appear sufficiently, by reflecting upon all the instances of prohi­bition in the second Table; so that in this case, so far as these Com­mandments had any thing to do, the maxim was as true then as it is now, volenti non sit injuria, nei­ther indeed was the injury, pro­perly speaking, personal, since they were both consenting, but only an injury of example, or an in­jury to the Publick, by setting a Copy to it, which it was against its interest to transcribe, or to pro­pagate by imitation.

Neither is it sufficient in this mat­ter to say, that when our Saviour enjoyns us to love our Neighbour as our selves, that therefore what­ever we may not do to our Neigh­bour, we may not do to our selves, & consequently that self-homicide is by this general precept interdict­ed, because it is Unlawful to kill another man, for though I grant it to be Unlawful upon the con­siderations above mentioned, and in general, whatsoever is against the interest of humane Society, or the good of Common life, that is certainly Unlawful to every Chri­stian man; yet in this general rule there is nothing more understood, then in that other of our blessed Lord, which is equivalent to it, whereby we are enjoyned in all cases that can happen, as a certain rule of life and action, to do by others, as we would that others in the same circumstances should [Page] have done by our selves; but yet this hinders not, but that there are several things which I may do by my self, which yet it would be ut­terly unjust, unreasonable, and un­lawful for me to do by any other Man; as I may give away of mine own as I please my self, according to that of our Saviour, Matth. 20. 15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? but yet if I should do the same, by the depo­situm of another committed to my trust and charge, this would be the highest violation of the Laws of Friendship, Justice and Society, that can be imagined, and so also in this case, let self-homicide be Lawful or Unlawful in it self, and upon other considerations, yet there is no question, but a Man may dispose of his own person, farther then he hath any natural right to do of another Mans, and that the one is by no means the measure of the other.

To conclude this Thirteenth particular, as it does not appear that self-homicide, was any where forbidden by the Law of Moses, but on the contrary there are seve­ral instances of it, mentioned with­out any severity of reflection upon them, so that it seems to have been not unfrequently practised in the East, and from thence the Ro­mans did probably derive, that piece of gallanty, as they esteem­ed it; so it seems in a manner ab­solutely impracticable, that it should have been prohibited by the Mosaic dispensation, for every Law must have a Sanction to in­force it, and to him that fears not death, what Sanction can there be? unless it be the consideration of his Family or Posterity, which might suffer by the Alienation or Forfeiture of his Estate, as a­mongst us which would have been one means to destroy the [Page] the partition of Inheritances, which it was one great care of the Law religiously to preserve, as may be seen in several passages of the fol­lowing Treatise, and by conse­quence seems to have been utterly inconsistent with the Jewish plat­form and oeconomy of things.

Fourteenthly, Notwithstand­ing what hath been said, I believe it to be the Duty of every Man to run upon certain death, rather then break his trust or violate a Lawful promise, which was the case of Attilius Regulus in the Ro­man Story, because truth and faith­fulness are the great and first sup­porters of Society, the greatest or­naments and friends to humane Life, and therefore ought not to be violated in any case whatsoever, the example being of so dange­rous consequence to the peace and welfare of Mankind.

Fifteenthly, If a Man by his death may free his Country or the World from any present Calamity or epidemical Evil, which is said to have been the case of Curtius in a violent Plague, or may deli­ver and rescue it out of the jaws of an impending danger, as the Decii are said to have done, by devoting themselves as Sacrifices for the safety of the Roman Army and State, in both of these cases if there be a rational ground of hope, that my death or yours may be available to the publick good, and may be more bene­ficial then our lives could have proved, we are bound by all the strictest obligations, that either nature or religion can impose up­on us, to deliver our selves up as victims to the publick, whose safety is more precious in the sight of God, and more to be prised and valued in the esteem [Page] of all good Men, then that of any single person can be.

Sixteenthly, Notwithstanding that there are several instances of self-homicide in Scripture, and none of them mentioned with any thing of disallowance, yet there are, as I have shewn, reasons in nature that do make it in all cases unlawful to a Man considered as a member of Society, what­ever may be said in behalf of sin­gle persons considered out of that state, if such a supposition can or ought to be made, or what­ever may be pleaded as to the Gallantry or Courage of the Action, in Men that have not considered and deliberated the whole case with that nicety that I have done, and this is fully represent­ed in the Book of Job, where when his Wife in the extremity of his misfortune, gave him this advice, curse God and die, that is, [Page] make away with your self, as others in such circumstances are wont to do, all the answer he gives is, thou speakest as one of the foolish Women speaketh, that is, that though it were a received opini­on that it was Lawful in such cases, for a Man to dispatch him­self out of the way, and an ordi­nary practice to do it, yet it was an opinion and practice founded upon rashness and want of consi­deration, and that whoever laid all things impartially together, would patiently endure the af­flicting hand of God, which whe­ther it were intended for a punish­ment of our sins, or an exercise of our patience, or an instance of his Soveraignty and Dominion over us, it ought in all these cases to be submitted to, and therefore he used all the motives and Arguments he could think of with himself, to bring his mind [Page] to an absolute resignation, shall we receive good, saith he, at the hands of God, and shall we not receive evil, and though he wisht to die, and longed for nothing more then to be rid of Life and Calamity toge­ther, O that I might have my re­quest, said he, and that God would grant me the thing that I long for, even that it would please God to de­stroy me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off, yet would he not execute the sentence of death upon himself, and by his example, which was no question inspired; as well as his writings, he hath taught us what a wise Man ought to do in such unfortunate circum­stances as his were.

Seventeenthly, If self-homicide be, as it hath been shewn in most, if not all the instances that can be supposed, be so extreemly sinful, unreasonable and unlawful, then all kinds of intemperance and excess [Page] are so too, especially where they grow Customary and habi­tual in us, because these are so many willful tendencies to a dis­solution, and they are so much the more inexcusable, because they are usually more deliberate, then most of the instances of self-homicide are and are commit­ted when we have or might have had a free use and exercise of our reason.

Eighteenthly, If self-homicide be so Unlawful as it hath been re­presented, how much more im­pious and guilty must it needs be to imbrue our Hands in the Blood of our Neighbour, whose person is certainly less at our disposal then our own, and with whom, unless it be in our own just and necessary defence, we have nothing more to do, then only to help and assist him what we can.

I shall conclude this business with saying, what I am sure is true, that no affection of Novelty or love of Paradox drew me into a discourse of this Subject in the following Treatise, but that I in­sensibly light upon it, before I was aware, and that I should be very sorry, if any thing that I have said upon that occasion should give of­fence to any wise or good Man, though, I hope, in this review of that whole matter, which I have endeavoured carefully to consider, I have made some amends for what is amiss in the body of the Book, if any man shall happen to be displeased at it.

The other thing which I have in my mind, and which I find my self obliged to Recant, is concern­ing the Year of Numa, which I was very confident I had dis­covered, but I have made a new discovery since that, and that is, [Page] that I know nothing of it, and I conceive at this distance of time, it is impossible to be explained; however upon the whole matter, I hope you will not repent the perusal of this Book, nor I that I have written it.



  • OF the great Antiquity of the usage in the Text, and of the cause wherein it was warrantably dispensed with: From Page 1. to Page 60.
  • Of the reasons upon which it was Originally founded. From p. 60. to 79.
  • Two mistakes of Mr. Selden and the Rab­bins whom he follows. From p. 79. to 83.
  • That the Marriage of Boaz and Ruth was in consequence and pursuance of that Law of Moses, whereby the Brother was ob­liged to raise up Seed to the deceased Brother, against Mr. Selden and the Rab­bins. From p. 83. to 119.
  • Two other mistakes of Mr. Selden and his Rabbins discovered. From p. 120. to 124.
  • [Page]Of the signification of the word First-born, in this controversie. From p. 124. to 138.
  • Two objections against what was asserted un­der the last head concerning the signifi­cation of the word First-born, proposed and answered. From p. 138. to 147.
  • Another Argument to prove that by the First-born, the Daughter or Female was not understood in the Law of Moses, and in what case a Woman was to inherit. From p. 147. to 149
  • The Heiress obliged to Marry to some of the kindred, and to the next of kin if he pleased. p. 150, 151.
  • The Law of the Leviratus to be understood only of Brethren by the Fathers side, and in this Mr. Selden and his Rabbins are in the right. From p. 151. to 158.
  • An Answer to an objection against the last position, that this Law concerned only the Paternal consanguinity. From p. 158. to 161.
  • Two objections remaining against what hath been said, the first an Argument of Mr. Seldens to prove that the Marriage of Boaz and Ruth was not in consequence and by vertue of the Leviratical Law, which is largly answered. From p. 161. to 183.
  • [Page]Of the true time when this Custom came to be Antiqu [...]ted▪ viz. at the division of the two Kingdoms of Israel, and Judah, of the nature of Jeroboams Priesthood, and of the frequent revolutions that happen­ed in the Kingdom of Israel, after its di­vision from that of Judah, by reason of its Military Government and for want of a regular and subordinate Clergy. From p. 183. to 237.
  • That the Jews did not abstain from any thing, meerly because the Zabii or any other nation round about them practised it, and that this was no reason of any of their negative Precepts. Proved largely against Dr. Cudworth, and the Jewish Rabbins whom he follows. From p. 237. to 292.
  • Of the practice of Usury among the Jews and other nations, and that the Romans borrowed most, if not all their usages concerning it, out of the East, together with an explanation of many things in the Roman and Assyrian or Eastern Anti­quities, hitherto unknown, which is con­cluded with two observations; the First concerning the reason of Tithes being paid to the Priesthood, the other concerning the Lawfulness of a moderate Usury in all but such polities as the Jewish was. From p. 292. to 27.
  • The whole is concluded with an answer to a second objection against the Paternal con­sanguity, being only concerned in the matter of the Leviratus, which is taken from the Account of our Saviours Genealo­gy, as it is, or seems to be differently Re­lated by the two Evangelists, St. Mathew and St. Luke.


Deuteronomy 25. ver. 5. If Brethren dwell together, and one of them dye and have no Child, the Wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stran­ger, her Husbands Brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to Wife, and perform the duty of an Husbands Brother unto her, &c.

THE reason of which is expressed in the next verse viz. That the name of the Brother might not perish. For which cause it was that the first Child begotten in such Wed­lock, was not accounted the offspring of his or her natural Parent, but of him whose per­son he did in this case sustain, that is, of his Brother or near Kinsman.

V. 6. And it shall be, that the first born [Page 2] which she beareth, shall succeed in-the name of his Brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. Which in the instance of a near Kinsman, tho not of an immediate Brother was afterwards the case of Ruth and Boaz, from whose Loins in a few generations, K. David and in the full­ness of time the Messias himself, the Son of David was descended. Which Custom, tho it was afterwards, as we see, confirm­ed by an express Law of God, yet it was in it self much ancienter than the delivery of the Law by Moses, as is evident from the story of Er, Onan and Shelah, the Sons of Judah, all of them successively married to Tamar, for the reason already mention­ed, as is very plainly intimated, I may say expresly asserted, Gen. 38. v. 9. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his, and it came to pass when he went in unto his Brothers Wife, [...]. For which fact of his it is said in the next verse. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord, where­fore he slew him also, as he had done his Bro­ther Er, for some other wickedness, which was it seems no less displeasing to him, v. 7.

It is therefore very reasonable to believe, since we see this custom to have obtained in the World so long before the delivery [Page 3] of the Law by Moses, that it was the an­cient usage of all those Easterly Countrys, and constantly put in practice in the earliest times, by the inhabitants of Syria, Meso­potamia, Palestine and Egypt. Which is yet more probable, if you consider that even in the Law it self, there are seve­ral things both prohibited, and command­ed the Jews, which were alike practised or disallowed by their neighbour Nations, and in all probability by themselves long before; only now they came to have the Authority of a divine Law, which before they had not.

I will instance in the Egyptians absti­nence from Swines Flesh and from Fish, which tho it be ascribed by Porphyry and out of him by other Learned men, to na­tural reasons, for the avoiding of the Le­prosy the common disease of those Coun­tries, yet it might be upon such Symboli­cal reasons likewise, as were, if I am not mistaken, the ground of the Jewish absti­nence. And which I have in other Papers more largely insisted upon. And tho it be not in other Instances so easy to prove that the same prohibitions did obtain among the neighbour Nations, yet there are two things to be considered which will make it very probable that they did.

First. That the distinction of beasts in­to clean and unclean is manifestly of great­er Antiquity than the Floud, as is evident by this, that according to this distinction they were admitted into the Ark either by two's or Sevens and being spoken of there with­out giving any particular directions to Noah, by which he should know the clean and unclean from one another. It seems plain that he and his contemporaries were acquainted with this distinction and the bounds of it before, and very probable that it had been constantly observed from the Creation until then, there being no reason why it should not, nor any time imaginable wherein it can be affirmed that it did not obtain.

You will say perhaps that before the Flood, the Flesh of animals was not per­mitted to be eaten, which is true, and that the nature of this cleanness or uncleanness in animals consisted in this, that the one were prohibited, the other allowed in food; which is true likewise, but it is not the whole truth, for they were allowed or pro­hibited respectively in Sacrifice as well as food, therefore, since men did sacrifice Animals before the Floud, tho they did not feed upon them, it is clear that this distin­ction might well enough obtain before that [Page 5] time, which brings me to the Second thing; by which will it appear highly reasonable to believe that the very distinction of clean and unclean Beasts and Birds, and in the same instances, was observed before the de­livery of the Law, as well as after, and by other Nations as well as the Jews. And that is,

That you no where meet with any in­stance as the common practice of a Nation, at least for any so ancient, I dare boldly chal­lenge you, that any of those either Birds or Beasts mention'd in the unclean Catalogue have been offered up for Sacrifice, neither do we or any Nation that I know of, use any, or but very few, of them to this day in our food. The same may be said of Fishes, of which those that want Fins and Scales, are even amongst us accounted the most con­temptible, as they are certainly the most unwholsome kind, and for the Sacrifice of Fish, it will be as hard to meet with it, unless it be here and there a particular, and perhaps a fabulous instance in profane Authors, as in the writings of the Jews.

And as the prohibitions, so also the al­lowances for Food and Sacrifices, are and have always been in almost all Nations and all times the same with those of the [Page 6] Ancient Jews themselves, as is evident in part from the Sacrifices of Abel and of Balak, from the Victims of the Priests of Baal being of the same kind with those of Elijah, from the Historical and Poetical Writings of the most Ancient times, In which you have frequent mention of Sheep, Oxen, Goats, Turtles, Pigeons, Offer'd up in Sacrifice, and of the same or very like sorts of Odours, Incense and Perfumes in the Heathen Temples, which were in use either in the high places, Ta­bernacle or Temple of the Jews.

§ 1. More instances of a like Nature may be produced, but this, being so remarkable and being a complication of so many instances in one, is sufficient to justify what I have affirmed, that many of those Rites among the Jews, which had afterwards the Authority of a divine Law, did prevail among themselves and other Nations long before the delivery of that Law; of which nature this very usage, of which we are now discoursing, of the Bro­thers raising up Seed to the Brother, seems to have been one, since we see plainly that in the Family of Jacob, that is, in the Na­tion of the Jews, it was in use from the very beginning of it and was put in pra­ctice by Judah his immediate descendant, [Page 7] and that not as a new thing, but as a known and common practice in such cases, otherwise it could not be said of Onan v. 9. that he knew the Seed should not be his, if he had not known this by former Prece­dents and examples of a like nature, and by the design of such marriages in case the Brother died without issue. The same thing appears likewise from that saying of Judah v. 26. She hath been more righteous than I. By which he plainly acknow­ledges a right which Tamar had to the enjoyment of his youngest Son Shelah, which it was not in his power to deny her. It must therefore of necessity depend upon some known Law or usage of those and former times, which was the thing to be proved.

But you will say, it depended only upon his promise, v. 11. Then said Judah to Tamar his Daughter in Law, remain a Widow at thy Fathers House, till Shelah my Son be grown; which words do mani­festly contain an implicit Promise, that when Shelah was come to mans estate, he should be obliged to perform the Husbands part to raise up Seed to his Eldest Brother Er, and Tamars performing the condition on her own part, by puting on her Widows Garments, the better to avoid all pre­tenders [Page 8] to her Bed, as we see she did, v. 14. makes this implicit obligation still more binding upon Judah, so that he seems rather to be obliged by vertue of a volun­tary restraint which he by his promise had laid upon himself than by any antecedent Law.

But to this I answer, that, though the instance of Shelah will not perhaps prove it to have been a Law, yet that of onan, the intermediate Brother between him and the Eldest, will; to which purpose it will be necessary for us to observe, that in the 18th of Leviticus, where the degrees pro­hibited in marriage are recited, that of the Brothers Wife is prohibited with no less severity than any of the rest; the reason of which, together with the prohibition it self, is expressed in those words, v. 16. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy Brothers Wife, it is thy Brothers nakedness, that is, Man and Wife, in the very first in­stitution of God himself, when our first Parents came together, were to be one Flesh, i. e. the union betwixt them was to be so strict and so inseparable, as if they were both of them united into one and the same person, from whence it came to pass that the Wise was accounted every whit as near, in the interpretation and esteem [Page 9] of Law, to all those to whom she was allyed by the affinity depending upon mar­riage, as the Husband himself was by those degrees of Consanguinity, in which he stood respectively to them before it.

§ 2. This was the reason of all those Laws, Levit. 18. 8. The nakedness of thy Fa­thers Wife shalt thou not uncover, it is thy Fa­thers nakedness. v. 14. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy Fathers Bro­ther, thou shalt not approach to his Wife, she is thy Aunt. That is, Uncles and Aunts, great Uncles and great Aunts, and so all along in the Collateral Line, ascend as high as you will, are in the interpretation of the Jewish as well as of the Civil Law Parentum loco, in the stead of Parents, and are to have the same or a like respect paid them by us, the same or a like Authority and rule over us, with our natural Fathers and Mothers, which are the very reasons assign­ed for this and all further prohibitions in the directly or collaterally ascending Lines by the Civil Laws of the Empire, which are neither of them any way consistent with the conjugal familiarities of Man and Wife, so that to uncover the nakedness of a mans Uncle, is the same thing as to un­cover that of his Father, and the Uncle and Uncles Wife being both by the primitive [Page 10] Institution of God himself, considered as the same person, to marry with his Aunt is to commit Incest with his Mother. Again, v. 15. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy Daughter-in-Law, she is thy Sons Wife; that is, they are all one, and 'tis the same thing as if you should uncover the nakedness of your own Daughter, and v. 17. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a Woman and her Daughter; because the Woman is your self and therefore her Daughter is yours; but then it follows: Neither shalt thou take her Sons Daughter, or her Daughters Daughter to uncover her nakedness, because being united to the Mother from whom they are descended, He is by interpretation a Common Parent, as well as she, to all that derive their pe­digree from her Loyns.

§ 3. This is sufficient to shew, that by the first institution of things, the Brothers Wife and the Brother are both of them con­sider'd as the same, so that to uncover the nakedness of the Brothers Wife is, as the Law expresses it, to uncover the nakedness of the Brother himself, and consequently the same thing as to marry a Man's own Sister: Sister and Brother Germans being, tho in different Sexes, the same degree of relation. It is clear therefore that, if to [Page 11] marry a Sister German, or a Sister Uterine were prohibited before the Law, then to marry the Brothers Wife, unless in the case before excepted, must be prohibited also, because all these things depend upon that fundamental position, that Man and Wife are to be considered as the same person, which is as ancient as Adam, and depends upon no less Authority than that of God himself.

§ 4. Now that to marry a Brother or Sister German, (bateing the first inter­matches between Cain and Seth and their Sisters, which the same necessity that caus'd must excuse) has been always look'd upon as unlawful, even before the time of Moses and the delivery of the Law by him, I will prove by several arguments.

§ 5. First, Because all the prohibited Mar­riages and Lusts, mentioned in the Chapter of Leviticus above cited, are reckoned amongst those sins which were the reasons of Gods wrath amongst the Amorites, the Ancient Inhabitants of the Land of Canaan v. 27. 28. For all these abominations have the men of the Land done, which were before you, and the Land is defiled: That the Lord spue not you out also, when ye de­file it, as he spued out the Nations that were [Page 12] before you. Again, v. 30. Therefore shall ye keep mine Ordinance, that ye commit not any of these abominable customs which were committed before you. and ch. 20. 23. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the Na­tions, which I cast out before you, for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. Wherefore there being no punishment inflicted but for sin, nor any sin against God that is not a Trans­gression of some divine Law, nor any di­vine Law but what is either Natural or Positive, that is to say, revealed, it is ma­nifest that the marriage of the Sister Ger­man was an offence against one if not against both these Laws, before the Mosaick dispensation was of any force or Authority in the World.

§ 6. And tho I am not ignorant, that some of the instances mentioned as forbidden, were notwithstanding allow'd and practis­ed by the permission of God himself in for­mer times; as in the case of marrying the half Sister, or the Sister by the Fathers side, which was Abrahams case and yet is expresly forbidden. Lev. 18. 9. yet that this of the Sister German was not of that nature, I conjecture with great probability from the punishment annext to it as its sanction. Lev. 20. 20. If a man shall take [Page 13] his Brothers Wife, it is an unclean thing, he hath uncovered his Brothers nakedness, they shall be Childless; that is, not that God would visit them by a particular judg­ment of Barrenness, any more than in the other instances, mentioned in the same Chapter where all the punishments are all along inflicted by the hands of men, but it is meant, that they were immediately to be put to death, without giving them so long a Reprieve as to prolong their me­mory by their issue, they were to be utterly and totally cut off from their People, both in their own persons and that of their poste­rity, as it is v. 18. they were to die Child­less, as it is v. 20. and so the Seventy have likewise render'd it in this verse, as well as in the former, [...]. It is the same thing with, they shall surely be put to death, v. 10. their blood shall be upon them, v. 11, 12, 13. he or they shall bear their iniquity, v. 17, 19. That is, there shall be no Atonement for them by any Sacrifice or sin Offering, but they themselves shall bear their own iniquity, and suffer death in their own proper persons.

§ 7. But now it is not at all likely, that that which was no offence before the Law, should under it be thought so heinous that no Sacrifice, no Lustration, no Re­demption, [Page 14] no Expiation would be admit­ted, but the person offending must without mercy, without the least reprieve or respite of his sentence immediately suffer death: I conclude therefore, what I design to prove, that the marriage of the Brother to the Brothers Wife, and much more of the Brother to to the Sister German was forbid­den, and abominable in the sight of God, before the promulgation of the Mosaick Law, which is my first argument.

§ 8. But then Secondly, That the marri­age of Brother and Sister Germans, and consequently of the Brother to the Brothers Wife, which I have already shewn to be the same, is unlawful, will be sufficiently proved, if I can prove there was any such thing as an incestuous or prohibited mixture before that time, which, besides what has been said of the Amorites and other Na­tions the Ancient Planters of the Land of Canaan, I can prove by other instances both before and after the Floud.

§ 9. And First before it. Gen. 6. 2. We find it thus writen. The Sons of God saw the Daughters of Men that they were fair, and they took them Wives of all which they chose. that is, they made Intermarriages among one another, without any regard to the prohibited degrees of Consanguinity, [Page 15] so that they made no scruple of marrying even their own Sisters, if they were such as they could set their affections upon, which practice of theirs was so provoking to Almighty God, that it is said in the next verse, And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man. His days were immediately shortned upon it, and very soon after, upon the continuance of this and other, as it seemeth to me, some­what less horrid impieties, for this is only mention'd to set the more particular mark and brand upon it, that fatal Deluge hap­pened by which the Old World, and all that was in it, Eight Persons and the Crea­tures that were with them only excepted, was destroyed. Now that incestuous mar­riages and particularly those of Sister and Brother are here understood, I prove thus.

§ 10. First, They took them Wives of all whom they chose, therefore it must not be understood of any Rape or Violence, but it was the effect of choice which is an easy and gentle as well as a deliberat thing. Secondly, They took them Wives; which implyes not a sudden Violence, but a last­ing contract between the parties, by which they were obliged mutually to enter into a Matrimonial estate, and live at Bed and Board together.

And, which is a mighty confirmation of this interpretation, this is described as the state and condition of the World just before the coming of the Floud, by St. Matthew and St. Luke. Mat. 24. 38, 39. Luk. 17. 27. They did Eat and Drink they married Wives and were given in marriage, untill the day that Noah entred into the Ark, and the Floud came and destroyed them all. So like­wise, 2 Pet. c. 2. v. 5, 6. God spared not the Old World, but saved Noah the Eighth person a, Preacher of Righteousness, bringing in the Floud upon the World of the ungodly, and turning the Cities of Sodom and Gomor­rah into Ashes, condemned them with an over­throw, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly. What is meant most especially in the latter verse by the word ungodly we know very well from the History of those wicked places; but the Old World not being charged with so unnatural a crime, which yet it is very probable it would have been, had it been guilty of it, the best, as well as the most charitable, way of interpreting the same word in the former verse, is by expound­ing it of incestuous mixtures which have always in the esteem of the World been accounted the next in guilt to it.

§ 11. The same thing is likewise won­derfully confirmed from an expression in the story of Zelophehad, Num. 36. 6. Let them marry to whom they think best, which answers exactly to that other place in Gen. they took them Wives of all which they chose, and is of the same import and signification: Let them marry into their own family, for the better preservation of the inheritance, without regard to those restrictions, with­in which the Law of Moses would other­wise have circumscribed them, and ac­cordingly, they all married to their Cousin Germans, which were yet in other cases prohibited by the Law of Moses and by the practice of the Jewish Church, as I shall prove more largely in another dis­course, wherein I shall state that whole case and shew, that as well by the Law of Christ, as that of Moses and not only so but by the Law of nature too, such mar­riages are ex antecedenti, unlawful, tho af­ter they be consummated by fruition, they are upon the same reasons valid upon which before it they are prohibited and void.

§ 12. Thus much may serve for the first part of what I undertook to prove, that the place in Genesis above cited is to be under­stood of Incestuous Mixtures: I will now [Page 18] shew that the Marriage of Sisters and Bro­thers Germans is chiefly, if not only, pointed at in this place, by this Syllogism.

Either the Marriages both of Mothers and Sisters, with their Sons and Brethren is to be understood in this place, or of Sisters and Brothers only.

But the Marriage of Mothers with their Sons is not at all pointed at in this place.

Therefore it must of necessity be meant of the Marriage of Brothers and Sisters only.

The Major I prove plainly from this, that all other degrees of Consanguinity before the delivery of the Law were no obstruction to Marriage, for of the Marri­age of Cousin Germans, we have an instance in Jacob, who married Rachel and Leah his Uncle Labans Daughters, of the Aunt in Amram the Father of Moses himself, and of the half Sister by the Fathers side, in Abraham the Father of the Jewish Nation. It remains therefore, since the very next degrees, both in the ascending and in the collateral line were permitted that this Text cannot possibly be understood of any other Incestuous Marriages, but those of Brothers and Sisters Germans, or of Sons and their [Page 19] natural Mothers together; but of the Mar­riage of Sons with their Mothers, it is ab­surd to understand it, for this reason, that it is said, the Sons of God saw the Daugh­ters of Men that they were fair, in which it is plainly implyed, that they were young and Virgins; at least, thus much is true that the Epithet of fair, is by no means sutable to Women in their declining Age, as they must needs be who are the Parents of marriageable Children; it is therefore evident that it must be meant of the Inter­marriage of Brothers and Sisters Germans together, which was the thing I under­took to prove.

§ 13. And this being so great a provo­cation to Almighty God, that it was one of the main causes of that dismal Floud with which the Old World was overtaken, and it being inconsistent with the Justice of God, to punish an offence so heavily and so universally, which they themselves who did it, did not know to be a sin, it follows plainly that before the Floud such Marriages were, and were accounted in the esteem of the World, unlawful.

§ 14. Having thus proved that before the Floud there were prohibited degrees of Consanguinity, and that the transgressing those bounds by Incestuous Mixtures, which [Page 20] did then very frequently prevail in the World, was one great cause of that univer­sal calamity with which it was overtaken; it may seem an unnecessary task to go a­bout to prove, that the same prohibitions were esteemed no less sacred and inviolable after it, since Noah, who together with his Sons were innocent of this sin, and yet knew so well as they did, by the punishment of others, how heavily displeasing it was in the Eyes of God, could not choose, toge­ther with the tradition of the Floud it self, but deliver down the causes of it to their Posterity, together with a caution to avoid the same iniquities, for fear of being vi­sited, tho not with the same (for God had made a promise that he would not drown the World any more) yet, with some equal­ly terrible and dreadful judgments.

§ 15. But yet, because nothing can be too sure, I will prove it by a double in­stance, by the first of which it will appear, that the marriage of Parents with their Children; by the second, that that of Brothers and Sisters Germans or Uterines with one another, was after the Floud and before the delivery of the Law, look'd upon as de­testable and unlawful.

§ 16. The First is the case of Lot, who lay with his Two Daughters, from [Page 21] which incestuous Coitions the two great people of Moab and Ammon were descended; but they despaired of prevailing upon him to gratify their wicked desires, till they had made him so much more than mellow, that it is said, he perceived not when they lay down or when they arose, Gen. 19. 33. which is a plain argument that a just and righteous man, which is the Character of Lot, would not, in his right senses and while he continued to have a due exercise of his reason, have been guilty of a Con­gression of that nature, and consequently that in those times it was esteemed and looked upon by all as an abominable and accursed thing.

§ 17. The Second instance is that of Abraham, when being charged by Abime­lech, the King of Gerar, for having deceiv­ed him under pretence that Sarah was his Sister, when she was in reality his Wife, says in excuse of himself, Gen. 20. 12. She is my Sister, she is the Daughter of my Fa­ther, but not the Daughter of my Mother, and she became my Wife, by which it is plain, that in the opinion of Abraham her being a Sister only by the Fathers side, was not an hinderance to Marriage, and this be­ing spoken by way of appeal, and in his own vindication to Abimelech, who had [Page 22] indeed injured himself, for want of duly considering the true meaning of Abrahams expression, it is an argument that it was the Custom of those times, and that the same degrees of Consanguinity were allow­ed and prohibited at Gerar as well as in the family of Abraham, who probably if in these matters he had differed from his neighbours, it would have been in this that the allowances would have been rather more narrow than more indulgent and li­centious on his side.

§ 18. I know very well that Josephus and out of him Bishop Taylor, and out of him his Transcriber, T. D. the Writer of a small Treatise in behalf of the Marriage of Cousin Germans, will needs have Sarah not to have been Abrahams Sister in that sense in which we usually take the word, but only his Niece, the Daughter of his Brother Haran, and the same with Iscah, Gen. 11. 29. and this he tells us, p. 84 of that little piece, will appear to any one who rightly considers the place; but in­deed, whether I have rightly considered it or no, I am sure I have considered it as well as I can, and I can find no such thing in it, but Sarah and Iscah are both of them men­tioned in the very same verse, which it is not likely that it would have been done [Page 23] without any mention of the change of the name, as is usually done, or without so much as intimating that she was called by both of these names, if they had been both of them one and the same person.

Besides, if a man would be understood of his half Sister or his Sister by the Fathers side, how could he express himself more clearly than thus. She is my Sister, she is the Daughter of my Father, but not the Daughter of my Mother.

Again that very expression, she is the Daughter of my Father, but not the Daugh­ter of my Mother, cannot without granting many precarious assertions, and such as can no way be justifi'd, be understood of the Niece or Brothers Daughter, so, as the sense of the place must at that rate, be this; She is the Daughter, or Grandchild of my Father Therah, but not of my Mother, but she is his Grandchild by some other Wife, who was the Mother of Haran; so that it is plain to make this interpretation good, these two things must first be granted, First, that Therah had two Wives, either together, which cannot be proved of any but Lamech before the Floud, or successively, which cannot be proved neither; and if it could be proved yet, Secondly, it must be grant­ed likewise that of these two, Abraham [Page 24] was the Son of the one, and Haran of the other, but that they were not both descended of the same Mother; all which is not only a shameless but also a very needless begging of the question.

For the reason, as I conceive, why this opinion was First started in the World, was out of a pious design to defend Abraham from the Obloquy of an incestuous Mixture, whereas if a man would consider things a­right, the Niece or Brothers Daughter, is rather more than less a kin than the half Sister by the Fathers side, and that upon two several accounts, both because the Fa­ther's is of the two, the more uncertain side, and because in the Niece or Brothers Daughter, there is at one remove if he be Brother German, as it cannot be proved that Haran was not, the blood of both our Parents running in her veins, besides that to such an one we are parentum loco, which is another hindrance to Marriage in the Mosaick as well as the Civil Law,

I conclude therefore upon an impartial survey of the whole matter, that this con­jecture, let it be supported by never so great names, is not only precarious but im­probable into the bargain. Neither do we read of any other change of Name which Sarah ever suffered but only that of Sarai, [Page 25] by a very light mutation into Sarah, which is as much as Domina, Ductrix, Princeps Fae­mina, to make it of the same signification with Miriam or Maria, which was the Name of the blessed Virgin, from Mar or Maran Dominus, whence the Maronites in the East, and that bitter form of Excom­munication called by St. Paul Anathema Maranatha have their name likewise.

For as Isaac was A Type of Christ so what the blessed Virgin was to him, that Sarah was to Isaac, the respective Mothers of those two blessed offsprings, the one an Old Woman with whom it had long ceased to be after the manner of Women, the other a spotless Virgin, that had never known man, both of them in a manner equally miraculous as hath been said else where in the case of John the Baptist his forerunner.

The Result of all is this, it hath been suf­ficiently proved that for Brothers and Sisters Germans to marry, was all along account­ed impious and unlawful, it hath been prov­ed likewise, that the Marriage of the Bro­thers Wife in all but the case excepted, is in the interpretation of Law the same thing, as to marry the Sister German, lastly, by the express words of the Levitical Table of Marriage it appears that where the Brother [Page 26] dying left Issue, at least Male Issue begotten in lawful Wedlock, behind him▪ such Mar­riages were punishable with death; which Punishment was too severe for the breach of a Law, that had not somewhat more than a positive turpitude in it, or of such a Mar­riage as was till that time without scruple allowed and practiced in the World.

It is therefore clear upon more accounts than one, that such marriages in general were always reckon'd incestuous and for­bidden; Onan therefore being put upon pay­ing this service to the memory of his Bro­ther, so much against his own inclinations, as we see by the story it was, might have urged in his own excuse, that it was an In­cestuous Mixture, forbidden by the Law of Nations, and the constant practice of those and former times, and that though there be an entire Obedience due to the Commands of our Parents, as well as Politick Superi­ours so far as those Commands are in the matter of them Lawful, yet that in this, as in all other cases, where the Divine and Human Authority interfere with one ano­ther, it was better to obey God than Man, which since he did not do, but instead of that made a semblance of Obedience, though he was resolved before hand not to do it, it is a plain indication that this case had [Page 27] been excepted by the usage of those times; neither is it likely that God would have punished this disobedience with that severi­ty which he did, if he had refused that ser­vice in compliance, or at least in agree­ment to the Laws of God, or the Usages, though but reputedly sacred, of those times.

The same is likewise further clear from the apprehension of Judah, lest the same untimely Fate might likewise be the porti­on of his youngest Son Shelah, if Tamar thorough his neglect did not continue in her state of Widdow-hood, till Shelah was grown up to marriageable years, v. 11. lest peradventure he dye also, as his Brethren did, which yet would have been no fault of his, if through the negligence of the Father a sufficient restraint had not been laid upon his Daughter Tamar; neither could Shelah have suffer'd any thing by it, if it were not that God does often punish the sins of the Fathers in the Children, which is no more than a proper exercise of his Sove­raign Power and Dominion over men.

But Judah had been guilty of no sin, in suffering her to marry abroad, if the rea­son of her marriage to Onan, First, and of her being afterwards designed for Shelah, had [Page 28] not depended on something else besides his own arbitrary pleasure. Further we do not find that she was afterwards actually mar­ryed to Shelah, but it is more probable from the silence of the Scripture in it, that she was not, because by the Levitical Law, which in this instance also seems to have been much ancienter than the time of Moses, it was not Lawful for the same Woman to conceive by the Father and Son. And, though it be true that she did successively enjoy both Son and Father, yet neither was this right in it self, but only comparatively, & is somewhat excused from a sort of necessity that seem'd to attend it; She hath been more righteous then I, said Judah, as much as to say, she hath done an abominable thing, but I that which was more impious than she, by with-holding my Son Shelah from her em­braces, whom Custom and my Promise, and the respect due to the memory of my de­ceased Son, had given her for her Hus­band, and whom she had purchased by per­forming the condition of Widdow-hood on her part, and by patiently expecting the time beforehand stipulated between them. Therefore he said rightly, She hath been more righteous than I; for Er the Eld­est Brother was to raise up seed to the Fa­mily, or to propagate the name of Judah [Page 29] himself, he dying with Issue, it was to be propagated by Onan and by Shelah his Pro­xies, which since the one did refuse, and the other did either refuse or was prohibited to do, what remained but that either the me­mory of the Eldest Brother must perish, or the Father himself perform the Husbands part, and propagate his own memory, and that of his Eldest Son deceased in his own person; which though in it self detestable, yet the sin was partly his own, in putting something that looked like a kind of ne­cessity upon the Woman; and it being di­rected to an intention not only less culpa­ble than the action it self, but also such as was laudable and just, though unjust to compass it by this means, it is for this rea­son he saith, She hath been more righteous then I. Drus. in loc. Justa est quam ego; quomodo justa quae se adulterio temeraverat? Non dicit justa simpliciter, sed justa quam ego & est sensus magis quam ego, i. e. justior. Comparativè igitur justa erat.

Lastly the same thing is evident from this, that till Judah was rightly informed of the matter, he would have burnt his Daughter Tamar for an Adulteress, as having after a promise not to do it, by forsaking Shelah, adulterously betray'd the Bed of her Husband Er, by which you see likewise, which is an other confirmation [Page 30] of what hath been said, that Adultery long before the delivery of the Law was punish­ed with Death but it does not seem that he would have punished this offence so heavi­ly, if the Custom and Law of that time, had not made it Adultery to marry or en­joy another so long as any of the Brethren still remained alive, and in a Condition or likelyhood of being so, to propagate the name of their Elder Brother.

It remains then that this Custom must needs be ancienter than the time of Judah; and since there is no instance of any such thing in all the Family of Abraham, though you go as high as to Sem himself, till you come to the Sons of Judah in this Chapter, since all the Sons of Noah were actually married at one and the same time to several and distinct Wives Since Noah himself is no where taken notice of as the beginner of any such practice, or as an example of it it seems most reasonable to go yet further backwards and place the first beginnings of this Ancient usage in the ante-noachioal or ante-diluvian times.

I will not desend this fact of Tamar, from all suspition of guilt, when it may seem to be at first sight, not only a very unlawful but a very detestable practice and when at this distance of several Thousand Years being in [Page 31] a manner perfectly unacquainted with the usages of those times, it is utterly impos­sible to make such a Judgment of the case, as may be reli'd upon for truth in all its parts.

But thus much I will say, she was not by so doing guilty of Adultery, though whether she were of Incest or no, will require some further consideration; for either She­lah the Third Son of Judah was alive, or he was dead; if he were alive, it is true she was engaged to expect the years of his Maturi­ty, that he might perform the Husbands part, in raising up Seed to his deceased Bro­ther, and by not expecting that appointed time, she did in effect betray the Bed of her first Husband Er, whose person Shelah was in this case to sustain. But if after she had staid thus long, which was all that she was obliged to do, she did then demand him in Marriage, according to the contract and agreement formerly made between them; if Judah who was to receive all the benefit of this agreement, which was the propaga­ting of his own and his Sons name, and the continuing the Inheritance in the line of the First born, would not stand to the con­tract into which he had entred for his own advantage, by all the Law, and all the equi­ty in the World, the party to whom no [Page 32] benefit accrews is free of any further obli­gation, which was exactly Thamars case, to whom it might be indifferent, whether she continued in the same house, or mar­ried into another, and who might perhaps fancy some other person for her Husband more than she did Shelah, in which case it is altogether unreasonable she should be un­der any restraint, when the parties on whose side all the advantage lies, will not make good their own part of the bargain.

It is clear then she could not be guilty of Adultery upon supposition that Shelah be­ing alive, had himself refused, or had by some external force been hindred from per­forming his part of the condition, which it was impossible for him at that time to do, without his Fathers consent, who had, as it seems, according to the Ancient practice of the first, mortals jus vitae & necis, an ab­solute and despotical power over all his fa­mily and dependants, as appears by the sentence passed upon Tamar without any other Process or Formality of Law, but his own Arbitrary decree, Gen. 38. 24. bring her forth and let her be burnt.

Of which despotical power of Parents over their Children and such was Tamar in this case, being still considered as the Wife of her first Husband Er, the Son of [Page 33] Judah so long as Shelah lived, who was when he came to Age to sustain his person, and propagate his name) we have two known instances in the Ancient Roman story, the first is that of him of the sur­viving Horatii, who killed his own Sister, for bewailing the Death of her Lover, an enemy of Rome, who being for this fact ar­raigned, and about to receive sentence of Condemnation from the Duumviri, who sat in Judgment upon him, was thus defen­ed and interceeded for by the miserable old man his Father, who was now in danger of losing all his Children, though not many hours before, the happy Parent of a nume­rous and hopeful Offspring, Se Filiam jure caesam judicare, ni ita esset patrio jure in filium animadversurum fuisse. Liv. lib. 1. The Se­cond is of Sp. Cassius in the Second Book of the same Author, who being accused of aspiring to be King, a name so hated at that time by the Romans, among other ac­counts given of his punishment, is said to have been sentenced to Death for it by his Father, and executed at home by vertue of that Sentence. Livies words are these: Sunt qui patrem auctorem ejus Supplicii ferant, eum, cognitâ domi causâ, verberàsse ac ne­câsse: peculium (que) filii Cereri consecravisse; signum inde factum esse, & inscriptum, EX [Page 34] CASSIA FAMILIA DATƲM. And not unlike to this and the former instance is that of L. Virginius, in the 3d. Book of the same Writer, who, as it may seem by ver­tue of this paternal power, slew his own Daughter, to free her from the Lust of Ap­pius the Decemvir, but as for the story of Manlius, it being rather an effect of Military Discipline than his Authority, as a Father, it is not here to be accounted for.

Neither is it to be doubted, but the Ro­mans were beholding for the exercise of this Paternal Right, to some other People, both more Ancient and more Easterly from whom they were descended, both because we have here a plain instance of the same Authority, invested in the person of Judah, and because in the beginning of things, when almost every distinct Family was a lit­tle Kingdom by it self, of which the Pater­familias was the Supreme Lord, from whose determinations there was no manner of Ap­peal, it must needs be for the keeping this Family in due Order, there must be the same distinction of punishments according to the different natures, and differing ag­gravations of Offences, as are to be met with in greater Bodies; and in truth when matters are examin'd to the bottom it will be found, that the Original of all Justice, [Page 35] as well as Goverment, is from private Fa­milies; but enough of this.

From hence it appears that whether She­lah refused to comply himself, or whether an outward restraint were laid upon him by his Father, the first of which seems to have been the very truth, it is the same case, and she is either way freed from all manner of obligation, and consequently could not be guilty of Adultery by the en­joyment of another.

Or else Secondly if you suppose Shelah to have been dead before this happened, then she seems still to be more excusable, in that all the Brothers being dead one af­ter another, there was no body now left to raise up Seed to the Eldest, therefore he was perfectly dead to all intents and pur­poses, both in himself and in his Proxies, and so there was no possibility of commit­ting Adultery with relation either to him or them.

It is true indeed according to the practice of after days, which seem to have taken their Coppy from these, and those that went before them, in default of a Brother, the Widdow of the deceased might challenge the next of Kin, as is clear from the in­stance of Ruth, who first demanded a near­er Kinsman, and then upon his refusal Boaz [Page 36] in Marriage, the latter of which challenges was accepted.

And though it seems clear in the Law of Moses, at least as to an immediate Brother, that the Woman was bound to put in her Claim to him, yet it was still at his liberty whether he would comply with it or no, only it seems by the instance of the nearest of Kin in the family of Elimelech, in the story of Boaz and Ruth, that he was to give some tolerable reason of such his refusal.

But then again there be two reasons why such challenges as these were made; The first was this, That the Younger was consi­dered in the Nature of a Servant to the El­der, of which I shall speak more largely by and by, but this did not hold in the col­lateral Relations, who were not under the same subjection to the party deceased, nor to the despotical Authority of the Pa­ter-familias who was in the Nature of a common Soveraign to all the Sons, but had no such power over the descending Re­lations in the transverse or oblique Line.

Secondly, It was done for the better pre­serving the Inheritance in the Line of the First-born, for which reason the First-born of this imputative Wedlock, was to rise up in, and inherit the name of the deceased, [Page 37] that is, not that he was to be called by the same name with his imputative Father, for the Son of Ruth by Boaz, was not called Mahlon, which was the name of her decea­sed Husband, but Obed; only all the busi­ness was, he was to inherit the estate of the deceased, which it was not in the power of his real Father to alienate from him, or divide among the Children of another Venter, neither had he any right to such Inheritance, but what was devolved upon him by his Elder Brother for the use of his Eldest Son, by his said Brothers Wife, be­gotten by him in his Brothers stead.

It is apparent therefore, if there were no inheritance in danger of being alienated from the House of Judah, or of his Eldest Son, Er, that she had no manner of rea­son why she should challenge the next of Kin upon the decease of the three Brothers, and therefore clear that she did not do it, much less would any of them be under any the least obligation to accept of any such challenge as that was.

For that Judah and much less his Eldest Son, had yet no Inheritance of their own, may seem probable from this, that Jacob himself was yet alive, besides that they shortly after were to part for Egypt, bid­ding a long Adieu to the Land of Canaan, [Page 38] and all their immovable Possessions in it. However Judah himself being still as we see by the story in a condition capable of leaving a Posterity descended immediately from his own Loyns, it was a preposterous way to have recourse to this artificial remedy in the transverse Line, when Nature as yet was so vigorous and warm as to be able to propagate and continue its self; so that it remains an undeniable truth, that whe­ther Shelah were alive or dead, she was free from all manner of Obligation either to him or any other of that Family, and therefore could not by this Action be said to have committed Adultery, which was the thing to be proved.

But now after all it is certain that Shelah was yet alive, Gen. 46. 12. The Sons of Judah, Er, Onan, and Shelah, Pharez and Zerah: but Er and Onan dyed in the Land of Canaan. Which is as much as to say that Shelah did not but went along with his Father, Grand-father, and Uncles into Egypt, as it is also, Num. 26. 19, 20. The Sons of Judah after their Families were of Shelah the Family of the Shelanites, &c. 1 Chron. 4. 21. 22, the Sons of Shelah the Son of Ju­dah were, Er, the Father of Lecah, and Laadah the Father of Mareshah, and the Families of them that wrought fine Linen, of the House [Page 39] of Ashbea. And Jochim and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had the dominion of Moab, and Jashubi-lehem. For this reason it is that Josephus reckoning up the Sons of Judah does not mention the two Eldest Er and Onan, because they dyed without Issue, but only Shelah the Youngest of the Three by his Lawful Wife Shua, and Pharez and Zerah begotten by him upon his Daughter in Law Tamar, his words are these Antiq. l. 2. [...]. and it seems from this place of Josephus very probable, that such as dyed without Issue, their names were blotted out of the Genealogical Tables of the Jews; which is not only reasonable in it self to suppose, there being no use of such names in Tables of Genealogy, as do not spread themselves farther by a Poste­rity of their own, but it will also if admit­ted give a marvellous light to several places of Scripture, not yet sufficiently un­derstood, as that of Exod. 32. 32. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their Sin, and if not, blot me I pray thee out of thy Book which thou hast written. Not that Moses supposed any such thing, as that God kept a Scroul of Parchment, or a material or literal Book, wherein he did enter down the Names of those, on whom he was pleased to bestow [Page 40] any mark of his favour, but it is manifestly a Metaphorical expression, and therefore must allude to some Custom or Usage of those times.

Now it is certain that Tables of Genea­logy were constantly kept, I will not say from the Creation, when there were no letters, but as soon as ever letters began, this being the Principal if not the first use of Letters in all Nations. To what wherefore can this expression better allude than to those Tables? which being probably writ­ten over in every Family for themselves, when the Family increased, and consequent­ly the Tables were to be enlarged, and often-times Transcribed for the use of new descendants in every Generation, they did not Transcribe any more than what was necessary to carry down the History of Succession, so as if a man had Five Sons as Judah had, Two of which dyed with­out Issue, and ended in themselves, they were omitted as useless out of this Table, because the knowledge of their names was of no use to the Herauldry, as I may call it, of those times, which could give a suffici­ent account of its self without them, but could not make use of them in order to the setling any doubt that should arise in the History of a Pedigree in after times.

Of the same import is that of Psalm 69. 28. Let them be blotted out of the Book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. The Book of Genealogies is called the Book of the Living because in them their names abide for ever, and they live in their Posterity, though in their own persons they be dead and buried. And not written with the righteous, because fruitfulness was always look'd upon among the Jews, and that with good reason, as an argument of Gods favour, and of something commendable in those on whom this blessing was bestowed, and the contrary as a curse of God, for some one or more very heinous and provoking sins, which was manifestly the case of Er, and Onan, who seem there­fore to have been left out of Josephus his account, as not worthy the notice of after times.

So also Ps. 109. 13. Let his Posterity be cut off, and in the Generation following let their name be blotted out, i. e. when the next Generation, shall come again to Transcribe the Tables of Genealogy for themselves, let the names of this mans Posterity, as dying without Issue be omit­ted. And this no question is the true sense of that place, Deut. 25. 6. And it shall be that the First-born which she beareth shall suc­ceed [Page 42] in the name of his Brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. Put out, viz. in that manner which I have said, and that in the Register of his Family his name may still stand over his imputative Offspring; which it was necessary it should do, because all the descendants from that adoptive Birth, enjoyed the Inheritance only in right of him, who himself died without any Issue of his own Body; so that if his name were left out of the Tables, the Estate would upon any controversy, be adjudged to some Collateral pretender, because his imputative descent in a right Line of adoption could not be proved; therefore it was necessary it should be en­tered down thus:

  • Mahlon
  • Boaz
  • Ruth.
  • Obed.

Or some such way as this, to shew how he and his descendants came by that Inhe­ritance which they enjoyed, otherwise he that died unmarried or being married had no Inheritance, nor Issue either of his own or his Proxy, his name was omitted as useless in the Catalogues of Succession.

It is out of dispute then that Shelah was yet surviving, it is likewise certain that he was now come to Marriageable Estate. v. 14. She saw that Shelah was grown and she was not given him to Wife. and v. 26. She hath been more righteous than I, because that I gave her not to Shelah my Son. So that all the remaining Question is, why he did not give her, which Question in all likelyhood must be Answered thus:

Onan had such such an aversation for the person of Tamar, or rather for the thoughts of getting Children to propagate the name, or enjoy the inheritance, if he had any, of another, that we see what prodigious brutality he was guilty of, to decline this ungrateful Service, and it is not unlikely that Shelah, when he came at Age, might as to this matter have the same sentiments with his Brother Onan, for it is natural to every man to hate Bondage, and to loath every thing that bespeaks him a Slave, which was the true reason of the Younger Brothers, performing the Hus­bands part to continue the name and me­mory of the Elder, as I shall prove more largely in its due place.

It is very likely therefore, that knowing how severely God had punished the beastly dissimulation of his Elder Brother, that [Page 44] very fact it self being made death after­wards by the Law of Moses, which is a new argument of the great Antiquity of the Mosaick dispensation, as to most of the things Prohibited or Commanded in it; it is very likely, I say, upon this account, that having the same aversion with his El­der Brother, he would not yet be guilty of the same soul Hypocrisy and Dissimula­tion, but declined this ungrateful office more openly than his Brother had done, to which though his Father by his Arbitrary power might have compelled him, as he seems to have done his Son Onan, yet fearing to drive him to the same wicked extremity which had cost the other his life, and would in conclusion rob him of all his Children, he did so far at last yield to the fixt and immovable aversion of his Son, as to suffer him to Marry another, for Marry it is certain he did, as I have proved already, and from that match the Shelanires were descended.

Besides that Tamar would have had no reason to despair, which yet it is certain she did, v. 14. If Shelah had still continued perfectly disengaged, for so long whatever his own inclinations were, she had a rea­sonable ground of hope, that he was still by his Father Judah designed for her, in [Page 45] pursuance of the agreement made between them, v. 11. The same is clear from v. 26. Because that I gave her not to Shelah my Son, for if he had remained still unmarryed, and had been firmly designed by Judah for her Bed, it would have been no excuse for her, that he had not done it yet, so long as he had not violated his faith by giving him to another.

It is certain therefore that Shelah was not only alive at this time but actually Marryed, and being so he had still a further excuse why he would not raise up Seed to his Brother.

Because besides his own aversion, which would to be sure encrease, with the love which he may well be supposed to have conceived for his other Wife, the piques and animosities betwixt the two Women might make it a duty which he owed to the quiet of his Family and the comfort of his Life, to continue with the same or greater obsti­nacy to refuse her, than he had formerly done; nay, the rational prospect of those differences which do naturally arise in Fa­milies from Poligamy, where there are more Women than one pretending at the same time to an equal or greater share in the affections of the Husband, and in the Government of the House, together with [Page 46] the quarrels and little janglings of the re­spective broods, which might in time grow up to a mortal enmity betwixt them and their Families for ever; in all which dif­ferences the Mothers would be sure to side with their respective Offsprings, and would engage all the Servants under them to take their parts, by which means the whole Family would be engaged in a kind of Civil War, and would be embroyled in everlasting Tumults and Disorders; this a­lone might be sufficient to deter him from admitting Tamar into the partnership of his Bed, and much more would the expe­rience which he might possibly have of the inconveniences that had actually hap­pened, scare him from admitting any rival in his love, or partner in his conjugal embraces.

Though in truth whether it were from these unfortunate janglings, or that in those times it was not looked upon as lawful, the instances of Poligamy before the Law, are very rarely to be met with: I do not remember to have found above one before the Floud, and that is of Lamech who had Adah and Zillah to his Wives at one and the same time, and but two after it, and before the delivery of the Law, that is, of Jacob who had Rachel and Leah the [Page 47] Daughters of his Uncle Laban, and of his Brother Esau, who had Three Wives, but Two were such as it was not Lawful for any of Abrahams Posterity to marry, for which reason, they are said to have been a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah Gen. 26. 35. upon which account it is most probable that he afterwards married Mahalath the Daughter of his Uncle Ishmael, Gen.▪ 28. 9. only to reconcile himself to his offended Parents.

How the first of these agreed we cannot tell, but it is probable bad enough, from what has been said already; and whether that Homicid which was committed by Lamech were not the effect of some Wo­manish quarrel, may rather be suspected at this distance of time than proved, but something sure was the matter, which made him so pathetically apply himself to them, as if they had been some way or other concerned in it, Gen. 4. 23. And Lamech said unto his Wives Adah and Zil­lah, hear my voice ye Wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech, for I have slain a Man to my wounding and a Young man to my hurt. And as for the last of them, the con­tentions between Rachel and Leah are suf­ficiently known, to all that are not perfect­ly unacquainted with the Scripture story. [Page 48] Wherefore Shelah being now Married to another, he had now the inconvenien­ces of Poligamy to represent in his own be­half, which is in its self, and has been always accounted a very reasonable excuse, as in the case of the nearest of Kin of the Family of Elimelech, his excuse why he would not purchase the Field of Naomi, nor redeem the Inheritance of Mahlon and Chilion is this, I cannot redeem it my self, lest I marr my own Inheritance, Ruth 4. 6. But how comes that to pass? Josephus will tell you. [...] he said he had a Wife and Children already. Which whether it were the Answer that he gave or no, yet it would have been ridiculous in Josephus to represent him speaking thus, if this had not been looked upon as a rea­sonable excuse, among the Jews, and a proper Bar to Marriages of this Nature.

Again it seems very probable that this was the very Answer, or substance of the Answer which he gave, because this An­swer is a very genuine interpretation of the place in Ruth above cited. I cannot redeem it my self, lest I marr my own Inheritance.

Now there are two ways by which the Inheritance might be marred, First if there [Page 49] were a Morgage on the field of Naomi, or the Inheritance of Chilion, which Mor­gage could not be wrought off without making a Versura and turning the inconve­nience upon his own Estate, which yet in the end would come all to a case; for in the year of Jubilee this incumbrance would be taken off, and in the mean time it would have been a very hard bargain, if the land which he had cleared would not more than answer the inconvenience of that which he had morgaged. Neither was it reasonable that the Eldest Son of this Vi­carious Bed, should enjoy the entire Inhe­ritance of his reputed Father when he came at Age, supposing the Jubilee did not hap­pen before that time, till the debts of his real Parent contracted by this Marriage were satisfied. But this at the long run would be so far from an inconvenience if a man had no Wife before, that it would rather be a very great advantage, because by this means there would be one Child pro­vided for, and his own Estate left entire to make provision for the rest.

It is therefore necessary what Josephus hath represented, that you suppose him to have been Married before, and then indeed besides the inconveniencies of Polygamy, there would be this detriment accrue to [Page 50] his own inheritance; That the first Child enjoying the whole fortune of the reputed Father, all the rest were looked upon as his own Offspring, by which means it would come to pass that out of the same fortune, and that perhaps not very plenti­ful neither; he would have two Wives, and two distinct broods of Children to make provision for.

If the business of Polygamy had not been a lawful barr against Marriages of this na­ture, when the party challenged was not inclinable to comply, it would have been in a manner impossible, considering the great Antiquity of this usage, which I have already cleared, but we must have had more instances of Polygamy before the Law than are to be found in Scripture, whereas there are but three in all, one of which seems to me to labour under the suspi­cion of a much fowler occasion, the other has been proved to be unlawful, and the last was a matter of necessity not choice, as pro­ceeding from the treachery of Laban, con­trary to the true meaning and intention of Jacob.

Thus far therefore Josephus is in the right, but yet there is one thing in which no question he is much out of the way: his words are these, in the very same Paragraph [Page 51] from whence I have taken the former; [...]. That is, Boaz sending first for Ruth, and then for him who was nearest of Kin of the Family of Abime­lech, asked him this question, dost thou pos­sess or occupy the Inheritance of Abimelech and his Sons? yes, said he, I do, as being next of Kin. Nay, but said Boaz, we must not observe the Law by halves; Therefore ei­ther leave the Inheritance, or take this Wo­man with it (to raise up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance) at which words he immediately quitted his pretensions both to the Woman and the Inheritance to Boaz who was himself a Kin to the Deceased. Which is without doubt a very great error of Jo­sephus. For either the nearest of Kin to the House of Elimelech, or of Abimelech as he calls him, was legally possessed of the In­heritance, or not; if he was why could he not still enjoy it without the Woman; if he was not, unless upon this condition, [Page 52] how came he to enjoy it so long without disturbance already, for an illegal possessi­on is in effect no possession at all, unless what we have acquired by injustice we can maintain by force of Arms; it is im­possible for Josephus or any body for him to answer this.

But besides it is a flat contradiction to the express words of Scripture; I cannot redeem it of my self, lest I marr my own Inheritance. But what need he redeem it if he had it in possession already, and if he might enjoy it, as according to Josephus he did, without redemption, I do not understand how the acquisition of a new Estate, is any marr, prejudice, or detri­ment to the old. I conclude therefore that Josephus has misinterpreted the mat­ter, and so I pass on to that which is yet behind, on this subject.

And I think it is very clear from what hath been said, that Thamar having pati­ently expected the time stipulated between Judah and her self, and having in vain demanded Shelah for her Husband, in pursuance of that agreement and bargain, Shelah being resolved not to comply, and Judah not to compel him to it, it was now morally impossible that this agree­ment should ever have its effect, which [Page 53] Moral Impossibility is a sufficient Vindicati­on of Thamar from the charge of Adultery. Besides that Judah having first violated his promise, she would at the worst have been more righteous than he, as he himself con­fessed.

But yet after all this though Shelah conti­nued still averse, and Judah in the same mind that he would put no arbitrary Vio­lence upon his inclination, yet it is certain he still continued to persuade him what he could to accept of Thamar for his Wife, and that not without some though but slen­der hopes of prevailing upon him by his importunity, though he could not as yet alter his inclination, otherwise there could be no colour of condemning her for an Adul­teress, which yet it is certain he did, for by Whoredom in the Text is not meant simple Fornication a very trivial crime in those days, but Adultery, or the betraying of a Conjugal and Lawful Bed. As is ma­nifest from this that Judah himself was guilty of the former, and as it proved af­terwards by the Story, at the same time, and with the same Person; but it would have been a very unequal thing to punish that fault with death in another, of which he himself was guilty. I conclude there­fore, that he still continued to importune [Page 54] his Son to accept of her, and that it was upon this account, and no other he laid Adultery to her charge, though when he more calmly considered the Circumstances on her side, how much she had been abused by himself, and how good reason she had to despair of ever obtaining Shelah, he then withdrew his Action, and acknow­ledgeth; She hath been more righteous than I.

Thus have I demonstrated my way by a very faint and dim light, thorough all the dark passages of an ancient and obscure Sto­ry, which whoever shall consider so well as I have done, must be forced to acknow­ledge that I have not failed in any Circum­stance of representing the very matter of fact, as it stood in those times with relati­on to the parties concern'd.

I could now be glad having wash'd off the imputation of Adultery, if I could wipe out that of Incest too, not so much out of respect to the persons of Judah or Thamar considered by themselves, as because our Saviour's Genealogy is so deeply concer­ned in it, and yet Thamar is no where men­tioned that I know of with any reprehen­sion by any of the Writers either of the Old or New Testament, neither is this all but there are other instances in the same [Page 55] Genealogy, partly of an equally foul na­ture with this, and partly of a nature some­thing approaching to it.

Of the latter sort are the Matches of Abra­ham with his Half-Sister, and of Jacob with his two Cousin Germans, both of them Sister Germans to one another, but of these I shall give a fair account, when I come to speak of the Marriages of Cousin Ger­mans, which will be the subject of another Discourse.

Of the first sort is the incestuous congres­sion of Lot with his two Daughters from whence Moab and consequently our Saviour himself by Ruth a Moabitish Woman was descended, and the Marriage of David with Bathsheba the Wife of Ʋriah in which there was an horrid combination of Adul­tery and Murther together, and yet from thence Solomon who was himself no very virtuous Prince, and from him many very wicked Kings of Judah sprung, in all whose Loins the Messias was contain'd, so that it may be applied to this sense as well as any other, in respect of his Genealogy as well as for any other reason, what the Prophet Isaiah hath said of him Esai. 53. 12. He was num­bred with Transgressours.

But after all it is certain that the very worst of these Congressions, had something [Page 56] in them which was Typical of that Messias, who was to spring from them. I will in­stance first in that of Lot, with his Daugh­ter the Mother of Moab from whom the whole people of the Moabites borrowed their Original; and why was he called Moab I beseech you? was it not Miab? because he was descended of his and his Mothers common Father, the Progenitor of him according to the Flesh, who was begotten of his Father before all worlds, begotten of him who was the Father of the World, the Father of the Son, and though not in the same immediate sense, the Father of the Blessed Virgin his Mother.

I will instance likewise in the incestuous Mixture of Judah with his Daughter in Law Thamar, betwixt whom Pharez, ano­ther of our Saviours Progenitors was be­gotten, and who was this Pharez, is it not from Pharats rupit? and does he not in his very name point at the Messias, who was in the fulness of time to be descended from his Loyns, by whom the Mosaick enclosure was to be laid open, and the Partition Wall betwixt Jew and Gentile to be broken down?

Lastly in the Marriage of Boaz with Ruth, which though it was not an incestu­ous, yet it was possibly an unlawful Mar­riage; [Page 57] First of Mahlon, then of Boaz in his right to a strainge Woman; and yet what more plain, than that the Marriage of Boaz a Jew, to Ruth a Moabitish Wo­man, was Typical of that blessed Union be­twixt Jew and Gentile, and of their being one Sheep-fold under one common Shep­herd, to which the dispensation of the Messias is so Naturally fitted, which was the design of his comming into the World, and of his Suffering upon the Cross, and which though not yet compleated, yet the Completion of it, is by all good Christians expected with a no less firm and consident assurance, than that with which they em­brace any other part of the Christian Be­lief

He was to unite God and Man, and there­fore had the Humanity twisted into one com­mon person with his God-head, he was to unite men to one another, and therefore his Human Part was in a manner equally divi­ded betwixt Jew and Gentile; he was by nature all things to all men, that he might gain the more. And being so nearly allied by the bands of Nature, both to the Jewish and to the Heathen World, it can be the less suspected that he had any design, but what did equally concern the happiness of them both.

And now I am the less displeased with this conceit in that since I find Grotius, a man of unquestionable judgment, as well as Learning, to concur with me in the same opinion. His words are these upon Ruth 1. 4. Merito autem Rahabam & Rutham in Genealogiâ Messiae ponit Matthaeus tanquam praeludia vocationis gentium, quae per Messiam facienda erat.

But when all is done, it neither is nor ought to be looked upon as any such dispa­ragement, that in our Saviours Genealogy there are incestuous Mixtures to be found. For as Seneca saith wisely, with relation to those who vaunt themselves too much upon the Antiquity and Splendour of that Family of which they are descended. Omni­bus nobis totidem ante nos sunt, nullius non origo ultra memoriam jacet. Plato ait. Ne­minem regem non ex Servis esse oriundum; neminem non servum ex regibus, omnia ista longa varietas miscuit, & sursum deorsum fortuna versavit. And again, Si ad vetera revocas nemo non inde est [...]nte quod nihil est. A primo mundi ortu, us (que) in hoc tem­pus, perduxit nos ex splendidis sordidis (que) alternata series. Ep. 44. I say, what he says of the Antiquity of Families, that we may say with as much appearance of reason of the Legitimacy of them too, and perhaps [Page 59] it would be found at the bottom of the greatest names, if any records took notice of such obscure matters, not only that there was,

Aut pastor—aut illud quod dicere nolo.

But that even Bastardy and Incest would appear, and the best of us all would be found to owe our Being to those Crimes, which are branded with the most ignomi­nious names, and which as we censure the most heavily in others, so in our selves we cannot think of them without a sense of Abhorrency and Shame; And yet for all that I hope every gallant man is and ought to be measured by himself, a mans own Vertues or Vices are the only things in which he is properly concerned; it is rather a Disparagement than Commendation to a bad man, that he is descended of a Vertuous and truly Honourable Stock, be­cause he adds degeneracy to folly; and it is on the contrary an additional commen­dation to the Vertuous Offspring of wick­ed and disorderly Parents, that he will not suffer the diseases of his Family to be he­reditary, but gives a nobler example to Posterity, than he received of them which went before him. And at the worst In­cest is not an Offence against the Primary, but only against the Secondary Laws of [Page 60] Nature, that is, it is not properly a sin in a man considered by himself, which is the case of all bodily Intemperance, and of all exorbitant Passion in the Mind, but it is a relative or consequential offence as he is a member of a Society, and as those Matches which are called incestuous, are prejudi­cial to the interest and well being of that Society in which he has Enrolled and List­ed himself, of which I shall speak more largely in that other discourse to which this is preparatory and introductive.

Having thus given an account of the great Antiquity of this Custom of the Brothers Marrying the Childless Brothers Wife, and in what case it was usually dis­pensed withal in the earliest times, I will now give an account of the reasons of it likewise, which is more than any man hath done before me. The reason then is this, that the Patres familiarum or Masters of Families, in the beginnings of things, had, as hath been shewn, a Despotical and Ar­bitrary power over their Children and Ser­vants, every Family being a little Monar­chy by its self, in which there lay no ap­peal from the Master of the house, but his will was the last and only measure by which all things were to be administr'd [Page 61] and govern'd; and this appears not only from what hath been said already, in the case of Judah condemning Thamar, and compelling Onan to an ungrateful Office, but much more evidently from the story of the Battle of four Kings against five, Gen. 14. all which Kings were little better, if indeed any thing more, than Not much more con­siderable than these were the Thirty One Kings conquered by Joshua on the West side of Jordau, whose names are set down Josh. 12. Masters of great Families, or of a very few families joyned together under one common head, however it is certain that Abraham who was as absolute a Prince as the best of them, and as it appears by the story much more potent, was certainly no more than the Master of a single Family, and yet was more than an equal match for the four Kings, and is called a Confederate of the five, v. 13. and v. 14. is said to have armed his trained Servants born in his own house (the Seventy render it [...]) Three Hundred and Eighteen, than which there cannot be a plainer instance of the absoluteness of the Ancient Masters of Families, and of their independency upon any other; he was Superiour in Power, and he is called a Confederate, which implies an equality of Dignity also, to those that are stiled Kings; and his Three Hundred and Eighteen servants born in his house do plainly shew the Antiquity of that absolute [Page 62] power which the Roman Laws have given to Masters over their Servants, by which not only their persons, but their substance was at the disposal of the Pater familias, or Master of the House, which extended as far as to the persons of their Wives and Children as many as were born to them be­fore the time of their freedom.

Of the Antiquity of which power, we haveJosophus will not acknow­ledg them to have been bond­maids. But this is said by Josephus without any ground on­ly for the credit of those four Tribes, which were descended from them, whereas in­deed they were not looked upon in the esteem of Law, to be the Children of the Servants but of their Mistrisses, whose part they did in this case sustain, his words are these, Antiq. L. 1. [...]. If Josephus had consulted the Hebrew text and understood it, which I am very much afraid he did not, that would have told him, after a careful survey of all those texts where those words do occur that Shipheah and Ammah are never used but for a bond-servant, and accordingly they are translated by the Seventy [...]. If one place can be produced where these words have not this signification, I will yield the cause. Exod. 2. 5. they Translate Am­mah by [...] which is the place Grotius instanceth in as an instance where Ammah is taken for a free Woman, but what is [...]? Hesychius [...], again [...], (I had rather read it [...], Gloss. Vet. [...] ancilla. and again Ancilla. [...], The Vulgar Latin in this very place of Exodus, misit unam è famulabus suis, and Gen. 24. 6. [...] (Veneharo­theath) [...]. is no question meant of [...], Aneillae, Vernae Famulae, And now let any man judge whether Grotius or I have the better. another instance in the story of Laban who giving first Leah to Jacob to Wife, gave Zilphah along with her for an handmaid, and afterwards bestowing Rachel, gave Bilhah likewise to be in the same quality to her. Neither is there any doubt but Hagar was for the same reason bestow'd upon Sarah, upon her Marriage with Abraham.

The Servant maid given together with her Mistriss, was in the Nature of a dowry, and was as much in the disposal of the Supreme Lord the Master of the House, whether to give away or sell, or what he pleased, as any other dead or im­moveable substance whatsoever.

Neither was this all but the Husband was an absolute Lord over his Wife, and the Wife was in the Nature of a Servant to the Hus­band. This is the reason why Sarah stiles her Husband by the name of Lord. And that not out of flattery or complaisance but privately to her self, imagining that no Body heard her, which shews it to have been the Lan­guage of those times, Gen. 18. 12. After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my Lord being old also? Which subjection of the Wife to her Husband, as her absolute Soveraign and Lord, was as Ancient as the fall of Adam, and was a consequent of it, being part of the curse denounced against Eve, as a punishment for Eating the Forbidden fruit and tempting her Husband to do the same, enforcing so per­nicious an example with arguments no less fatal to all the Posterity descended from her Loyns, Gen▪ 3. 16. Ʋnto the Woman he said, I [Page 64] will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy con­ception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth Chil­dren, and thy desire shall be to thy Husband, and he shall rule over thee.

But if they had such power and Autho­rity over their Wives, it is much more to be supposed that they were likewise invest­ed with the same absolute, and uncontroul­able dominion over their Children, so as to punish them, if the fact should to them seem to require it with Death its self, as has already been made probable, by the An­cient Roman story, which seems to have taken its Patern from elder times, and from the example of Thamar, who was by Judah being his Sons Wife considered as his Daughter; all which is yet farther con­firmed by the express testimony of the Law its self, by which a rebellious and dis­obedient Son, was upon the complaint of the Parents, if there remained no hopes of amendment, without farther process to be stoned to Death, Deut. 21. 18, 19, 20, 21. which was no doubt a remainder of that absolute right and power, which Pa­rents had over their Children before the Law, and which was so far from being perfectly taken away by it, that they seem rather to have been under an obligation to accuse them, in cases of obstinate and re­fractory [Page 65] disobedience, as the City or Con­gregation among whom the fact was com­mitted, were under another to Stone them till they died, v. 20, 21. They shall say unto the Elders of his City, this our Son is stub­born and rebellious, he will not obey our voice, he is a Glutton and a Drunkard, and all the men of his City shall stone him with Stones, that he die, so shalt thou put away evil from amongst you, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Much more then, might they disinherit them, and give the Birth-right from the Eldest to another, and so downwards as low as they pleased, either for a small crime or for none at all, if it should so seem good, which it is certain they actually did: for to Jacob were born by his Wife Leah four Sons one after another, without any other between them, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Gen. 29. 32, 33, 34, 35. Reuben was the First-born, to whom the natural right of Inheritance belonged, but he for committing Incest with his Fathers Con­cubine Bilhah, Gen. 35. 22. was disinherit­ed, and for that fact instead of a blessing received a curse from his Father, Gen. 49. 4. Ʋnstable as Water thou shalt not excel, because thou wentest up to thy Fathers Bed, then defiledst thou it. He went up to my [Page 66] Couch. Simeon and Levi were likewise Disinherited for their Treacherous dealing with the Sechemites, Gen. 34. which how heavily it was resented by Jacob, is plain from v. 30. of that Chapter. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ye have troubled me to make me stink among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. And I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me and slay me, and I shall be destroyed, I and my house; which was the reason of that dread­ful Curse, he denounces afterwards against them, Gen. 49. 5, 6, 7. Simeon and Levi are Brethren, instruments of cruelty are in their Habitations, O my Soul come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly mine honour be not thou united, for in their anger they slew a Man, and in their self-will they digged down a Wall; cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel. Neither were these three only passed by, but Judah also, against whom no exception appears, 1. Chron. 5. 1, 2. Now the Sons of Reuben the First­born of Israel (for he was the First-born, but for as much as he defiled his Fathers Bed, his Birth-right was given to the Sons of Joseph the Son of Israel, and the Gene­alogy is not to be reckoned after the Birth­right. [Page 67] For Judah prevailed above his Bre­thren, and of him came the chief rulers, but the Birth-right was Josephs.) v. 3. the Sons I say, &c. Now this if it were an Arbi­trary thing, as there is no reason assigned of Judahs being passed by, then it appears plainly that the bare will of the Father, with whom there was no dispute, and from whom there lay no appeal, was sufficient to justifie the disinherison of the Eldest Son, for that Judah was, after Reuben, Simeon and Levi, were discarded, and it is by vertue of this paternal right that David placed Solomon in the Throne, notwith­standing Adonijah was elder than he.

But it is most likely that Jacob had con­ceived some displeasure against Judah also, as being concerned in the common hatred of all the Brothers to their Brother Joseph, Gen. 37. 4, 5. and was the adviser of his selling into Egypt, v. 27. which being a temperament both of mercy and cruelty together, for the others would have dis­patched him outright. It was from hence perhaps, that the Jews have concluded that Jacob did not dispossess him of his whole Birth-right, but gave only to Joseph a dou­ble portion of the Inheritance, leaving all other things in their natural and usual [Page 68] state, for to the Elder Brother the Masters tell us there belonged three things. First he was the King of the Family to reign in his Fathers stead after his decease. Secondly he was the Priest of it, and Thirdly he was to enjoy a double share of the Inheritance, which double share they affirm to have been given to Joseph, and that his Birth­right which is said to have been given him consisted only in that.

And truly to give them their due, some­thing of this Nature is very reasonable to believe, for its manifest not only from the place of the Chronicles above cited that Ju­dah prevailed over his Brethren, but he did this as the Rightful Heir, by vertue of his Fathers blessing, Gen. 49. 8, 9, 10. Ju­dah thou art he whom thy Brethren shall praise; thy Hand shall be in the Neck of thine Enemies, thy Fathers Children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a Lyons Whelp, from the prey, my Son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a Lyon, and as an Old Lyon, who shall rouse him up? The Scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his Feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gather­ing of the People be.

It is clear therefore that the Kingdom or Soveraignty over his Brethren, was bestowed [Page 69] upon Judah, and as for the Priest-hood, it was after appropriated upon another occa­sion to the Sons of Levi, not by the design­ment of Jacob, but of God himself. It is likely therefore that as Judah tempered mer­cy with his hatred, and was in the midst of his Envy an Instrument of saving his Brother Josephs Life, so Jacob mixed the Kindness of a Father with the Severity of a Judge, and depriving him only of a part of what belonged to him as his Birth-right, as a punishment for his offence, left him the rest entire, as being due to him as the Eldest, and as the reward of his mercy.

But yet after all this, he passed by not only Dan and Naphtali, the Sons of Rachel by her Handmaid Bilhah, as also Gad and Asher the Sons of Leah, by her handmaid Zilphah but likewise Issachar and Zebulon the Sons of Leah her self, all of them Elder than Joseph, and all dispossessed of the Birth­right without any reason at all but only the Arbitrary power with which their Father was invested, unless it were perhaps upon some Prophetick reasons, which neither are or can be at this time known to us, as it was in the case of Ephraim and Manasseh, Gen. 48. 17, 18, 19. And when Joseph saw his Father lay his right hand upon the head [Page 70] of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his Fathers hand to remove it from Ephra­ims head unto Manassehs head. And Jo­seph said to his Father, not so my Father, for this is the First-born, put thy right hand upon his head. And his Father refused and said I know it my Son; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but tru­ly his Younger Brother shall be greater than he and his Seed shall become a multitude of Nations.

But if no violence were done to the na­tural succession, then the Elder Brother did in right of Primogeniture succeed; heGrot. ad Gen. 4. 7. primoge­niti per Patris aut mortem aut absen­tiam, pa­ternam quandam aut hori­tatem in fratres habebant. was in his Fathers life time looked upon as Heir apparent to the domestick Crown, and in his Fathers absence he was the Su­pream Lord, and his Brethren were as much his Servants as he was his Fathers; and how great Homage and obeysance the Younger Brothers of those times were used to pay the Elder, will appear from the 33d of Gen. where Jacob meeting his Bro­ther Esau, and being fearful he would now take that opportunity to revenge him­self for the wrong he had received, pays him all the Submission and Duty which belonged to the Elder Brother, as well in his own person, as in those of his Wives, Children and Servants, from verse the 12 [Page 71] to the 16 in these words, they are so re­markable, I will Transcribe them all. And Jacob lift up his Eyes and looked and behold Esau came, and with him four hundred men; and he divided the Children unto Leah and unto Rachel and unto the two handmaids, and he put the handmaids and their Children foremost, and Leah and her Children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindmost, and he passed over before them and he bowed him­self to the ground seven times, till he came near unto his Brother. And Esau ran to meet him and they wept, and he lift up his Eyes and saw the Women and the Children, and said, who are these with thee? And he said the Children which God hath graciously given thy servant. Then the handmaids came near, they and their Children, and they bowed themselves, and Leah also with her Chil­dren came near and bowed themselves, and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves. And he said what meanest thou by all this drove which I met, and he said these are to find grace in the sight of my Lord, and Esau said, I have enough my Brother, keep that thou hast unto thy self, And Jacob said, nay, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy fight, then receive my Present at my Hand, for therefore have I seen thy face, as though I had seen the face [Page 72] of God, and thou wast pleased with me; take I pray thee my blessing that is brought to thee, because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough, and he urged him and he took it. And he said let us take our journey and let us go and I will go before thee, and he said unto him my Lord knoweth that the Children are tender, and the Flocks and Herds with young are with me, and if men should out-drive them one day, all the Flock will die, let my Lord I pray thee pass over before his Servant, and I will lead on softly according as the Cattel which goeth before me, and the Children be able to en­dure, until I come unto my Lord in Seir. And Esau said, let me now leave with thee some of the Folk that are with me, and he said what needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my Lord.

But if thus much submission were paid on account of Primogeniture to a Fellow-Twin, born but just immediately before him, an In­habitant of the same Womb at the same time with himself, then it is still the stronger evi­dence of that vast respect which was used, by the Custom of those days, to be paid to the same Primogeniture in others, whose birth was at a greater distance from the Younger Brothers, because in them the reason of this preferment of the First-born before the [Page 73] Younger Children, was much more strong than it can be in Twins, who are born in a manner together. Which reason is assigned by Jacob speaking of his Eldest Son Reuben. Gen. 49. 3. Reuben thou art my First-Born and the Deut. 21. 15, 16, 17. If a man have two Wives, one beloved & another hated—and if the first-born Son be hers that was hated—he may not make the Son of the beloved first-born—but he shall acknowledge the Son of the hated for the first­born—for he is the beginning of Strength, the Right of the first-born is his. beginning of my Strength, the excel­lency of Dignity, and the excellency of Power; he was therefore the excellency of Dignity, and the excellency of Power, that is, he was to have excercised a Soveraign Rule and Domi­nion over his younger Brethren (had he not forfeited this Right of his by uncovering the Nakedness of his Father, in the enjoyment of his Concubine Bilhah) because he was the beginning of his Strength, the Son of his Youth, the first, and the most lively represen­tation of his Father to the World.This Dominion of the Elder over the Younger, is as ancient as the two first Brethren that ever came into the World, and was expresly warrant­ed by God himself. Gen. 4. 7. Unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Now one great instance of that Subjection and Duty, which was paid by the Youn­ger to the Elder in those times was this, that in case the latter died without Issue, his Widow might challenge the for­mer, as her own and late Husband's Ser­vant, to perform the part and office of an [Page 74] Husband in his stead. And that it was in­deed nothing else but an acknowledgment of Servitude and Subjection, will appear not only from the reluctancy of Onan, of which I have already spoken, but from the Stories of Sarah, Leah, and Rachel, all of them Instances of the same nature, who finding themselves barren, appointed their respective Handmaids Hagar, Zilpah, and Bilhah, to conceive by their Husbands in their stead, all which Children so be­gotten, were accounted in the esteem of those times Legitimate, and looked upon as inheriting not in right of the Hand­maids, who were their real and proper, but of their Mistresses the adoptive and re­puted Mothers, whose Children in the in­terpretation of Law they were accounted. Gen. 16. 2. Behold now, the Lord hath re­strained me from bearing: I pray thee go in unto my Maid, it may be that I may obtain Children by her, Gen. 30. 3. Behold my Maid Bilhah, go in unto her, and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may have chil­dren by her.

Nay, so great a propriety did they conceive themselves to have in the Children of their Handmaids, that if they had been never so truly and properly their own they could not express a greater joy and satisfaction at it, [Page 75] and it was they, not their real Mothers, who gave them their names. Gen. 30. 6. Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath heard also my Ʋoice, and hath given me a Son, therefore called she his name Dan. So also v. 8. Rachel said with great wrestlings have I wrestled with my Sister, and I have pre­vailed: and she called his name Naphtali. Though both of these were truly and pro­perly not hers, but the Children of her Handmaid Bilhah.

Neither was Leah less fond of her Adop­tive Children by her Handmaid Zilpah v. 11. And Leah said a Troop cometh (70 [...], in a fortunate time) and she called his name Gad. v. 13. And Leah said, hap­py am I, for the Daughters will call me bles­sed, and she called his name Asher.

This is the meaning of that expression; She shall bear upon my Knees, Gen. 30. 13. with allusion to, as I conceive, and in imitation of the Stools mentioned in Exod. 1, 16. When you do the office of a Midwife to the Hebrew Women, and see them upon the Stools, if it be a Son, then you shall kill him: but if it be a Daughter then she shall live. In the Hebrew it is hal haabuaim (70. [...]) the sense is the same in both, but not so accurate in the version of the Seventy, for [Page 76] [...], is about to bring forth, but they could not yet make a judgment, whe­ther it was a Boy or Girl, nor consequent­ly whether they should kill the Infant or save it alive in pursuance of the instructions given them by the Aegyptian King. It would therefore be better to keep exactly to the Sense, [...]. And it shall be when they have brought forth. But though this be right as to the sense, yet it is not Verbum verbo; which, though a fault in some translations, is a Virtue in this. For Haabnaim is certainly a Noun, the He emphaticum in the beginning and the Jod Mem which are the formative Letters of the Plural Number, or by adding a Kametz to them, if the present punctation be true, of the Dual, are plain demonstrations of this, that it is a Noun and cannot possibly be a Verb. It must therefore of necessity be that when it is said, when the women shall be upon the haabnaim, that by that word, some Instrument or Utensil, made use of in the Midwifery of those times must be understood, and indeed it is not likely to have been any thing else but a Stool of par­turition, where the Woman in Labour was placed by the Midwife, which answers most naturally to the signification of the Preposi­tion hal (upon) which is added to a word of [Page 77] the Dual Number, to shew that it was a folding Stool, such as are usually in the Isles of Churches, both for the more easie set­ting, and for the more easie placing and re­moving. But we might judge with more certainty of the goodness of this punctati­on if the Hexapla or Octapla of Origen, which are unhappily lost, could be retreived. The Seventy by translating it by [...]. are thus far useful to us that they have poin­ted out the Etymology of that Word, which is not from Eben, Lapis, but from Banah aedificavit, with the addition of an Aleph, as in Aben for Ben. In Aben Ezra, Aben Melech, Aben Tibbon; and from thence also though that be not so commonly known, the Two Famous Arabian Physicians and Philosophers, Averroes and Avicenna have their names.

The same word occurs likewise Jer. 18. 3. and with the same Praeposition, hal haab­naim. But there the Seventy have render'd it [...], from Eben Lapis, though in truth Eben it self is from Banah too, be­cause of the use of such Materials in build­ding. And so is Boun, intellexit, because of the progression of all Human Sciences, from one Proposition to another, in the nature of a Foundation, with sundry Super­structures upon it, and so Abnaim in the [Page 78] place of Exodus, is from Ben, Filius, or which is all one, from Banah aedificavit, because Generation or Posterity is a kind of Super-structure upon former Ages, and be­cause of the use of the word Banah in mat­ters of this kind. As Gen. 16. 2. That I may obtain Children by her. In the Hebrew it is, Oolai Ibaneh Mimennah. Perhaps I shall be built up by her. And so also Gen. 30. 3. and Ruth the 4th. 11th. which is to this day a part of the Jewish Litany in all their Marriages. The Lord make the Woman that is come into thy house, like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the House of Israel.

Where you see likewise that there is no mention made at all of the two Hand-maids Bilhah and Zilpah. Notwithstanding they were the natural and proper mothers, of Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher, but the whole business of building up the House of Israel is ascribed perfectly to Rachel and Leah, the reason is because the others did but supply their places and conceive in their stead, and because in such cases they were used to bring forth upon the Knees of their Mistresses, which did in this case supply the Office of those Maieutical Stools menti­oned Exod. 1. 16, so as the real Mother sitting upon the Lap of the Adoptive, they [Page 79] were like two Persons united into one, and whatsoever the one did or suffered at that time, became by this means to be ascribed to the other.

Now nothing is more certain than that the reason of this last Custom was founded in the servitude and entire subjection of the Handmaid to her Mistress. And it is alrea­dy proved that the respect or relation which a younger Brother by the custom and usage of those times bore to the Elder was the same, it is clear therefore the actions being in both Instances of the same Nature, and the Persons of the same quality, that what was done on both sides, was for the same reason, which was the thing to be proved.

Having thus discovered the Antiquity of this usage, and the reason of it, and given an Instance of a Case in which it seems al­ways to have been dispensed with. I will now take Mr. Selden and the Rabbins whom he follows, to task, not so much out of a vainglorious humour, to triumph over the mistakes or misapprehensions of so Learned and so deservedly Famous a Per­son, as out of love to Truth, which we should all prefer above the greatest names, and indeed let a mans Wit, or Judgment, [Page 80] or Industry, be what it will, if he be but guilty of that one mistake of giving him­self up to the Conduct of the Rabbins, that it self will involve him in a Thousand more, for when all is done, when all their Advo­cates have said their best for them, they are but good Guessers no more than we, when they appear at the greatest advantage; but for the most part they do but father their own mistakes and blunders upon Antiquity, and discover almost an equal degree of Im­pudence and Ignorance together.

The first mistake which I shall take no­tice of in this affair is this: It is said Deut. 25. 6. And it shall be that the first­born which she beareth, shall succeed in the name of his Brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. Where Mr. Selden moved only by the Authority of the Rabbins will needs have it, that by the first-born, not he that is first begotten and brought forth in this Leviratical Wedlock, but the Levir himself, or the next Brother to the deceased is to be understood, and that by those words, which she beareth, not the Wife but the Mother of the deceased is meant, which is so wretched a Violence done to the most natural and easie sense of the words, which is this, that the first-born in this Vicarious Wedlock shall succeed in the [Page 81] name, that is, the Inheritance of the de­ceased, that I wonder very much how he could ever persuade himself to think this Opinion had so much as a bare possibility of truth, unless he thought the true and pro­per construction of the Sentence as it lies now in the Bible, was of less Authority than this distorted exposition of the Rab­bins.

Besides, the second Brother, though he be the Eldest Survivor upon the death of the first, yet he can never be the First-born, it will be ever true, whether his Elder Brother be alive or dead, that there was one born before him, and it will not only be improper, but always false to call him the First-born, unless it be in an Elliptical way, meaning the First-born of those that are alive; but what an obscure unintelli­gible way of expression is this? Or how would it be possible for men to understand one another, if they should always talk at this rate? If this way of interpretation be once admitted, the Jesuits may go to School to the Rabbins to learn how to aequi­vocate, and may defend the Doctrine of men­tal Reservation, as being the very Stile and Language of the Scriptures.

Again, And it shall be the First-born which she beareth. How can that be understood [Page 82] of the Mother of the deceased, of whom there is no mention before? Or is not this to make a Relative without an Antecedent, which if it be once admitted, it will intro­duce an Universal Confusion into all man­ner of Speech, so that no man will be able to understand another. [...]. Here if the Question be asked, [...], &c. the answer will be [...]. And if so, then it is manifest that [...] must be understood of the Son of the Levir, not of himself, and by consequence the [...] must be explained of the Wife of the deceased. And with the 70 O [...]kelos agrees; & erit primogenitus quem genuerit, which words cannot possibly be understood of the Husband himself, but of his Eldest Son.

This is the first mistake. The second is this:

He plainly favours that conceit of Jose­phus and some later Jews, who interpret that place. And it shall be that the First-born which she beareth, shall succeed in the name of the Brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. As if the adoptive Child, were to be of the same name with his Imputative, that is to say the deceased Brother of his real Father. So as if his [Page 83] name were Jose, the Childs must also be Jose, and if John the Child's was to have been called John. But what if it proved a Girle? What then? Must it still be Jose or John? What can be more ridiculous than this? Besides, why should the Adoptive Off­spring bear the same name, when yet it was scarce ever known that the Real one ever did? Examine the whole Bible and you will scarce find one Instance where Fa­ther and Son were of the same name; And if his name must perish out of Israel with­out a Son to inherit it, then for ought I can perceive it would at this rate be more eligible to have an Adoptive than a Real Son, because the one by Custom did conti­nue their names to Posterity which the other did not. The Adoptive Son was intended to supply the place and to be in stead of a real one, and since the real one did very rarely, if ever go by the same name with his Father, what can be more unreasonable than to believe the adoptive should be obli­ged to do it. Neither is this only contrary to reason but to experience too, for the eldest Son of Ruth by Boaz in the stead of Mahlon, was not called Mahlon but Obed, as hath been observed already.

But here it is pretended that the Marri­age of Boaz and Ruth, is a perfectly diffe­rent [Page 84] thing, from that of the Brother to the Brother's Wife, and depends upon another Constitution of the Mosaick Law, of the truth of which Mr. Selden was so through­lyDe success. in bon. defunct. c. 15. persuaded, that he has employed an whole Chapter in defence of it; with what success we are now going to see.

The Law upon which the Marriage of Boaz and Ruth depended is affirmed to be Levit. 25. 25, &c. in these words. If thy Brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his Kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his Brother sold, and if the man have none to redeem it, then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man unto whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession, but if he be not able to restore it to him, then shall that which he sold remain in the hand of him that bought it, until the year of Jubilee: And in the Jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession. This was the Law of Redemptions among the Jews, in case of a Morgage upon their own, their Brethren or their Kinsman's Land; and the reason why this is applied to the Case of Ruth and Boaz, is because of the frequent occurring of the word redeeming in that Story. v. 4. of that Chapter. If thou wilt [Page 85] redeem it, redeem it; but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: For there is none to redeem it besides thee, and I am after thee. And he said I will redeem it.

Having thus recited the words as they lie in the place of Leviticus above cited, which words are pretended to be the only ground of the Marriage betwixt Ruth and Boaz. I will now impartially state the case, and shew plainly how far this Law was concerned in this Marriage and how far it was not.

Ruth 1. v. 1, 2. we have these words; Now it came to pass in the days when the Judges ruled, that there was a famine in the Land, and a certain man of Bethlehem Judah, went to sojourn in the Countrey of Moab, he and his Wife and his two Sons, and the name of the Man was Elimelech, and the name of his Wife Naomi, and the name of the two Sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephra­thites of Bethlehem Judah: And they came into the Countrey of Moab and continued there.

An expensive continuance it was to be sure, when they were forced to live whol­ly upon the Personal Estate, what Mony they had or could get together, while the real one lay wast and would not yield any [Page 86] thing at all. Besides that, there being so heavy a Famine in the Land of Canaan it is not to be supposed, but that the same causes which had wrought this scarcity in Judaea did more or less prevail in Moab also, as being a bordering Countrey, as when the Seven years Famine was in Aegypt, it ra­ged no less in the neighbouring Countreys at the same time; Provisions must there­fore be very dear, and they as being Stran­gers, were probably more hardly used than the Natives, and besides were continually subject to the Violence and Injustice of a Nation who had sufficient reason to be no friends to the Jews.

How long this famine lasted we cannot tell, but the Aegyptian famine is an exam­ple that such Judgments in those Countreys, were sometimes of a very long continuance, and if you suppose it to have fallen upon the year before the Sabbatical as it might well enough do, when the whole Land of Israel was at rest from all manner of Hus­bandry and Tillage, it must be of three years continuance at least, that is to say, that year on which it began, the Sabbati­cal year wherein the Land rested from Til­lage, and the year following till the time of Harvest, for it is impossible both to sow and reap-together.

Well, in process of time Elimelech he dyes, and at his death divides his estate into three parts, one part of it he gives to Naomi, not wholly, for that it does not seem to have been in his power to do, by the Law of Inheritances, Numb. 27. but only till the year of Jubilee, or perhaps by way of Jointure during her life; the rest he di­vided, after what manner is not said, nei­ther can we tell which was the eldest (for one is named first, Ruth 1. 5. the other, Ruth 4th, and the 9th.) between Mahlon and Chilion, his two sons, who, the fa­mine being not yet ended, the better to se­cure what they had, or perhaps to acquire more for their support married each of them to a Moabitish Woman, Ruth 1. 4. but did not cohabit long with them, before they dyed al­so as their Father Elimelech had done be­fore them. By which means it came to pass, that the whole estate, which seems to have been passed over and consigned to Naomi, in case the two Brothers dyed with­out Issue, was now actually in her possessi­on, and this is the meaning of that appeal of Boaz to the Elders. Ruth 4. 9. And Boaz said unto the Elders and to all the Peo­ple, ye are Witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, i. e. Nao­mi's proper share, and all that was Chilion's [Page 88] and Mahlon's of the hand of Naomi. From whence it will be easie to discern how far the Law in Leviticus concerning the re­demption of the poor Brother's Inheritance was concerned. Elimelech's estate upon the decease of himself and his two Sons was now wholly in the Possession of Naomi, either till the year of Jubilee, or for the term of her natural life, for the reasons already mentioned; this the next of Kin, to whom the Inheritance after the expiration of this term would of it self devolve, might re­deem at his pleasure to re-unite it to the Inheritance of his Family, and that either by allowing so much as a valuable conside­ration for the Interest of her life in it, or by setting an equal value upon her Right in the time to come from the date of the pur­chase to the year of Jubilee, be it more or less, according to the manner prescribed in that Chapter of Leviticus; if he would not redeem it then the next of Kin might do the same, yet so as he was only to enjoy it till the said year of Jubilee, and then it must of course fall to the share of the first refuser, as being nearest of Kin, accord­ing to the Mosaick Platform of Successions.

This was Boaz his case, who could not redeem the Inheritance of Elimelech, till [Page 89] he that was nearest of Kin had first refused, Ruth. 3. 12, 13. Now it is true that I am thy near Kinsman, howbeit there is a Kins­man nearer than I, tarry this night and it shall be in the Morning, that if he will per­form unto thee the part of a Kinsman, well, let him do the Kinsmans part, but if he will not do the part of a Kinsman to thee, then I will do the part of a Kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth. Again Chap. 4. v. 3, 4. And he said unto the Kinsman Naomi that is come again out of the Countrey of Moab, selleth a parcel of Land, which was our Bro­ther Elimelech's, and I thought to advertise thee, saying, buy it before the Inhabitants, and before the Elders of my People, if thou wilt redeem it, redeem it, but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me that I may know: For there is none to redeem it besides thee (that is, you are by Law to have the first refusal) and I am after thee, as much as to say, and the next refusal is mine.

But now whereas I said that the Estate of Elimelech was bequeathed to Naomi till the year of Jubilee, or during her Life, the latter of these seems to me the more pro­bable of the two, in that it is but reason­able, the Widow should be always consi­dered out of the fortune of the deceased, [Page 90] for the tearm of her own Natural and pro­per Life, which in many cases would in all rational probability extend farther than the next year of Jubilee, and was to be sure the most certain way to make a provision for her, neither could this be look'd upon as any Alienation, when the Estate after her decease was to return into its proper chan­nel; besides, that Naomi for ought we know might be an Heiress, which was the case of the Daughters of Zelophehad, Numb. 27. and 36. and of the Daughters of Sheshan 1 Chron. 2. 34. of Eleazar, 1 Chron. 23. 22. and as I shall make it very probable in its due place, of Achsah the Daughter of Caleb, Josh. 15. 16, 17. and Jud. 1. 13, 14, 15. in which case it would be very un­reasonable they should be left destitute themselves, who had brought an accession of power and riches unto that part of their family unto which they were matched.

Who they were that in cases of this na­ture had a right of redemption, we find particularly set down in the Chapter of Leviticus so often mentioned, in the case of the poor Brother who had sold himself to the stranger, for, I suppose, the re­demption of Inheritances is but one part of that Law in which the redemption of per­sons [Page 91] is included, and that the right of re­deeming, is in both cases invested in the same persons; the words of the Law are these, Levit. 2. 47, 48, 49. If a so­journer or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy Brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojour­ner by thee, or to the stock of the strangers family: After that he is sold, he may be re­deemed again; one of his Brethren may re­deem him: Either his Ʋncle or his Ʋncles Son may redeem him, or any that is nigh of Kin unto him of his family, may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem him­self: It is certain that the Jewish commen­tators are of Opinion, that the same per­sons had a right of redemption, in the case of Inheritances as well as this, in that some of them, not by any tradition, but by the authority of this text, have determined Boaz to be Uncle to Mahlon the deceased Hus­band of Ruth, and others would have him be his Cousin German.

But I am rather for the latter of these, because for the Ʋncle to Marry the Niece which is the same thing with the Nephews Wife, is forbidden by parity of reason at least, Levit. 18. 14. Neither is there any one instance to be found, after the delivery of the Law where it was ever dispensed [Page 92] with, but now there are instances in the Daughters of Zelophehad and of Eleazar, wherein the Marriage of Cousin Germans, (and a Cousin Germans Wife is the same thing) has been dispensed with; it is there­fore much safer to conclude on that side, which has precedents to favour it, than on that which has none; besides that the nearness of Kin being in a manner the same, between two Cousin Germans, and an Uncle Mar­rying with his Niece yet there is an equa­lity in the former, which is one predispo­sition to Marriage, which in the other there is not, but instead of that he is to his Neice, as hath been said Parentis loco; which bar to Matrimony has always been so sacred not only in the Mosaick but also the Roman Law, that it has never been broken down without the disgrace and infamy of those that gave the first example of so fowl a crime.

But that which will put the matter out of all controversie it this, that the reason of dispensations in Marriages of this na­ture, being founded in that Servitude or Subjection, which the Younger ows to the Elder, it is manifest that a Cousin German, that is, the Son of a Younger Brother, might properly enough marry the relict of him who was the Son of the Elder; he does in [Page 93] this perform a service to his Uncle, the Father of the deceased who was by inter­pretation of Law, a kind of Father to him, as well as the other, but the Uncle himself being to the Niece in the stead of a Parent, it being impossible that Superiority and Subjection can consist together in the same person, with respect to the same, and so the reason of the dispensation ceasing, the dispensation its self must of Necessity cease together with it. But yet after all I will not be too positive in this case, which seems to be something extraordinary, if the Uncle would decedere de suo jure, if he would submit himself to his deceased Nephew, whose person he did in this case sustain, and equal himself in a manner to his Niece, to whom he is by Law and by Nature in the stead of a Parent, volenti non fit injuria. Therefore I leave this business as I found it, without determining any thing either way.

But either way it is a very great mi­stake of Mr. Selden and those of the Jewish Writers whom he follows, to think that this match was not made in pursuance of that Law of Deut. 25. by which the Bro­ther, was to raise up Seed to the deceased Brother, and to propagate his name and memory in his stead.

The business in short is thus, Naomi had passed over her Title to the Inheritance of Elimelech to her Daughter-in-Law Ruth, upon condition that he of the Kindred, who would accept of her Daughter for his Wife, should have the Inheritance together with her; upon this Ruth challenges Boaz for her Husband, which challenge he did not refuse, but only said there was one near­er of Kin than he, being as I conceive his Elder Brother, who was in this case always to have the first refusal, and she must first apply her self unto him, it being not in his power to accept of what she proposed, till the other had refused to do it; it is therefore agreed that in the presence of the Elders and the People, she shall make her appli­cation to him: Naomi, saith Boaz, in be­half of Ruth, selleth a parcel of Land which was our Brother Elimelech's, you are the first person who by our Law have a right of redeeming it, say therefore whether you will redeem it or no: I will said he, but did not think at the same time that he was to purchase a Wife into the bargain, wherefore being better informed of the true state of things, he relinquishes his right to Boaz, who immediately takes Ruth to Wife in the presence of the whole Assem­bly to raise up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance.

Now if he had a right of redeeming the Inheritance and yet not take the Woman for his Wife, then the former impediment would still remain, there being no reason why he should relinquish his right, either to Boaz or any other pretender; but if he had not, then it is manifest that the connexion of these two, the Land and the Woman to­gether, so as he must of necessity take both or neither, could not depend upon any other Law, than that of the Brother's rais­ing up Seed to the Brother.

For it is another very gross Error of these Writers, when they distinguish with so much nicety as they do, betwixt what they call the Jibboum and the Geulah, That is, the performing the Husbands part and the redemption of the Inheritance; for though they be two pretty names, and it may perhaps be a thousand pitties that they do not signifie two pretty things, yet the mischief of it is they are both of them the same, or if there be any difference it is on­ly that the one is more comprehensive than the other, so as in every Jibboum there is a Geulah, though in every Geulah, there be not a Jibboum, by the same rule in Logick, that every Pippin is an Apple, though every Apple be not a Pippin. For the design expressed in the Law why the [Page 96] Brother was to Marry the Brothers Wife, was to raise up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance, therefore where there was no Inheritance, neither was there any Jib­boum, and where there was an Inheritance there must be a Geulah. These things are so very plain, that they need no confirma­tion, they carry their own evidence in themselves.

But they tell us none had right to Mar­ry the Widdow of an Husband deceased without Issue, but the next Brother to the same Husband, and upon his refusal the next to him, and so on; but this is only said, not proved. It is true indeed that what the Rabbins call Jibboum or Leviratus, if you argue too nicely from the signification of a word which is of their own making, be­longed only in propriety of speech to the Brother of the deceased; but as for all that is meant by it, and all that was the design of this Law, which was the performing of the Husbands part to the Widow of the deceased, this may be, and was Actually by the practice of the Jewish Nation, extend­ed farther.

For look you, the words of the Law are these, her Husbands Brother shall go in unto her. This the Rabbins, to appeal to themselves, apply to the Eldest of the sur­viving [Page 97] Brethren if there were more of them, and it was very true that he was first to be applied to, but then if he refu­sed, application was to be made to the se­cond and third, and so on. And that this was the order in which they were taken is evident from the story of Er, Onan and Shelah already so much insisted upon, and from the History of the seven Brethren all of them successively Married to the same Woman, in the Gospel; but what if all the immediate Brethren refused, as they might do if they pleased? shall the mans name perish for want of an adoptive Heir rather than the next of Kin shall be ad­dressed to, to perform the Husbands part?

The 70 Interpreters who understood these matters better than either Mr. Sel­den or any of those Authors, whom he is pleased to follow in this matter, were not of his mind; their words are these: [...], v. 4. It is manifest therefore, it was enough if he were [...], nigh of Kin, which the Cou­sin German must not be denyed to be, and therefore their Translating the word Jabem [...], which might have been Translated more compendiously by [...], is sufficient to prove that by that word [Page 98] [...] they did not intend to confine them­selves to the strict signification of Jabem, but to expound it by the practice of the Jewish Church, which extended to all that were near of Kin to the deceased, who in the Hebrew Idiom are frequently called Achim i. e. [...], Brethren. The same is likewise proved from their general way of rendring the verb Jibbem, without restrain­ing it in their version to the Brother of the deceased, Gen. 38. 8. Bo el esheth achika vejabbem Otha 70. [...]. That is, duc eam uxorem, the vulgar Latin, & Sociare illi, and our Translation. Go in unto thy Bro­thers Wife and Marry her. Again Deut. 25. 5. Lechachah lo leishah vejibmah, 70. [...], he shall take her for his Wife and shall cohabit with her, whereas if they would have render'd it by a word, restraining it wholly to the Brother of the deceased, they must instead of [...], and [...], which they use else where, have used some such words as these, [...], [...] or such like. Again, Ruth 4. 5. Then said Boaz, what day thou buyest the Field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the Wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead [Page 99] upon his Inheritance. And v. 10. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the Wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my Wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his Brethren, and from the gate of his place. Which answers exactly to that of Deut. 25. 6. And it shall be that the First­born, which she beareth, shall succeed in the name of his Brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel, it is there­fore unquestionable that the Marriage of Ruth and Boaz, being between so near Kins-folk, for the same reason, which is assigned of the Brothers Marrying the Bro­thers Wife Deut. 25. 5. did depend like­wise upon the same Law, and to say other­wise, is to say any thing without regard either to truth or probability.

Solomon Jarchi thinks to compound the business thus, as he is cited by Selden de suc­cessionibus p. 106. Chiatta legaol Nacha­lath Ishi: He makes Ruth speak to Boaz in this manner, you are to redeem the Inheri­tance of my Husband, &c. And then, I and my Mother in Law are compelled to sell our Inheritance; it is therefore incumbent upon you to buy it, as being next of Kin, and with the Inheritance you must take me too, that so the name of the deceased may be remem­bred [Page 100] because of his Inheritance, so that when ever I come upon the Lands which he possessed, men may say this was the Wife of Mahlon. And so they might whether she had Marryed any Body or no, after the decease of her Husband, so that it is manifest this is but a meer shift, and cannot be the meaning of raising up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance; but it is still for all this of the same meaning with that of Deut. that his name be not put out of Israel, and with a like expression of the Daughters of Zelophehad Num. 27. v. 3, 4. Our Father dyed in the Wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord, &c. why should the name of our Father be done away from among his family, because he hath no Son; give unto us therefore a possession among the Brethren of our Father.

Where it is plain that a name's being done way from a Family, and a mans not leaving a possession to some Body to in­herit in his right, so as it was necessary the memory of his name should be conti­nued for the asserting of the Title, are ex­actly the same thing. For Women could not continue the memory of their Parents; in all the old Testament you scarce ever find them inserted in the Genealogies, they have their name from oblivion, as men [Page 101] have theirs from remembrance, because they carry on and continue the Pedigree of their Fore-Fathers, but the Women are reckoned only as a part of their Husbands, and their Children as the Posterity not of theirs, but of their Husbands Fathers, and are distinguished from the Posterity of their own; to which we have a manifest allusion Psalm 45. 16. Instead of thy Fathers thou shalt have Children, whom thou mayst make Princes in all Lands. It was necessary therefore that to propagate the memory of the Father by the Daughters when he had no Male Issue, they should be considered as Heiresses, and the estate descending from them to their Posterity in right of their Father; his name and memory was by this means continued, which otherwise would have perished as effectually as if he had had no Children at all. From all which it is plain, that for a mans name not to be put out of Israel, not to be done away from among his Family, and to rise up upon his Inheri­tance are all of them the same thing.

Lastly, To put the matter yet farther out of question, Ruth 3. 13. the redemption of the Inheritance, and the Marriage of the Woman to whom in right of her Hus­band it belonged, as being intimately con­nected with one another, are both of them [Page 102] expressed by the same word of redeeming, if he will redeem thee, let him redeem thee; both in the original Hebrew and in the Greek, we render it, if he will perform un­to thee the part of a Kinsman, well, let him do the Kinsmans part, and the Vulgar Latin singularly well, si te voluerit propinquitatis jure retinere, bene res acta est, si autem ille noluerit, ego te abs (que) ullâ dubitatione susci­piam. Where it is certain that the Verb Gaal in this place, is exactly the same with Jibbem in Deuteronomy, though the first be of a more extensive signification than the latter, as likewise what our Interpre­ters do here call performing the Kinsmans part, is there by them Stiled performing the Husbands part.

All which is mightily corroborated by the Testimony of Josephus, Antiq. L. 5. XI. who telling this very story, mentions together with it the loosing of the shoe and spitting in the face of the refuser in pursu­ance of the Law made in that behalf, Deut. 25. 9. [...], saith he, [...] Mr. Selden reads rightly af­ter Drusius [...]) [...], that is, Boaz appealing to the Assembly of the Elders, bad them take notice of the refusal of the nearest Kinsman, and then instructed Ruth in pur­suance [Page 103] of the Law of Moses, to take off his Shoe and spit in his Face; which done he immediately Marryed her in the presence of them all.

But Mr. Selden will not allow this to be any thing better than a mistake of Josephus, Confusio, saith he, planissimè binarum legum, quarum altera de haereditate alienatâ, seu emptores invitante redimendà, altera de fratriâ ducendâ est. But I think I have made it pretty plain already that it is Mr. Selden himself is in the mistake, not Josephus, and I cannot but observe that it is that Learn­ed Gentlemans misfortune to side with Jo­sephus only in his Errors, as when he tells us the adoptive Child was to be of the same name with his imputative Father, but when he speaks reason, as he does certain­ly in this case, to oppose him.

For Josephus does not deliver this out of any Authentick record, as is apparent by this, that we have already found him in several mistakes, but it is only his own opi­nion, or perhaps the sense of the Learned men of his time, that this place was to be referr'd to the Law of the Leviratus, and so he added the description of this Cere­mony de suo, as being a part of that Law, and which he thought was never omitted, in case the person to whom the challenge [Page 104] was made, refused to accept it, only this in­deed is much to be wondred at, as a very great inconsistency in Josephus, that he should acknowledge the Marriage of Boaz and Ruth, to have been made in conse­quence and pursuance of that Law of Mo­ses, by which the Brother was to propa­gate the name and memory of the Brother, and yet understand that expression, that his name be not put out of Israel, as if the Child was to be of the same name, with his adop­tive Father, when as it is clear that the Son of Ruth by Boaz was not called Mahlon but Obed, which name is from habad, ser­vivit, and was given him, as I conceive, for this reason, to denote that he was a Servant to Mahlon, to continue his name upon his Inheritance, and propagate his memory by a new succession of descendants from his Loyns, to after ages, which is still a further confirmation of what I have endeavoured to prove.

But it may be still objected, that Ruth be­ing a stranger, a Moabitish Woman, nei­ther Boaz nor any other Jew could Mar­ry her, it being so far from being agree­able to any Law, that it was expressly con­trary to the Law of Moses Deut. 7. 3. neither shalt thou make Marriages with them: thy Daughter thou shalt not give unto [Page 105] his Son, nor his Daughter shalt thou take unto thy Son. But this, if it had been a good objection, might have been urged by him that was nearer of Kin to the Family of Elimelech than Boaz was, and since it was not, we have more reason to conclude, that she was then proselyted and naturali­zed and become as one of the Jews them­selves, which it is certain she did passio­nately desire, Ruth. 1. 16. And Ruth said, intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following thee: for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God shall be my God.

And in this case there was no reason why he might not take her to his Wife, especially if you consider that such Marri­ages were allowed, after some Ceremonies there mentioned, in the case of a Captive, of whom yet it was not required that she should be so much as a Proselyte to the Religion of the Jews, Deut. 21. v. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. the same was the case of Ja­rha the Aegyptian Servant, 1 Chron. 2. 34, 35. who yet not withstanding was Married to an Heiress, although it be the express Law of God by Moses, that the Inheritance should be so far from going into the hand of a forreigner, that it was not to remove [Page 106] so much as from Tribe to Tribe, nor if it could be avoided, out of one Family of the same Tribe into another, and though it were equally forbidden to Marry a Servant as a Stranger, so that here was a double incapacity, and yet this was it seems no hindrance to the Marriage; neither is the thing mentioned as irregular, or taken no­tice of with the least degree of reprehen­sion: We may therefore very probably con­clude, that he was first manumitted or set free, then adopted, not by Sheshan the Father of the Damsel, for this could not be, for no man can adopt a Nephew or Niece, but only a Son or Daughter, and this would be for Sister and Brother to match toge­ther, but he was adopted by the Brother or Uncle of Sheshan, and so Married to his Daughter in the Nature of one that was nearest of Kin to her, as in the Instance of the Daughters of Zelophehad and Eleazar.

Further, That it was Josephus his delibe­rate opinion, that the Marriage between Boaz and Ruth was in pursuance of the Leviratical or rather the anchisteutical sanction in Deuteronomy, and that they were not words spoken aliud agendo and by chance, when he tells us of Ruths taking off her Kinsmans Shoe, and Spitting in his [Page 107] Face, will appear plainly from other words in the same paragraph, importing and in­culcating the same thing, [...].

But what are these Laws which he speaks of so often: are they not the Laws of the Leviratus or the [...]? search all the Law of Moses from one end to the other, and you will find no other Law to which this can refer. It is manifest therefore that Josephus has not only plainly, but with some seeming sollicitude delivered his opi­nion, that the Marriage of Ruth and Boaz was in pursuance of that Law, and I think it is equally clear from all that has been said, that he does not confound two Laws together as Mr. Selden has represented him to have done.

Before I leave this, I will observe that Josephus though he have made some unwarrantable additions of his own, of which I have carefully taken notice, yet that he took his relation out of that very Book of Ruth which is now received among us, and out of those very Greek In­terpreters which are now in use, which I will shew plainly from two things. First he tells you, though falsly, that he who [Page 92] was nearer of Kin than Boaz to Elimelech, was in actual possession of the Inheritance [...]; and then it fol­lows, [...], &c. now this [...] was the Law of re­demption, or that Law which permitted the next of Kin to Marry the Wife of the deceased and possess himself of the Inheri­tance into the bargain; for which reason Boaz, who is by the Hebrew called Goel, or the redeemer, is all along by the Greek Interpreters called [...] or the near Kinsman, and their translation of c. 4. v. 6. is very remarkable; the words of the Hebrew are these, Vajomer Hagoel Lo oucal Ligeol li, phen Ashchith eth Nachalathi, Geal atta eth Geulathi, chi lo oucal legeol.

In the Greek these.


The Second thing by which this appears is this, that he who is in the Hebrew right­ly called Elimelech, is by Josephus all along called Abimelech, and this he had also out of the Greek Translation, though not out of that reading of it which the Vatican preferrs; but the Alexandrine Ms. will both shew you that it is a corruption and by [Page 109] what degrees it proceeded to be what it is, for Ch. 2. v. 4. that copy reads it, [...], and 4. v. 4. [...].

All this may be yet farther strengthened from the Law mentioned in the Book of Numbers c. 35. concerning Chance-Medly or Ʋnwilling Slaughter, in which case if a man could first fly to One of the Six Ci­ties of Refuge, and when his cause came to an hearing it appeared that there was no evil intention nor any malice fore-thought in him that had committed the fact, he was safe so long as he continued within the Po­moeria of the said City, during the life of that High Priest in whose Pontificate the thing was done, and after that he might repair to his own home, and enjoy all the free­dom of an innocent and guiltless Person, but in case the Revenger of Blood should overtake him before he could get to one of these Cities, or if after he had made his escape thither he should afterwards at any time within the time prefixed, be found any where without the Bounds or Pomoeria of the said City, then it was lawful for the Revenger of Blood to exact one life for ano­ther, and avenge the Death of the Decea­sed Party, with that of him who did tho' never so unwillingly slay him. Now who was this Revenger of Blood? Josephus tells [Page 110] you it was any of the Kindred. l. 4. c. 8. his words are these. [...]. That is, Moses built Ten Cities, being parcel of the Fourty eight assigned to the Levites, of which Three were Sanctuarys, for such as unwillingly had slain a Man. The time of their consinement to any of the said places was during the life of that High Priest, in whose time such an accident fell out. But af­ter his decease, he was at liberty to return home, or go whither he pleased in safety. But in the mean time, if he were taken with­out the bounds of the said Sanctuary to which he was consin'd, it was lawful for any of the Kindred, and none else, to kill him.

Now if you ask what Authority Jose­phus has for this, the Answer will be that he took this as he does every thing else from the Seventy Interpreters. For that which we call in our Translation the Reven­ger of Blood, is in the Hebrew Goel Hadam. And in the Seventy all along in Num­bers, Deuteronomie, and Joshua, it is [Page 111] [...], & [...]. As out of them the Vulgar Latin renders it, propinquus, cognatus, and proximus occifi, and with them Onkelos in his paraphrase upon the Book of Numbers and Deuterono­mie does exactly concur; the Hebrew Word, to render it exactly, is as much as the Redeemer of Blood, and so it is taken by Jonathan in his Targum upon Joshua, it is the same word used in the case of Ruth and Boaz, and in the case of redeem­ing the Inheritance or the Person of the poor Brother who had sold himself.

Since therefore the word in the Hebrew is the same, since the rendition of the other Interpreters does all along restrain it to one of the Kindred of the deceased Party, since the [...] and the [...] in the Seventy are the same, what can be more manifest than that, as well in the Opinion of the Seventy Interpreters, as of others, whose Authority because not so ancient, and because derived only from them is of less Credit, the [...] or the degrees of Proximity in respect of blood in all three cases, that is to say, in the redemption of the Person of a Brother who had sold him­self, or of the Inheritance of the same Per­son, who being reduced to extream Pover­ty [Page 112] was obliged to sell it, and in the aven­ging the blood of him who was unwilling­ly slain, were all of them the same, being either the Brother, or the Ʋncle, or the Ʋncle's Son, or any that was nigh of Kin to the Family of the Person concerned. Levit. 25. 48, 49. Neither does it ap­pear only from the Identity or Sameness of the word in the Hebrew in all these cases, and from the agreement of the Seventy in their Version in every one of the cases now insisted upon, that the word Goel which we render the Revenger, is to be understood in this last instance as well as in the other, of somebody that was nigh of Kin, but it is no less evident from the express words of the Original Text it self. Deut. 19. 5, 6. He shall fly unto One of those Cities and live, lest the Avenger of Blood pursue the Slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him, whereas he was not wor­thy of death, insomuch as he hated him not in time past. Now in the first place it is a very wild piece of extravagance to suppose, that a man having killed another by a per­fect chance, should for this reason lie ex­posed to the fury of every man who had the power or opportunity to revenge it, without any process or formality of Law, [Page 113] that it might be seen first whether he deser­ved such punishment or no. In the second place there was no reason why every mans heart should be hot, or swell'd with a tu­multuous appetite of revenge, as fast as any other, whom perhaps they never knew or heard of before, should come to an un­timely death, it seems therefore most rea­sonable to confine it only to the relations or friends of the party deceased, who may well enough be supposed, especially those that are so very near, to have had the greatest friendship for him, and the deepest share in that loss which is sustained by his death. Thirdly, We must not Ima­gine that the Law did countenance reven­ges of this Nature, but it did only pardon the infirmity of men, whose heart was hot, i. e. overpowered with an excess of grief and a masterless desire of revenge, which passionate concern may well enough be sup­pos'd to enter into the breast of a Brother, Ʋncle, or Ʋncles Son, or any that is near of Kin, especially if to the nearness of Con­sanguinity, a strict friendship and a neces­sary dependance be joyned, but cannot rea­sonably be pretended by any in his excuse, whose circumstances of Birth and Fortune are at a farther distance from the person slain.

The use which I make of these things is this, that all these three instances do mu­tually confirm and strengthen one ano­ther; the right of redeeming the person of the poor Brother, has been shewn to be­long only to the near Kinsman by the ex­press words of the Law its self, that is to say, to the Brother, or Ʋncle, or Ʋncles Son, or any that is near of Kin, that is, at the least a degree farther than this; the same is likewise agreed by all the Jewish Inter­preters, of the redemption of Inheritances, and is in it self very reasonable to believe, it being mentioned in the very same Chap­ter with the other, without any particular mention, who are the persons in whom the Right of Redemption is legally invest­ed, unless the persons who are specified in this latter case, be understood [...] to be­long to them both, besides that the case of Ruth and Boaz, in which the redemption of Inheritances was no question concerned, shews it without all controversy to be ex­tended farther than to the immediate Bro­ther, though not further than to such as were near of Kin.

Lastly, The revenging the Death of him that was slain by chance, has been shewn to belong likewise to the very same persons, and that not only from the sameness of the [Page 115] word [...] three cases, and from the [...] the Ancient Interpreters, [...] [...]xpress words of the Law and from the reason of the thing it self.

If then whoever redeemed the person of a Brother that had sold himself, might also avenge his blood, in case he were slain by chance, and might redeem his Inheritance when through poverty or want it was en­cumbred or alienated from him; and if the reason of that Vicarious Wedlock which is usually, but falsely confined to the Bro­ther of the deceased, was for the redemp­tion of the Inheritance, and to hinder it from going to any other Tribe, or as nigh as might be into another House, then it follows plainly, that whoever might re­deem the Inheritance might Lawfully Mar­ry the Wife of the deceased, which had no other end but this; which was the thing to be proved.

And now if it be asked why in the Law of Deuteronomy, the Jabem or deceased Husbands Brother is only mentioned, not­withstanding so many of the Kindred might Marry to the Widow, I answer it was for these three reasons, First, Because the first refusal of the Widow and of the Inheritance was his. Secondly, Because he was under the strictest obligation to pro­pagate [Page 116] the name and memory of his de­ceased Brother in the nature of his Servant, whereas though the other relations might if they pleased, do it upon the refusal of the Brethren, yet not standing in the same relation of servants to the deceased, they were not as I conceive under the same obli­gation. Lastly, Denominatio sumitur a parte potiori, because it did actually so come to pass for the most part, that one of the surviving Brethren did accept of the Challenge made by the Woman in behalf of her deceased Husband, and there was good reason why he should, if he were not Married before, because by this means there was, as I have said, one Child provided for, and that ve­ry plentifully, for there was a double por­tion in the case, which belonged of right to the Elder Brother, Deut. 21. 17. and it is not improbable that he received like­wise into the bargain this farther advantage, that during his own life he had the entire management and disposal of this estate, for the support of himself, and for the be­nefit of all his Family, though at his death he must leave it as he found it, and could not cut off the Entail from the Eldest Son of this imputative or adoptive Bed.

This might, for ought we know, be the reason why the Marriage of the Brother [Page 117] to the Brothers Wife, was so severely for­bidden by several Imperial Laws, both in the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian and in the Theodosian Code, which practice might perhaps creep, though not for the same reason of raising up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance, out of Judea into the Empire, but if any man had rather think that this was an effect only of that Libertinisme, and Licentiousness, to which men are but too subject of themselves, I am so far from contending, that perhaps I shall be more inclinable to be of his opinion; but it is certain that this practice, so far as it was used among the Aegyptians, was borrowed from the Jews, or perhaps from those El­der times from whom the Jews themselves received it, which may be plainly proved from the words of that Imperial Rescript by which it was at length forbidden by the Emperor Zeno; they are these:


Licet quidam Aegyptiorum idcirco mortuo­rum fratrum sibi conjuges matrimonio copulave­rint, quod post illorum mortem mansisse Virgines dicebantur, arbitrati scil. (quod certis legum conditoribus placuit) cùm corpore non con­venerint, nuptias non videri re esse contractas; [Page 118] & hujusmodi connubia tunc temporis celebra­ta, firmata sunt, tamen praesenti lege san­cimus, siquae hujusmodi nuptiae contractae fu­erint, eas earum (que) contractores, & ex his progenitos antiquarum legum tenori subja­cere, nec ad exemplum Aegyptiorum (de qui­bus supra dictum est) eas videri fuisse fir­mas, vel esse firmandas.

Now that this custom among the Aegyp­tians, was received from the Jewish, I ar­gue from these words, quod certis legum conditoribus placuit, which legum conditores are Moses and those other Lawgivers of Earlier times, from whom he himself received it; and though it be true that the Jews Married the Wife of their deceased Brother, whether she were a Virgin or no, in case she had no Male Issue, yet it is eve­ry whit as true, that there were those that would not allow this Law to take place, but only in such, as had never been touch­ed by the deceased Husband; of which number there is no meaner a man than R. Shammai himself, the head of one of the two famous Pharisaick Schools, as R. Hil­lel was of the other, and the Samaritanes ad unum omnes; but I take this only upon the Authority of Grotius, who upon Deut. 25. 5. hath these words, Ʋxor defuncti,) malè Sammai & Samaritani hoc de desponsatâ tan­tùm [Page 119] interpretantur, obstant tum alia, tum Gen. 38. 6. and if this was the Opinion of the Samaritanes, who yet certainly receiv­ed their knowledge of this Law from the Jews, why might it not be of the Aegyp­tians too?

Again, if these matches were made by others up and down the Roman Empire, as the same Edict does more than seem to in­sinuate, ad exemplum Aegyptiorum, then it is true what I have already hinted, though I would not be very confident of it, that the Romans themselves received it from the Jews Originally, for causa causoe est causa causati.

Having thus proved that by the First­born, is meant not the Levir himself but the Eldest Son of the Leviratical Bed, and that by raising up the name of the dead, by hindring his name from being blotted out of Israel, is not meant that the adoptive birth was to be of the same name with the deceased Father, having shewn that the Marriage of Ruth and Boaz was in conse­quence and pursuance of that Law in Deu­teronomy, whereby the Brother was autho­rized and obliged to raise up Seed to his deceased Brother: Lastly, Having demon­strated that by the Name, the Inheritance is meant, and given the reason why it is [Page 120] so, because it was necessary the name of the dead should be continued for the assert­ing of the Title; by the light of what has been said we may now discover two other Errors of Mr. Selden and his Rabbins; his words are these, p. 99, 100. Consensu Ma­gistrorum, posteri à fratre fratriam ducente suscepti omnes, pro vario jure in aliis specie­bus successionis, defuncti fratris haereditatem capiebant. In which words there are no less than two very gross mistakes. The First is this, that this opinion supposeth all the Children begotten by the Levir or near Kinsman upon his Brothers Wife were ac­counted and looked upon as the Children of the party deceased; and the Second which is expressly asserted, that they had all of them a share in the Inheritance, both of which must needs be false, if by succeed­ing in the name of the dead, Deut. 25. 6. nothing else can be meant, as I have pro­ved, that nothing else is or can be, but on­ly that, he was to Inherit the Estate and Patrimony of the deceased, for this be­long'd only to the First-born by the express words of that place, and it shall be that the First-born which she Beareth shall suc­ceed in the name of his Brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel, now to attribute that in common to all [Page 121] which the Scripture so plainly appropriates to one, what is it but to prefer the Autho­rity of a Rabbin before that of Moses the Lawgiver himself? Only thus much I be­lieve to have been very true, that in case the First-born died, then the next Brother was to Inherit in the nature of an adoptive Son, as the Eldest had done before him, and so on, if there was more Brothers, and the Second died likewise as the First had done; because without this there would not have been a sufficient provision made for that which was the declared end and design of the Law, that his name be not put out of Israel, and because it is certain if the Elder Brother, I speak now of the Imputative Father, died without Issue, then the next was to succeed in his Bed and in his Inheri­tance, as a kind of an adoptive Husband, or an Husband in his Brothers stead, as is evident from the story of Er, Onan, and Shelah, and from the story or supposition of the Seven Brethren in the Gospel.

Now if Brethren were used to succeed one another in their course, upon the de­cease of the Eldest, the Second and so on, in the quality of adoptive and vicarious Husbands, it seems to me to depend upon the same reason and right, that the Chil­dren begotten in such a Leviratical or [Page 122] Anchisteutical Bed, should also succeed one another upon the decease of the Elder in quality of adoptive Sons, or Heirs to the First Husband deceased.

But then if there were no Sons, then the Daughter First Begotten was to Inherit, for it is still a great mistake in Mr. Selden and his Rabbins, when they Interpret those words, If Brethren dwell together and one of them die, ou ben een Lo, and hath no Son, so laxly as if it were indifferent either to a Son or Daughter, neither is it any ar­gument for him in this case, that the 70 and the Vulgar Latin, have rendered it in such general words, by [...] and by liberi or that St. Matthew and St. Mark speaking of this very thing, use the word [...] in­stead of [...]. For general Words as they are in themselves extended to a greater lati­tude of signification, so they may be re­strained when the nature of the Subject treated of does require it, as if a man who had no Daughter, should use the word Li­beri, or [...] speaking of his own Children, it is manifest that in this case these words, however extensive their full signification be, must be restrained to signifie only the Male Issue, because we suppose him to have no o­ther. So [...] signifies properly only Sons or Male Children; and yet when Josephus makes [Page 123] the nearest of Kin of the Family of Elimelech say, [...], nothing hin­ders but that by [...] in this place either Boys or Girles in common, or perhaps only Girles, if the man had none but such, not­withstanding in propriety of speech it be restrained only to the Male Issue, might be understood. From both which instances it is plain, that words may be and are frequently extended beyond, or restrained within a much narrower compass, nay, sometimes taken quite contrary to their natural signi­fication, in compliance with the Nature of the Subject about which the discourse is made; and I appeal to any man, upon sup­position that the [...], he that was near­est of Kin to the Family of Elimelech, had only Girles for his Children, whether it would not have been better Greek to say [...] than any thing else that could have been said, for [...] in this sense is not Greek, and [...], or [...] or [...], ex­presses the Sex, but does not so plainly re­present the relation, as his Children.

But at the worst it is but the Opinion of the Seventy and those that follow them, that the word Ben in this place was indiffe­rent to a Son or a Daughter, but I will now shew if that were their Opinion, that they are by no means infallible, though their [Page 124] Authority as Interpreters be for the general the most Sacred, and the least subject to ex­ception of any.

For, First, I affirm that when it is said; Deut. 25. 6. And it shall be that the First­born which she beareth, &c. that this by the propriety of the Sacred Language is to be understood only of the Male issue. As it is Exod. 11. 5. And all the First-born in the Land of Aegypt shall die, from the First-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his Throne, even unto the First-born of the Maid-Servant, that is behind the Mill, and all the First­born of Beasts: Ch. 12. 29. And it came to pass that at Midnight the Lord smote all the First-born in the Land of Egypt, from the First-born of Pharaoh that sat on the Throne, unto the First-born of the Captive that was in the Dungeon, and all the First­born of the Cattel.

Now that by the First-born who were Smitten by the destroying Angel only the Males are to be understood, I argue from the Separation of the First-born among the Children of Israel in memory of this delive­ry. Exod. 13. 2. Sanctifie unto me all the First­born, whatsoever openeth the Womb among the Children of Israel. Now if it be proved that only the Males were sanctified, then it is clear that none but the Males were de­stroyed, [Page 125] and that by the First-born none but the Males are to be understood.

I confess the Phrase of Opening the Womb is a little general and does extend to Fe­males as well as Males. But it is to be con­sidered that it depends upon what went be­fore. Bibnei Jisrael, which I take here in the most strict and proper sense, whatsoe­ver or whosoever of the Sons or Males of Israel first openeth the Womb, that is, is First-born. And so Exod. 21. 29. The First­born of thy Sons shalt thou give unto me. But be­cause it may be pretended that by Sons, and by the Sons or Children of Israel, both Males and Females are to be understood, as it is certain it is so in many other places, and the contrary cannot be proved, without some other argument than a bare supposi­tion to support it; I shall now desire you to consider, that as the First-born of all the Children of Israel, were First Sancti­fied and set apart, in gratitude for that deliverance which they had when the First­born of Aegypt were destroyed; so after­wards the Levites were singled out from the rest of the Tribes, and set apart instead of the First-born of the Children of Israel Numb. 3. 12, 13. Behold I have taken the [Page 126] Levites from among the Children of Israel, instead of all the First-born that openeth the Matrix among the Children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be mine, because all the First-born are mine, for on the day that I smote all the First-born in the Land of Aegypt, I hallowed unto me all the First­born in Israel both Man and Beast: mine they shall be, I am the Lord.

Now in what sense it was that the Le­vites were set apart, and what they were obliged to do by such their separation is expressed v. 5, 6, 7, 8. of the same chapter, in these words: And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, bring the Tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the Priest, that they may Minister unto him, and they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole Congregation before the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the charge of the Children of Israel to do the Service of the Tabernacle. The same you have likewise repeated again, c. 8. of the same Book. It is clear then if Ministring to the Sanctuary and doing the Service of the Tabernacle, be all that is meant by the Levites being set apart, and all that they were obliged to do by vertue of such their separation, that the separation of the First-born of all the Children of Israel whose persons the [Page 127] Levites did in this case represent, was of the same Nature, that is, they were con­secrated to a sort of Priest-hood, and their business was to be conversant about the Holy things.

Now Women were never admitted into the Priest-hood, or set apart to the Ministry of the Altar, either before the Law or un­der it, any more than they are now under the Gospel, therefore it is plain that by the Separation or Sanctification of the First­born, only that of the Males is to be un­derstood.

Again, Women were at liberty to Marry out of one Tribe into another, so as a Wo­man descended of the Tribe of Levi might Marry if she so pleased into that of Benja­min or Judah, but by so doing the band of Matrimony unites her much more strongly to her Husband and his Tribe, than to that Tribe of which she was descended, so that this, if they had been separated would have been a kind of alienation from the service of God, for that they did so Marry is evi­dent from the case of the Daughters of Ze­lophehad, who were hindred from Marry­ing into another Tribe, not because it was in its self unlawful or not usually practised, but to preserve the Inheritance from being alienated for ever from that Tribe to which [Page 128] it formerly belonged, and the Daughters of the other Tribes were with difficulty and by such another wile, as that by which the Romans took them Wives of the Sabines, granted to the Benjamites after the great slaughter, not because it was unlawful simply considered, and in its self, but because the Children of Israel had sworn, saying, cursed be he that giveth a Wife to Benjamin, Jud. 21. 18. In other cases it was rather a Duty than a thing unlawful for the Tribes to intermarry with one another, because such Intermarriages are naturally pro­ductive of a strict friendship and unity be­tween them, which was the reason why such Marriages were by the Law forbidden with Idolatrous and Heathen People, for fear that friendship and good understanding, which this would produce, might be a means to tempt the Israelites from their Duty, to make them Eat of their Sacrifices, and de­file themselves with all their abominations.

Neither was there any Law as I conceive, of more use to the Aggrandizing of the Roman State, by abating somewhat of those perpetual heats betwixt the Lords and Commons, of which it was composed, than that which was at length passed by the Wisdome and activity of one of their Tri­bunes, de maritandis ordinibus, whereby [Page 129] the Patricii and Plebeians, were allowed to Intermarry with one another betwixt whom before that time there was kept so sacred & so unviolable a distance. Lastly, of the In­termarriages of those of the Tribe of Levi into other Tribes, we have an instance in the Grot. ad Matth 1. 16. Quod aiunt tri­bules tribulibus nubere debuisse, neque perpetuum est, neque si sit, [...]o us­que valere potest, ut etiam ex Davidis famil [...] Mariam fu [...]sse natam inde appareat. lb. paulo post.—Id ipsum evincit historia qu [...] est Judi [...]. 2. 18. ubi tribus caeterae, quò min [...]s fili [...]s suas nuptum [...]arent Benjamitis, often­dunt se non lege Divinâ sed jurisjurandi religione prohiberi Et David Juda prosatus ex Benjaminis progenie Micholem ducit uxorem. Et de Hillele Pharisaeo scriptum reperimus apud Hebraeos patrem ei fuisse ex tribu Benjamin, matrem ex tribu Juda See the same Learned Annotator upon Luc. 1. 5. where he gives some other examples, and does also sufficiently confute that conceit of P [...]ilo judius, as if the High Priest could not Marry out of the family of Aaron. Such another mistake is that of Epiphanius, who will have no Tribes to Intermarry with one another but those of judah and Levi. His words are these. Haeres, 78. [...].—Which is so far from truth that P [...]ilo himself confesses that the Priests themselves all but the High Priest might Marry any of the Jewish Nation who they pleased. [...], saith he, [...].—And Josephus requires no more contr. [...]pp [...]on. L. [...]. [...]. Blessed Virgin her self, who being of the Tribe of Levi was espoused to Joseph of the Tribe of Judah

But this is not all, the institution of the Pas­sover, is a sufficient demonstration that by the destruction of the First-born that of the Maleswas only meant, for the Passover which was afterwards a commemoration of this [Page 130] deliverance, and was in its first institution used by way of atonement, to procure it, by Sprinkling the Blood upon the Posts of the Houses, by which the destroying Angel was to pass, was to be a Male of the First Year, a Male as being an atonement for a Male and of the First Year to be an atonement for the First-born. To which purpose it is likewise said, Exod. 13. 12. Thou shalt set apart unto the Lord, all that openeth the Matrix and every Firstling that cometh of a Beast, which thou hast, the Male shall be the Lords. And again, v. 14. 15. And it shall be when thy Son asketh thee in time to come, saying, what is this? that thou shalt say unto him, by strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Aegypt, from the House of Bondage. And it came to pass when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew all the First-born in the Land of Aegypt, both the First-born of Men and the First-born of Beast, therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the Ma­trix, being Males, but all the First-born of my Children I redeem. For this reason the re­mainder of the Meat-Offering was to be eaten by the Males only of the Children of Aaron, because the Females, as I have said, were not set apart to the Ministry of the Altar, Levit. 6. 18. All the Males among the Children of Aaron shall eat of it, it shall [Page 131] be a statute for ever in your Generations, concerning the Offerings of the Lord made by Fire, every one that toucheth them shall be Holy, i. e. not only purified with all the Mosaick ways of lustration, but actually set apart to be employed about the Holy things, which were hallowed unto the Lord, which it seems by this place, the Females were not, though of the House of Aaron. So also it is expressly said a­bout the trespass Offerings, Levit. 7. 6. Every Male among the Priests shall eat there­of, it shall be eaten in the Holy place, it is most Holy. And as the Females were always excluded from the number of those that were separated in stead of the First-born, so the Males even from a Month old and upwards were all taken into the Muster, Num. 3. 28. speaking of the Males of the Family of Kohath, and the same is to be un­derstood of other Families. In the number of all the Males, from a Month old and upwards were Eight Thousand Six Hundred keep­ing the charge of the Sanctuary. So then it is clear that none but the Males came in­to the Account, and none but they had the charge of the Sanctuary committed un­to them. And to fill up the demonstration, and make it to all intents and purposes compleat and perfect, in the 46. verse of [Page 132] the same chapter, we find the Number of the First-born in the other Tribes, who were to be represented by the Levites, did exceed the Number of the Levites themselves, by Two hundred seventy three persons, for whom therefore there was an other way of Redemption found, than that of their separation to the Ministry of the Tabernacle, either by themselves or by their Proxies the Levites, which was, that they were to pay Five Shekels apiece, af­ter the Shekel of the Sanctuary, each Shekel consisting of 20 Gerahs, for the use of Aaron and his Sons, v. 47, 48. which was accordingly done and distribu­ted after the manner aforesaid, as the Lord had commanded Moses, v. 49, 50, 51.

From whence it is very plain, not only that none of the Levites were reckoned, but the Males, but that they represented none but such, in the other Tribes: For if you consider, that the Tribe of Levi was one of the Thirteen, all the Males of the Tribe of Levi, will be in a manner of an equal num­ber with the First-born being Males of the other Tribes, for the excess of Two hun­dred seventy three, is only accidental in its self one way or other, and is not much ei­ther way in so large an account as this.

But you will say it is an equal chance, take one with another, whether a Male or Female be Born first in any house or Family, and therefore if only the First-born were re­presented by the Males of the Levites, and the Females were not taken into the account nor had any to represent them, then the number of the Levites would be in a man­ner double to the number of the First-born in the other Tribes: But to this I Answer; that in such cases the Female indeed was o­mitted out of the account, but the next Male to her was taken in as the First-born, and so the Account will be adjusted again. If you ask me how I prove this, have a little patience and I will tell you.

You must know therefore that the First­born of all Beasts as well clean as unclean, were to be set apart, as well as the First­born of Men, the clean for Sacrifice and the unclean to be redeemed with Mony. Now it is expressly asserted in the Law it self, as hath been already shewn, that none but Males were either to be Sacrificed or Re­deemed; what therefore if the First-born of any Beast, whether clean or unclean, shall prove a Female, shall not the next Male be esteemed as the First-born in this case? And is not this much more reasonable to suppose than that God should lose his [Page 134] Sacrifice, or the Priests their portion? Nay, is it not expressly asserted that it was to be so? Numb. 3. 40. The Lord said unto Mo­ses, Number all the First-born of the Males of the Children of Israel; now he might be the First-born of the Males, the First-born in suo genere, who was not so absolutè, or the First-born of all the Children: It is clear therefore, that in case a Daughter were really the Eldest, yet she was not in­cluded in the notion of the First-born, which belonged only to the First of the Males, i. e. to her next Brother or to the Eldest Son that should be born after her; now the same was the case both of Cattel and Men, and for the same reason, so that these things do mutually strengthen and confirm one another, v. 41. of the same Chapter. And thou shalt take the Levites, for me (I am the Lord) instead of all the First-born a­mong the Children of Israel, and the Cattel of the Levites instead of all the Cattel of the Children of Israel. All which will be yet further evident from Deut. 21. v. 15, 16, 17. If a Man have two Wives, one beloved and another hated, and they have born him Chil­dren, both the beloved and the hated, then it shall be when he maketh his Sons to In­herit that which he hath, that he may not make the Son of the beloved First-born be­fore [Page 135] the Son of the hated, which is indeed the First-born, but he shall acknowledge the Son of the hated for the First-born, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath, for he is the beginning of his strength, the right of the First-born is his. From which place I argue thus: Whoever had the right of the First-born and was to receive a double por­tion of all, that the Father possessed, he or she was in the Interpretation of the Law, and consequently in the Language of Mo­ses, and in all those Laws where mention is made of the First-born, the First-born; but this was not the First-born Child, but the Eldest Son: Therefore in case a Daugh­ter were born before him, it is necessary ac­cording to the true intention of the Law, and the practice of those times, that she should be omitted out of the account; for a Fe­male, in case there were any Male survi­ving at the death of the Parent, was so far from having a double portion which was the right of the First-born that she was not to Inherit at all, Numb. 27. 8. If a man die and have no Son, then shall he cause his Inheri­tance to pass unto his Daughter. But in no other case unless you suppose this Law to be in vain: It is manifest therefore all along, that by the First-born the Eldest Son is meant, again, for he is the beginning of his [Page 136] strength, which is the very expression of Jacob concerning his Eldest Son Reuben, Gen. 49. And the meaning of it is this, that the Eldest Son was in the nature of all primitiae or first Fruits, dedicated unto the Lord, only with this difference, that all other first Fruits were dedicated in the na­ture of Sacrifices, but he in the quality of a Priest. Now as I have said, it is plain that Women were never admitted into the Priest-hood, either before the Law or un­der it, and before it as hath been said, the Eldest Brother was both the King and the Priest of the Family, for these two cha­racters were of Ancient time commonly united in the same person, as Melchisedeck was King of Salem, and Priest of the most High God; As is evident from the Ac­counts of Numa and Tullus Hostilius in the Roman story, and from this, that after the expulsion of their Kings they had their Reges Sacrificuli, whose business it was to execute those parts of the Priestly Of­fice which belonged formerly to the Kings of Rome. And as has been a thousand times observed out of that known Verse,

Rex Anius, Rex idem hominum Phae­bique sacerdos.

Upon which place of Virgil, Servius hath these words, Majorum enim haec erat con­suetudo, ut Rex esset etiam Sacerdos & Pon­tifex, undè hodiè quo (que) Imperatores Pon­tifices dicimus. And upon the very next Verse to it,

Ʋittis & sacrâ redimitus tempora lauro,

saith thus, Ʋittae Sacerdotis sunt, laurus etiam Imperatoris victoris.

For which reason it is that when Jacob calls Reuhen the beginning of his strength, he adds to it, after an exegetical, or ex­planative manner, the excellency of Dig­nity and the excellency of Power; in the for­mer of which expressions the Priest-hood, and in the latter the King-ship of the Fa­mily, though Reuben had forfeited them both for a reason already mentioned seems to have been contained. And that this separating of the First-born, was in the nature of First-Fruits in Ancient times as well as it was afterwards for another rea­son likewise, will appear from Exod. 22. 29. where the separating the First-born and of the [...] or First-Fruits are evidently compared together. Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe Fruits and of thy Liquors; the First-born of thy Sons [Page 138] shalt thou give unto me. If then the begin­ning of the Fathers strength, and the First­born, were all one, and if the beginning or Primitiae of the Fathers strength, nei­ther was nor could be a Daughter, but must always be a Son, then it is manifest that the same thing must be understood likewise of the First-born, which was the thing in question.

There are two things, I foresee, may be objected against what has been said; the first is this; Suppose a man had but one Child, and that a Daughter▪ whether this were to be taken into the list of the First­born, to which I answer in the negative, that she was not, and I give this reason; Either he had an Inheritance to bestow, or he had not; if the latter, then it is manifest the Woman was not considered, as of that Family of which she was descended, but was to pass into another by Marriage, or dye useless and unregarded in a single life, from whence it came to pass that Women as I have observed already, had their names from oblivion and were called Nashim, as on the contrary the men are Zecarim from remembrance because they carry on and con­tinue the memory of their Fore-Fathers in their Inheritance and in their persons.

But then upon Supposition that there [Page 139] was an Inheritance left behind to be enjoy­ed by some body after his decease, yet it would not have fallen to his Daughter, at that time when the Levites were set apart instead of the First-born, but to the next of Kin, the Daughters of Zelophehad, be­ing the first instance of Womens inheriting in the sacred story, and it appears that at that time it was a new thing and never heard of before, therefore they apply them­selves to Moses for a remedy of this grie­vance to the Female Sex, and complain of it as a very unreasonable thing, Num. 27. v. 2, 3, 4. And they (the Daughters of Ze­lophehad) stood before Moses and before Eleazar the Priest, and before the Princes of all the Congregation, by the door of the Taber­nacle of the Congregation, saying, our Father died in the Wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered them­selves together against the Lord in the com­pany of Korah, but died in his own sin, and had no Sons, why should the name of our Father be done away from his Family because he hath no Son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the Brethren of our Father. Which petition of theirs, however reason­able it might appear in its self, yet Moses could not grant it, till he had first brought their cause before the Lord, v. 5. from [Page 140] whom he received this answer, v. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. in which the Mosaick platform of Successions to the Inheritance or goods of the deceased is contained: And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, the Daugh­ters of Zelophehad speak right: Thou shalt surely give them a possession of an Inheritance among their Fathers Brethren, thou shalt cause the Inheritance of their Father to pass unto them, and thou shalt speak unto the Children of Israel, saying, if a man die and have no Son, then he shall cause his In­heritance to pass unto his Daughter, and if he have no Daughter, then he shall give his Inheritance unto his Brethren, and if he have no Brethren, then he shall give his In­heritance unto his Fathers Brethren, and if his Father have no Brethren, then he shall give his Inheritance to his Kinsman, that is next to him of his Family, and he shall possess it, and it shall be unto the Chil­dren of Israel a statute of Judgment, as the Lord commanded Moses.

By which words it is manifest, as well from the expostulation of the Daughters of Zelophehad, as from the answer of God to the remonstrance of Moses made in their behalf, that Daughters before that time were in no case to Inherit the Land of their deceased Fathers, for it would [Page 141] have been a very Idle question, why should the name of our Father be done away from his Family because he hath no Son? and as needless a demand, give unto us therefore a possession among the Brethren of our Father, if the Daughters by the custom and usage of these times, had had in default of Male Issue, a true and proper right of Inheritance to the estate of the deceased: Which is yet farther plain from this, that Moses durst not of himself adventure to assign them a possession among the Bre­thren of their Father, till he had first con­sulted God what was to be done, in a case in which he had no Law; nor any example but what would be to the preju­dice of the Petitioners to govern himself by; and by the answer of God to Moses it appears plainly, that the Inheritance of Sons was then sufficiently provided for, v. 8. If a man die and have no Son; in which words the Inheritance of the Son is supposed, in case the deceasing party left any, but for that of the Daughter and of the collateral relations, it was not yet set­led, as is plain from that express provision which is here made in that behalf, and from those words at the close of this pro­vision, v. 11. And it shall be unto the Chil­dren of Israel a statute of Judgment: Which [Page 142] words might well enough have been spa­red, as well as the scruple, the consultation, the answer and all that went before, if these things had been unto the Children of Israel a statute of Judgment before that time.

Now if you examine at what time this Law was made, the Chapter wherein it is contained will tell you, that it was after fourty years sojourning in the Wilderness, when all that Generation which came out of Aegypt, Caleb, and Joshua, and Moses himself only excepted, were actually dead and gone, and when Moses himself was about to follow the rest, and to resign up his Government, together with his life, into the hands of Joshua the Son of Nun. Which being long after the Levites were set apart to the Ministry of the Sanctuary instead of the First-born, it is plain that in those lists of the First-born which were then taken, there was no mention made of any Daughter though the only Child, she being neither the beginning of her Fa­thers strength, in that sense in which those words are to be understood, as has been shewn, neither did the double portion, which was the right of the First-born (or indeed, as it must be in the case of an on­ly Child, all the estate) belong to her. [Page 143] And though it be true that the First-born themselves had at that time, being in the Wilderness, no Inheritance there being as yet no partition made of the Land of pro­mise, yet they were notwithstanding he­ritable persons in the esteem of Law, and they were going to the actual possession of such Inheritances, which none of the Daugh­ters of that time were.

But it is enough to say without all this elaborate canvaseing the business, that the reason of the separation of the Levites in­stead of the First-born, being to be the Priests and Clergy of the Jewish Nation, in their stead, and it being manifest by the excess of Two hundred and threescore and thirteen, for whom a price of redemption was paid, that every man had his particular represen­tative assigned him at that time, and it be­ing ridiculous for a Levite to represent that person in the service of the Tabernacle, which its self was excluded from all man­ner of intermedling in such affairs, which I have shewn Women always to have been, it is demonstration that not being repre­sented by the Levites, they were not rec­koned in the number of the First-born. Thus far therefore it is undenyably cer­tain, that by the First-born the Male, and the Male only is to be understood.

This is the First Objection; the Second is this: There were First-born among the Le­vites themselves too, how therefore shall we do in this case? were they set apart for their own sakes and for the sake of others whom they represented also? This seems to be not only needless, but in a manner impossible, for when you have done all, they can be but set apart to such a service, and that they are as effectually one way as the o­ther. And which soever of these you con­sider First, the real or the vicarious person, seems for that reason to exclude the other.

But to this I answer, that whatsoever the Levites were with respect of their office, was perfectly by way of representation, they were nothing in themselves, they had no inheritance, neither were they considered as a part of the children of Israel, Numb. 1. 48, 49. The Lord had spoken unto Moses say­ing, thou shalt not remember the Tribe of Le­vi, neither take the sum of them among the Children of Israel. Numb. 18. 20. The Lord spake unto Aaron, thou shalt have no inheri­tance in their Land, neither shalt thou have any part among them I am thy part and thine inheritance among the Children of Israel. And ver. 24. The tithes of the Children of Israel which they offer as an heave offering unto the [Page 145] Lord, I have given the Levites to inherit. Therefore I have said unto them, among the Children of Israel they shall have no inheri­tance. Lastly, c. 26. 62. And those that were numbered of them (of the Levites) were 23000, all Males from a month old and up­ward, for they were not numbred among the Children of Israel, because there was no inheri­tance given them among the Children of Israel.

I shall conclude this discourse of the signi­fication of the word First-born, and of its being always restrained and confined to the Male issue, with that place of Zech. 12. 10. They shall mourn for him as one that mourneth for his only Son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his First-born, where it is evident that the First­born in the latter clause being only exegeti­cal of the onely son in the former, and it being a proverbial speech expressive of the extre­mity of grief and sorrow, which in all rea­son will and ought to be greater for the loss of a Male that might have continued the name and memory of the deceasing Pa­rent, than of a Female from whom this ad­vantage cannot be obtained, it is in both of these respects clear, that the word there is restrained to the Male Issue; and look whatever is the sense of a word in a pro­verbial way of speech as this is, that is [Page 146] the general acceptation of that word in all examples of the same Language. And indeed I think I may after all this safely challenge any man to shew me one in­stance, where the word Bacor, I do not speak because it is of the masculine gender, for notwithstanding that, its signification might be Epicaene in many cases, I say, I may, and do challenge any man to shew me one instance where it is not restrained to denote only the Male kind.

How unreasonable then must it needs ap­pear, to Interpret it in this place of Deut. con­trary to the whole Current of its accepta­tion in all the Bible besides. Especially if you consider that it has ben immediately joyned with it in the former verse, ov ben een Lo. And he have no Son, which word as I conceive, in the singular number is never so com­prehensive as to denote both sexes, though in the plurative sometimes it may, as when they say bnei Adam, or bnei Israel the Sons of Men, or of Israel, it is in these instances comprehensive of both sexes, but in the Singular number I believe you will very rarely meet with it so, though two instan­ces indeed I do now remember, as I am writing, but then the word is in con­struction with a case, it is not put alone as it is here. God is not a Man that he should [Page 147] lye, nor the Son of man that he should repent. And again, what is Man that thou art mindful of him, or the Son of Man that thou so regardest him? But this being not the case here, and it being so nearly placed to another word, which is never used but of the Male Sex, which two words do plainly refer to one another. Habecor, v. 6. be­ing as much as Ben habecor, because the reason of the Womans Marriage to the Brother of the deceased was chi ben een Lo, because her former Husband had no Son. I think all this more than one de­monstration that the Male is only to be understood in this place.

Thus have I done with my first argument taken from the signification of the word First-born in the Language of the Scrip­ture, to prove that Mr. Selden and those Hebrew Gentlemen, whom he is pleased to follow, are mistaken when they interpret those words, ov ben een Lo (and he have no Son) indifferently to either Sex. I will now confirm what I have said by a second con­sideration which cannot be resisted, and which I have already mentioned in my discourse upon the former medium, and that is, that this Law was made in the Wilderness long before the delivery of that Law, Num. 27. of which I have already [Page 148] spoken, by which Women were first made capable of Inheriting; if then Women could not Inherit when this Law was made, if the design of the Law was, to raise up the name of the dead upon his In­heritance: And if by that nothing else be meant but that the vicarious Offspring should Inherit in his Right and Title, then it is manifest that he who died leaving no Male Issue, though he had Female, had not yet made sufficient provision for the raising up his name upon his Inheritance, or which is all one, for hindring his name from being blotted out of Israel, or being done away from his Family or from the gate of his place, therefore the reason of this Law still remaining, (notwithstanding the Female Issue) the relict of the deceased might still demand his Brother or near Kinsman in Marriage for the aforesaid end. And if the true and real Daughter of the deceased was not to Inherit, much less was the First Child of the Leviratical or Vicarious Bed, if it proved a Daughter like­wise, because it could have no right but what it received from the adoptive Father, and he that gave no right of Inheritance to his real, must much less be supposed to have done it to his imputative Offspring. It is true indeed that by the Law of Num. [Page 149] 27. a Daughter was afterwards made capa­ble of Inheriting, but in regard there were great inconveniences attending inhe­risons of this nature, the Estate by this means going out of the direct line into a collateral House of the same Family or Tribe, all which was directly contrary to one of the main designs running through the whole tenor of the Jewish Laws, which had so particular respect in many cases, to the preserving the Inheritance in the same House and Line, that I conceive the Daugh­ter did never legally Inherit, but in one of the following cases.

First, If the Wife deceased before her Husband, who left only Female Issue be­hind him. Secondly, If at her Husbands decease she were past the years of Child­bearing. Thirdly, If Marrying again in pursuance of the Leviratical Sanction she had no Issue, or none but Female, or if upon the refusal of the Kindred she Married into another House: In all these cases or the like, if any more can be thought of, the Female was to Inherit, and in none else as I conceive, because the Law in Numbers was not certainly intended to invalidate or weaken those other Laws, by which the continuance of the Inheritance in the same house, was so carefuly provided for.

Wherefore if they▪ refused to Marry in­to their own Family or Tribe, they were in such case to leave the Inheritance be­hind them, and suffer it to go to the next of Kin, to whom upon their death with­out Issue it would have descended, Joseph. L. 4 Antiq. c. 7. [...].

For indeed all those Laws of settlement mentioned Num. 27. seem to me to be on­ly an addition or an explanatory Act ad­ded to that of Deut. by which, as in the first place, there is no manner of care ta­ken for the Inheritance of Daughters, so only the Husbands Brother, properly so called, is expressly there warranted to Marry his deceased Brothers Wife, where­as in the Law of Num. it is provided if a man had no Brethren, that the Inheri­tance should go to his Fathers Brethren, and for want of such to the next of Kin of the same Family; and the reason of the Brothers Marrying the Brothers Wife, in an imputative and adoptive way, being on­ly for the preservation of the Inheritance in the same House or Line, it seems rea­sonable to believe, that all who had a legal [Page 151] right to the Inheritance had also the same right to Marry the Widow of the decea­sed, for though none were so much obli­ged to perform this part as the Brother himself, yet the Marriage of the Brothers Wife being death in other cases by the same Law, it is clear, it is a less dispen, sation, or a less violence done to the ordi­nary course of things, to suffer a Kinsman farther off, than an immediate Brother to Marry the relict of the deceased, notwith­standing he being most obliged, the first challenge was to be made to him, and there being somewhat of a priviledge in it, by Inheriting the double portion, he as the very next of Kin had the first right of refusal. From all which I conclude, that this was the true reason why the 70 make use of the word [...] in the place of Deut. it self, to shew that this right was after­wards extended farther, than the words as they are set down in Deuteronomy may at first view seem to allow, and that it was in pursuance of this Law in Deuter: as it is explained and enlarged by that of Numbers, that the march between Ruth and Boaz was afterwards made.

But that I may not seem to oppose Mr. Selden and his Rabbins in every thing they say, as it were out of a Spirit of [Page 152] contradiction, which no man is more na­turally averse from than my self, being always a favourer of that side where I see the greatest appearance of truth. I will now acknowledge that in one thing they determine with great probability of reason, and that is, when they tell us that the Law of the Leviratus was to be understood only of the Brothers Germans or of the Kindred of the Fathers side, but that the Maternal Consanguinity was not at all concerned in it; the words of Mr. Sel­den are these, p. 100. De fratribus autem uterinis Lex haec non intelligenda est, sed tantum de Germanis, nam ut ad invicem mi­nimè succedunt uterini, ita nec hac lege te­nentur. And of Maimonides, cited in the same place by Mr. Selden, Achin Min Ha­eem eenan chashoubin Achin, &c. that is, Brothers by the Mothers side are not in the Interpretation of Law looked upon as Bro­thers, either with relation to the Inheri­tance, or to the Marriage of the deceased Brothers Wife, but they are as to both these matters, as if they were not Bro­thers at all, neither is there any Brother­hood but what is from the same Father. Which things are all clear and certain be­yond all colourable ground of contra­diction, for if the Inheritance descend [Page 153] legally from Father to Son, or Daughter, or in defect of such pass on to the col­lateral Relations obliquely ascending or de­scending on the Fathers side, then it is clear that they whose blood does not cen­ter in the same Paternal Consanguinity cannot have a Title to the same Inhe­ritance; and the intention of Marryings of this nature, being to raise up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance, there is no reason why the Widow might not be at liberty to Marry whom she pleased to this end, if she might Marry him who had no relation to the Inheritance its self, which was the case of a Brother by the Mothers side. Again, upon supposition that the Brother of the deceased by the Mothers side did Marry this Widow, ei­ther this Marriage did bar the paternal Kindred from a legal Title or Claim to the Inheritance, or it did not; if it did not, then the design of this Marriage was in vain, for he would not raise up the Name of the dead upon that Inheritance which was not in his possession, and with which he had nothing to do; if he did, then the Mater­nal Kindred had a better Claim to the Paternal Inheritance, than those who were descended of, or were by Consanguinity related to the same Father, upon whose [Page 154] Title all other claims must depend, which is absurd, it being as much as to say, they had, and they had not a right at the same time; but then, if he could not bring the Inheritance along with him, it was unlaw­ful for the Widow to Marry him at all, as appears by undeniable consequences from Levit. 18. 9. the deceased Husbands Bro­ther Uterine, being considered as her own half Brother, which is the same thing as for a Brother to Marry his half Sister, which was forbidden by the Law.

Again, if none could Marry the Wi­dow, for the purpose aforesaid, of hinder­ing the name of the deceased from being blotted out, and of raising up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance, but he that had a right of redeeming the said Inhe­ritance, and if none had a right of redeeming the inheritance but the Kindred descending from, or centring in the same paternal Con­sanguinity, then it is manifest that this Law could not be extended to the half Brother of the deceased by the Mothers side. But the connexion of these two is acknowledg­ed by Mr. Selden himself when he gives this as a reason why the Brother of the deceased by the Mothers side could not Marry his Widow. Nam ut ad invicem minime succedunt uterini, ita nec hac lege [Page 155] tenentur. And Maimonides also acknow­ledgeth the same, by putting them both to­gether, Fratres uterini, saith he, non cen­sentur pro fratribus, Lehinjan jeroushah, ou Lehinjan jibboum vechalitsa, vel in causâ haereditatis, vel in leviratu. And though Mr. Selden and Maimonides, and a thou­sand more should not have granted this, yet the Scripture it self would sufficiently have proved it, for I have shewn Levit. 25. 48. 49. to belong as well to the re­demption of Inheritances as persons, and in that place, we have these words: Af­ter he is sold he may be redeemed again: one of his Brethren may redeem him. Either his Ʋncle or his Ʋncles Son may redeem him, or if he be able he may redeem himself; where that only Paternal Kindred is to be meant, may be proved by undeniable arguments.

As for the signification of Echad Meachau v. 48. unus ex fratribus ejus, though nothing can certainly be inferred from it, if nothing else were to be con­sidered, yet when in the next verse we are told that either Dodo or ben Dodo his Ʋncle or his Ʋncles Son may do the same, there are these two things to be observed; First, That Dod does properly signifie the Ʋncle by the Fathers side, not Avunculus but Patru­us, and so the vulgar Latin renders it, the [Page 156] 70, [...], and ben Dodo [...]. And so also Jerem. 32. 7, 8, 9. neither do they render it in any place what­soever of any but the Kindred of the Fa­thers side. Now if the Ʋncle and the Ʋn­cles Son must both of them be understood of the Fathers side, then it is but reasona­ble to conclude that the Brother also in the former verse, must be understood the same way. Secondly, or any that is nigh of Kin to him of his Family may redeem him. Here there are two things to be ob­served. First any that is nigh of Kin to him, Hebrew Misheer Besaro, 70 [...], any of his near Flesh, or any of his own Flesh, now the [...], a mans own Flesh, is not that of his Mother, but his Father with whom his Mother by Marriage is made one, and his Family is looked upon as hers, and if after his de­cease she shall marry another, then that Child which she shall conceive and bear by the second Husband is not [...] to the Son or Daughter of the First, no more than her second Husband is, to whom she is now united, having forsaken her former Family, and is become one Flesh with him. Secondly, he was not only to be near of Kin, i. e. of the same Flesh, as both the Original and the 70 more exactly speak, [Page 157] but it is added likewise, any that is nigh unto him of his Family may redeem him. Now a man is of his Fathers Family, not his Mothers, who quits her own Family and her Fathers house by Marriage. It is plain therefore that none had a right of redemption, nor consequently of Marriage with the deceased, but only the Kindred of the deceased by the Fathers side. But this is not all, there was another reason as I have often said, of performing the Hus­bands part to the Widow of the deceased, besides the redemption of the Inheritance, and that was the servitude or subjection under which the Younger was in ancient time to the Elder; but this subjection be­gan first in the same common Father, who had a despotical power over all his Sons, and under him the Eldest had a do­minion over the rest, as representing the person and Inheriting the fortune of his Father, but now he that is born of a di­stinct Father, though of the same Mother, it is manifest he belongs to another House, and is to be looked upon as a subject of a different Kingdom; so that it cannot be in either respect, either with relation to the Inheritance of the deceased, or in regard of that Duty and Subjection which the Younger ows to the Elder, that the half [Page 158] Brother by the Mothers side should raise up Seed to the deceased Brother; [...].

But notwithstanding the plain evidence and down-right conclusiveness of what has been said, the speech of Naomi to her two Daughters in the story of Ruth seems at least to be a supposition of the legality of a contrary practice. c. 1. v 12, 13. Turn again, my Daughters, go your way for I am too old to have a Husband, If I should say, I have hope, if I should have a Husband also to night and should also bear Sons, would you tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having Hus­bands? nay, my Daughters, for it grieveth me much for your sakes, that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. This difficul­ty has very much baffled the endeavours of Learned Men. Mr. Selden upon this occasion hath these words, Ruth 1. 11. Ʋbi Naomi ad nurus suas, Orpha & Ruth, viduas, nec prole beatas; An adhuo, inquit, intra me, in utero meo sunt filii, qui fiant ma­riti vestri? perinde ac si non solum ad fra­trem uterinum sed etiam ad eum qui mor­tis fraternae tempore, nondum in lucem fue­rat editus (quod itidem uno ore negant Ma­gistri) jus hoc spectâsset, atqui non ex hu­jusce juris obtentu, sed ex ingenti erga Nu­rus amore a Naomi hoc dictum volunt, ao [Page 159] si tantum innuisset, tanto erga eas se amore flagrare, ut, si fieri posset, futuris, siqui si­bi essent, filiis, eas in uxores traderet.

Mr. Selden in the same place takes no­tice of another opinion of Solomon Jarchi, but he seems to favour this more, as in­deed it deserves, (Jarchi's opinion being founded upon a supposition that Ruth was not yet naturaliz'd which I have already And she is by Eu­sebius ex­pressly call'd a proselite, Hist. Eccles. L. 1. c. 7. where speaking of the burning the records or Tables of Genealogy by Herod, he says, [...]. disproved) and he backs his own sen­timents with the Authority of Abenezra, and might have done with that of Joan­nes Drusius too, Quest. Hebra. L. 3. Quest. 16.

But neither is this so right as it should be, it not being likely that her love to her two Daughters in law should make her so far forget the Custom and Usage of her Coun­try. Therefore let us try some other way, and see if that will succeed any better. Are there any more Sons in my Womb that they should be your Husbands? I am too old to have a Husband, if I should say I have hope, if I should have an Husband also to Night, and should also bear Sons, would you tarry for them till they were grown? Would you stay [Page 160] for them from having Husbands? Nay my Daughters: For it grieveth me for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me; all which questions are nothing else but an enumeration of so many impossibili­ties, to make them despair the more, and to make them return back from whence they came. As when God asks Abraham whether he could count the Stars, or the Sands of the Sea-shore? It was not upon sup­position that this was a possible thing, but to let him know that his seed should be as numberless as they, or when it is said, Can the Blackmore change his Skin, or the Leo­pard his spots? It is not that these things can be done, but to shew how hard and in a man­ner impossible it is for habitual wickedness to be reclaimed. And, Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the Earth? i. e. thou wast not at all. so here, Are there more Sons in my Womb? is as much as positively to af­firm there are not. Again, that they may be your Husbands, is as much as to say, and if there were, yet you could not marry them. But then again, I am too old to have an Husband: If I should marry it would be to no purpose for I should have no Chil­dren; again: If I should have an Husband also to Night, and should also bear Sons; nay, and put case it were lawful for you to [Page 161] Marry them, which yet it would not be, Would you tarry for them till they were grown? Would ye stay for them from having Husbands? As much as to say, you would not, or it would be in vain if you should: For you your selves would be past Childbearing by that time; and therefore she adds pre­sently: nay, my Daughters, and then con­cludes, the hand of the Lord is gone out a­gainst me, as much as to say, it is impossible, talk no more, but leave me and go home a­gain.

Against all that hath been said, I know but two things remaining that deserve an answer, the First concerns the main questi­on, whether the marriage of Boaz and Ruth were celebrated in consequence of that Law in Deuteronomy, by which the Brother was to raise up seed to his deceased Brother, and the Second that which hath been the parti­cular subject of this last debate, whether in this Law the Paternal Consanguinity were only to be considered.

Against the First of these Mr. Selden Ar­gues thus, c. 15. de successionibus, Nec sane exutus hic (Ruth 4. 7.) Calceus ritus est, qui ad fratris nuptias attinere potest, nam is, ubi ad eas spectabat, renuntiationis dun­taxat signum erat quod scimus ex Deuter. 25. 9. atqui hic nihil aliud innuit praeter [Page 162] solennem quae inoleverat traditionis seu ac­quirendi dominii formulam—neque nuptia­rum renuntiatio sed contrà ipsae nuptiae fiunt. The meaning of which, as plain as I can represent it, is this, Deut. 25. v. 7, 8, 9, 10. we have these words: And if the man like not to take his Brothers Wife, then let his Brothers Wife go up to the Gate, unto the Elders, and say, My Husbands Bro­ther refuseth to raise up unto his Brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my Husbands Brother; then the Elders of his City shall call him, and speak unto him, and if he stand to it and say, I like not to take her, then shall his Brothers Wife come unto him in the presence of the Elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, so shall it be done unto the man, that will not build up his Brothers house, and his name shall be called in Israel the House of him that hath his shoe loosed. Again Ruth 4. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. it is said. Now this was the manner in former time in Israel, concerning redeeming, and concerning chang­ing, for to confirm all things: a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel, therefore the Kinsman said unto Boaz, buy it for thee: so he drew off his shoe. And Boaz said [Page 163] unto the Elders and to all the People, ye are witnesses this Day, that I have bought all that was Elimelechs and all that was Chilions and Mahlons of the hand of Nao­mi, moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the Wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my Wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his Inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his Brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this Day, and all the People that were in the gate, and the Elders said, we are witnesses.

From these two places compared toge­ther Mr. Selden Argues thus: The pulling off the Shoe in the last cited place of Ruth, cannot belong to the Law of Deuteronomy, by which the Brother was obliged to raise up Seed to the Brother, because in Deuterono­my that ceremony signified as much, as the Womans renouncing and disclaimeing her pretensions to the Brother of her de­ceased Husband, but in Ruth it is nothing else but a solemn right of taking possession, or of acquiring a right or dominion in any thing or person, and that this was the usual Formula traditionis seu acquirendi do­minii, he appeals to the Ancient Medrash upon Ruth, that is, he appeals to a Rab­lin, or which is all one to a man that un­derstands [Page 164] nothing of the Jewish Antiqui­ties, For by Mr. Seldens favour, there is no manner of repugnancy or disagreement between these two places, that of Deutero­nomy, I mean, and that of Ruth, only they are two partial or imperfect relati­ons of the whole Ceremony or Formality of this affair. From the place of Deu­teronomy we learn what the Woman was to do, in case the man refused to accept her challenge, she was to pull off his shoe and spit in his face; the latter of these in token of contempt, and as a mark of dis­grace, the first for a reason which I shall presently explain; and on the other side, from the place of Ruth we are instructed, what the man was to do in case he did accept the claim and challenge of the Wo­man,V. Drus. in Loc. he was to pull off his own shoe in the Face of the Congregation, and was with this Ceremony to redeem the Inhe­ritance of his deceased Kinsman or Bro­ther, and was to take her to his Wife, in the presence of them all.

Now we must know, that this pulling off the shoe in those Eastern Countries and early ages of the World, was an external Act or expression of divine Worship and Honor. So the Angel saith to Moses, Exod. 3. 5. Draw not nigh hither, put off [Page 165] thy shoes from off thy Feet, for the place whereon thou standest is Holy ground. And so also, Josh. 5. 15. The Captain of the Lords Host said unto Joshua, loose thy shoe from off thy Foot, for the place whereon thou standest is Holy: This is the reason why the Turks at this day go barefoot into their Moschs, and that it was the custom and practice of the Jews at all their Feasts, we have the Testimony of Juvenal for it.

—Deinde adamas notissimus & Berenices
In Digito factus pretiosior, hunc dedit olim,
Barbarus incestae dedit hunc Agrippa sorori,
Observant ubi festa mero pede sabbata Reges.

And the Jews being commanded to Eat the Passover with their shoes on, for expedition sake, that they might be in a readiness to march, and in remembrance of that hasty departure of their Fore-Fa­thers out of Aegypt, is a plain demonstra­tion that they were used to sit down at all their other Feasts bare-foot or with their shoes off, otherwise that which was the common practice in all cases need not have been commanded in a particular instance. Wherefore the plain reason why the Wo­man in Deuteronomy pulled off the shoe of the refuser, whom she had challenged, but in vain, to continue the name and [Page 166] memory of her deceased Husband upon his Inheritance, was, that by this Symbol she did appeal to God, and did call him to witness, that she had done, what as the servant or subject of her late Husband, whose Family she was bound to propa­gate to the utmost of her power, she was obliged to do; and she was supposed also by spitting in his Face at the same time, to imprecate those curses upon the refuser, which were the reward of disobedience to the Law of God, and were but due to him, if he had no tolerable excuse to plead for himself, who was so unkind to the me­mory of his deceased Brother: As on the other side when the man in Ruth pulls off his own Shoe himself, and delivers it to his Neighbour, that is, in this case to Ruth her self, this was an appeal to God or a publick owning in the presence of God and the World, that he did accept the challenge of the Woman, and did at that time solemnly engage before the whole assembly, to redeem the Inheritance, from passing [...]to another Tribe or Family, or which is all one, to take the Woman to be his Wife, to raise up the name and me­mory of his deceased Brother upon his Inhe­ritance, and therefore it is said v. 7. A man plucked off his Shoe and gave it his Neigh­bour, [Page 167] and this was a Testimony in Israel. And v. 9. Boaz said unto the Elders and to all the People, ye are Witnesses this Day. Which he repeats Again, v. 10. Ye are Witnesses this Day. And then, v. 11. All the People that were in the Gate, and the Elders, said, we are Witnesses.

I do not deny what Mr. Selden saith, that this delivering of the shoe from one to ano­ther, was traditionis seu acquirendi Dominii Formula, the manner of Livery and seisin in those times; but I do not grant thus much because his Medrash-monger tells us so, but because it is manifest from the plain words of Scripture Ruth. 4. 7. Now this was the manner in former time in Israel, concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things: A man plucked off his shoe and gave it to his Neighbour, and this was a testimony in Israel: but yet I say, that the true reason of this Ceremony, was to im­ply an appeal to God, to whom this right was used to be apply'd as an act of Divine Worship, and therefore the inspired Writer tells us, it was to confirm all things, and it was a testimony in Israel, an Oath being the greatest assurance and the most sacred way of plighting our Troth and Faith to one a­nother that any man can give.

Neither do I so wholly confine my self to this signification of pulling off the shoe, as to affirm it had no other; which I am so far from, that I conceive, Shoes being never used among the Jews, nor any of those East­ern People, when they were within doors, but only when they walked abroad; for this reason the pulling off the Shoe and giving it to another, was a Symbolical representa­tion of the passing of the inheritance from one to another, as in this case when Boaz re­deemed the inheritance of Elimelech at the hand of Naomi. And for this reason in all such sales and passings away of Lands, from one to another, the inheritance in the He­brew Idiom was said to rise from the one to the other, as Gen. 23. 17, 18. The field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the Field, that were in all the bor­ders round about, were made sure unto Abra­ham for a possession. And v. 20. the Field and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham, &c. In the Hebrew it is in both places, vaja-kom, it arose to Abraham for a possession, and in the 70. v. 17. [...], it stood up, and v. 20. [...]. it was appropriated, which arising or stand­ing up, or removal of the Possession from [Page 169] one Master to another, I conceive to have been Symbolically denoted, by this transferring or delivering of a Shoe, from one to another, and that not only, because the writer of the Book of Ruth tells us it was the manner in former time in Israel, which custom might well enough be de­rived down as far as from Abraham, but because the bargain there made, is done with the same publick solemnity in the pre­sence of all the People the Sons of Heth, as here before all the Elders and Inhabi­tants of the City, v. 3. Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the Sons of Heth, saying, &c. And v. 5. And the Children of Heth answered Abraham saying unto him, Hear us my Lord, &c. and v. 7, 8. And Abraham stood up and bowed himself to the People of the Land, even to the Children of Heth, and he com­muned with them, saying, if it be your mind, that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me and intreat for me to Ephron the Son of Zohar. And v. 10 Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham, in the audience of the Children of Heth, even of all that went in at the Gate of his City, saying, &c. And v. 16▪ Abraham weighed to Ephron the Silver which he had named in the audience of the Sons of Heth, before all that went in at the Gate of his City.

The reason why the Ancients were used to worship God with their Shoes off, was the same upon which all the Washings and Lustrations either of the Levitical or Hea­then Worship depended, namely that it was the most cleanly and decent way of ap­proaching the divine presence, the intention of Shoes or Sandals being nothing else, espe­cially in those Warm and Easterly Climats, but only to defend those that wore them from the soil and dust of the way, when they walked abroad, or from the offensive sharpness of any stones or pebbles, or other in­equalities that might annoy or hurt them in their passage, and therefore where the use of them, was not upon one of these two Ac­counts of absolute necessity, it was both more natural and more cleanly to go without them, & was as well as many other ceremo­nies then made use of in religious Worship, a Symbolical representation of that inward purity and innocence of mind, with which all men ought to approach the pre­sence of God, and therefore it was [...]aid down, as I remember, by Proclus, as a general rule in divine Worship, [...]. Worship and do Sacrifice with your Shoes off. And upon this Account it was, that the Jews, as I have said, in all their Feasts were used to celebrate them with [Page 171] their Shoes off, and the same may be said without question even of their common Meals which were all of them in the na­ture of a Feast upon a Sacrifice, as appears by this, that they were obliged during all the time of their sojourning in the Wilderness, to bring all the Animals of what sort soever, which were Killed for the common use of their Tables and daily repast, to be Killed at the door of the Tabernacle, that the blood might be pou­red out in behalf of the owners by way of expiation, and if afterwards by reason of the too great distance of the Jews from the Tabernacle or Temple, after they came to be settled in the Land of Canaan, they were not any longer obliged to this Service because indeed it was impossible to be per­formed, yet notwithstanding God did not by this depart from his right in the blood of all those Animals that were slain for dai­ly and common use, and therefore the blood was always prohibited to be eaten or drunk, because it was of an expiatory na­ture, it was the life of the Creature, and therefore belonged to God, as being given upon the Altar for an atonement for the Souls of men.

Neither was it only among the Jews that all their Common Meals did likewise par­take [Page 172] of the nature of a Sacrifice, from whence they have a saying col shulchan chezeh ha­mibeach, every Table is as it were an Altar, upon which the owners part of the Peace-Offering is eaten, but the same notionv. B [...]char. Hierozoic. ubi de agno pa­scali, & Cudworth in opuscu­lo de caenâ sacramen­tali. and custom is to be found in antiquity a­mong the Greeks and Romans also, whence [...], to eat of that of which no part had been Offered up in Sacrifice, was to a proverb accounted a mark of the high­est impiety and profaneness. This was the ground of that prohibition of the Coun­sel of Jerusalem, by which the Idolothyta were forbidden, it being then the com­mon custom not only in the [...] or Heathen Temples themselves, but also at home in their private Families and Houses, not to eat any thing, a part of which had not before hand been offered up in Sacrifice at the Idol Temple, which seems to be very plain as to the commonness of this practise, if not as to the universality of it, from 1 Cor. c. 10. v. 27, 28. If any of them that be­lieve not, bid you to a Feast, and you be disposed to go, whatsoever is set before you eat, asking no question for conscience sake, but if any man say unto you, this is offered up in Sacrifice unto Idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake. Nay, so prevailing was this practice among [Page 173] the Gentiles, and so necessary a part of Re­ligion was it accounted, that the Butchers and Victuallers of those times, do not seem usually to have exposed any Flesh to sale, of which some part had not before hand been sacrificed, to consecrate and sanctifie the rest, for what else can be the meaning of that other expression of St. Paul in the same Chapter, speaking all the while expressly of the Idolothyta, or things offered up in sacrifice to Idols, whatsoever is sold in the shambles that eat, asking no question for conscience sake. And how long this practice continued in the World, we may learn, from the Capitulars of Charle­maigne and Lewis, where there is an ex­press decree or Law against it. L. 5. Num. 68. de his qui convivio solo gentilium & escis immolatitiis usi sunt, and then follows the Capitular it self, the beginning of whichLinden­br [...]g c [...]d. LL. An­tiq. p. 938. is in these words. Qui convivio solo gen­tilium & escis immolatitiis usi sunt, pos­sunt jejuniis & crebris manuum impositionibus purgari: ut deinceps ab Idolothytis abstinen­tes, sacramentorum Christi possint esse Participes, &c. And several other instan­ces there are to be met with in the same Capitulars of Pagan superstition remaining in those times, of which I may speak more in another place.

But this is enough to shew, that as well common Meals, as other more solemn and sacred entertainments, were account­ed both among the Jews and Heathens to be so many several Feasts upon a sacrifice, and it having been proved already, that no Feast among the Jews, the Passover only except­ed, could be eaten with the Shoes on, and that no Act of divine Worship among them, could be performed but with the Feet unco­vered, it would follow plainly that in all their common Meals they were used to pull off their Shoes, though no particular Au­thority could be produced, where this was expressly asserted, but our Saviour's last supper with his Disciples, which I have demonstrated elsewhere, not to have been the legal Passover, but the day before it, is a demonstration what the custom was at all the Jewish Meals; our Saviour's wash­ing the Feet of the Disciples, as they sat at Supper, being a certain and undoubted argument that they sate barefooted at that time, and this supper, though celebrated upon a solemn occasion, being a compli­cation of the Jewish and the Christian Pas­sover together, yet not being kept upon the solemn or stated time, it is demonstra­ble that there was no Pascal Lamb at that time Eaten, and it is said expressly that [Page 175] they did not stand but sit at Supper, which not being observed with the usual rites, it is probable, that otherwise than in its ten­dency and design, and bateing that the blessed sacrement was given at the end of it, as the Mnemoneutical Passover was u­sed to be by the Jews, it had nothing ex­traordinary in it, nor any thing which was not common to all other Meals among the Jews, so that if the Feet of the com­pany were bare at this, it is the more likely that they were so at all other times where­ever they sat down to Table.

And indeed if we examine, the manner and ceremony of our Saviour's last supper, and compare it with the Roman Antiquities in like cases, we shall find, as to many par­ticulars a perfect agreement between them; for first as to the place, it was [...] a large upper Room spread with carpets, as the Roman Fashion was, and that the upper Rooms in their Houses, were anciently the only places of entertainment and repast, appears by the very word caena­culum, which from this custom came to sig-Nifie the upper Room or Garret of an House, and the true reason why they did eat their Meals in that part of the House, was the same as I believe, for which the Apostles and the primitive Christians were [Page 176] used to meet in the [...] or upper part of the House, because every Table, as I have said, was an Altar, and every Meal a Sa­crifice, and the upper Chamber, as being farthest from noise, and the nighest unto Heaven, the supposed peculiar residence of that Numen who is indeed omnipresent and whose divine substance is actually co­extended to all the possibilities of ex­tension or place, (for the First of which reasons he is called by the Hebrew Masters shamajim and for the Second Makom,) I say, the upper Chamber was for this reason ac­counted more sacred than the rest, and set apart for all religious Offices, as the Chap­pel or Oratory of every particular House.

Secondly, that the manner of the Dis­ciples sitting at Table was after the Roman mode of the Triclinium appears by John's leaning on the bosom or breast of Jesus, as they sat at supper. Joh. 13. 23. 25.

Lastly, as for what hath been said of the Disciples sitting bare-foot at supper, this was also without question the fashi­on of the Romans, for so Plutarch observes of Cato, [...], He was used often times after dinner to go abroad with­out his upper Garment and Shoes, which is as much as to say, that he went abroad as [Page 177] he rose from Table or from Dinner, where he sat according to the fashion of those times with his Coat off, as well as his Shoes, but there is a passage of Mar­tial, L. 12. Epigr: still more remarkable to this purpose, where Cotta a fellow that was used to spunge about for a supper, wherever he could hear of any Belly-tim­ber to be had, and having lost his Shoes twice by pulling them off before he sat down, as the custom was, at last out of a principle of Frugality, that he might lose no more, he used to go thither bare-foot, as well as sit down so at Table, excal­ceatus ire caepit ad caenam. Neither was it accounted absurd at all, or unseemly in those times, to go bare-foot even publick­lyPaedag. L [...] 2. c. 11. and in the streets themselves. For Cle­mens Alexandrinus lays it down as a rule to be observed at all times, [...], it is always fittest for a man to goe bare-foot, unless it be for Souldiers in their march or being engaged in military expeditions. And Suetonius observes of Nero, that in the pro­gress which he made into Achaia, he never appeared in publick, but his feet were always bare, in imitation of that frugality and sim­plicity of the first mortals which Nero as bad a man as he was, did at that time in his [Page 176] [...] [Page 177] [...] [Page 178] Garb and Habit very much affect, who were used so to do the same; the wordsc. 15. Nerone. of Suetonius are these, Circa cultum habi­tumque adeo pudendus, ut comam semper in gradus formatam, peregrinatione Achaicâ etiam ponè verticem summiserit: ac plerum (que) synthesinum indutus ligato circum collum sudario prodierit in publicum, sine cinctu, & discalceatus, and the same may be seen in all the statutes of the Roman Emperors and others, when they are not represented in a military posture, who, if my memory do not very much deceive me, in most, if not all the cuts that ever I have seen, are ever represented with their Leggs and Feet bare, but whatever they did without doors this is certain that when they came home or went any where else, to any House or apartment of another, they were used to leave their Shoes or Sandals below stairs or without the Room into which they then entered, as the Turks and other Eastern Nations do at this day, which be­ing bound over their Feet by a thong of Leather, or other band or string, it was the business of their attendants, that wait­ed upon them whither they went, to un­tie them when they came in, which ex­plains that saying of John the Baptist, which is not yet perhaps sufficiently understood, [Page 179] Mark 1. 7. there cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose Shoes, I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. [...]. or as it is Matth. 3. 11. [...], whose Shoes I am not worthy to bear, because when the way was clean and smooth, the servant was used to carry his Masters Shoes or Cloggs behind him.

From what hath been said there, are seve­ral things very fit to be observed, and first I desire that this agreement betwixt the Jews and Romans, as to the ceremony and formality of their Feasts, and indeed of all their Meals, may not be passed over without all manner of regard, because in some short notes, which I intend to add at the end of this discourse, I shall give some other instances of a manifest agree­ment, and such as cannot seem to have come by chance betwixt the two Nations, and because in that other dissertation which I have promised concerning the Law­fulness or rather Ʋnlawfulness of the Mar­riage of Cousin Germans, I shall give almost innumerable instances of this agreement, and the use I intend to make of it is this:

If it can be proved that the Ro­mans, both by their Language and their customs, are manifestly no other than a colony [Page 180] from the East, if their first Lawgivers were either Jews or at least Assyrians, in that Latitude of the word in which Mr. Selden takes it in the Prolegomena to the best Book that ever he writ, if their Priests De Diis Syris. and their Sacrifices both name and thing were most of them, as I shall prove they were, pure Hebrew; if after this it can be proved that the matrimonial prohibitions among the ancient Jews and Romans, in all other instances were exactly the same, and if it can likewise be proved, as it shall beyond all possibility or colour of contradiction, that the Marriage of Cousin Germans, was absolutely forbidden by the ancient Laws and usages of Rome, then certainly all this if it will not serve to de­monstrate, that the same prohibition ob­tained among the Jews, yet it will add an invincible force and strength to all those arguments, which are a great many, by which the Unlawfulness of such Marriages shall be proved either out of the Law it self, or out of such other Antiquity, as I shall undeniably demonstrate, to be tran­scribed from it, and then I hope it will be32 H. 8. c. 38. granted that the Act of Parliament it self, which does expressly proceed upon the Levitical measures, and does as plainly pro­nounce all those degrees to be Unlawful, [Page 181] which are included within the Mosaical pro­hibitions, does by so doing condemn the Marriage of Cousin Germans as incestuous and Unlawful, which besides the Natural and formal Unlawfulness of such Marriages in themselves,, which shall be abundantly manifested and made out, is all the satis­faction as to this point, which the Law­yers themselves can desire.

The Second thing to be observed, or rather again to be reflected upon and ap­pli'd to the matter in question, from what hath been discoursed above, is that the pulling off the Shoe or the standing or sitting barefoot in the Eastern Countries, was, as it is still, a posture of adoration or a posture used in divine Worship; and I appeal to any man, let him be who he will that will but lay aside prejudice, and give an equal Judgment between Mr. Selden and me, whether this notion does not perfect­ly reconcile and explain the pretended dis­agreement betwixt the two writers of Deuteronomy and Ruth, and remove all further occasion or pretence of scruple, whether the Marriage of Boaz to Ruth, were in consequence and pursuance of that Law of Moses by which the Brother was ob­liged to raise up Seed to the Brother.

Thirdly and Lastly, it is again to be taken notice, that neither of those two places are a perfect and compleat account of the whole ceremony or formality of this matter, but that the defects of the one are to be supplyed out of the other, and if it be true what the Writer of the Book of Ruth does expressly affirm, that this was the manner in former time in Israel, concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things, a man plucked off his Shoe, and gave it to his neigh­bour, and this was a testimony in Israel; then if the Marriage of the Brother to the Brothers Wife, were for the redemption of the Inheritance, as it is certain it was,Hebr. Te­mourah; 70. [...]. if this were as real a changing, that is, as real a bargain or contract as any other; if it were done as publickly and solemnly in the face of the whole Congregation, as in this contract betwixt Ruth and Boaz, which it is certain it was from Deut. 25. v. 8, 9, then it is plain that it required al­so the usual way of confirmation, which this Author tells us to have been the pra­ctice of former times for a testimony in Israel, which is an undeniable and unanswerable demonstration of the agreement of this place of Ruth, with that of Deuteronomy in the Law of Moses.

Again when the same Writer tells us that this was the practice in former time in Israel, this is a plain intimation that at that time when this Book was written it was disused, and that this Book was at least written some time before the Captivity of Babylon, appears from the untainted He­braism of its stile, which after that, be­gan to degenerate into Chalday, as appears by the Books of Daniel and Esther which were written in that period, and also from those of Ezrah and Nehemiah immediately after it.

It is certain that at this day the Jews do not put in practice that their ancient cu­stom of the Brothers raising up Seed to the deceased Brother, nay, they expresly for­bid it under pain of Excommunication, as P. Fagius tells us upon Deut. 25. 9. Anathemate quoque hodi [...] illorum Rabbini caverunt ne quis ducat uxorem defuncti fratris sui, imo ipsa pecuniam dare cogitur fratri defuncti mariti ut eam liberam di­mittat, and Mr. Selden tells us out of R. Leo Mutinensis. Judaeis recentioribus mos c. 14. De successioni­bus ad Fin. cap. inolevit, ut, cùm filiam quis sposponderit viro, cui plures fratres, ab ipsis cunctis ple­rumque exigatur obligatio, se juri huic, si sponsus, uxore superstite, obierit, solenni more renuntiaturos, (id quod ex lege sacrâ fas est) nè scilicet libera secundò nubendi [Page 184] facultas fratriae deesset & interdum maritus moribundus divortii libello Matrimonium sol­vit, nè frater inhians fratriae doti, ex hoc jure familiae damno siet. And the same Fagi­us tells us in his Notes upon the 6th versev. etiam Bux torf. synag. Judaic. c. 30. of the same Chapter of Deuteronomy, that this usage hath ceased among the Jews ever since the Babylonish Captivity, Erant saith he, distinctae possessiones ante Babylo­nicam Captivitatem; quae sic discretae per hanc legem servabantur, post Babylonicam Captivitatem haec lex abolita fuit. Causa enim illius, nempe possessionum distinctio, non superfuit. And I allow his reason tov. plura. [...]c. be excellently good, but yet by his favour and with the good leave of the Rabbins whom he follows, I affirm that this Law was antiquated and out of date, long be­fore this time. The general reason of my Judgment in this particular I have given already, because that Book which appears to have been written before that Capti­vity, though we know not how long, speaks of some part at least of the Cere­mony belonging to this Law or custom of the Jews, as already antiquated and out of use. This was the manner in former time, saith he, in Israel; which is as much as to say, that then when this Book was written that custom had expired.

But if you will needs have a particular time assigned, when this practice began to be disused, tho I am not obliged to give any more than a general proof that it was de facto so, that this usage did real­ly expire some time before the Captivity, yet that I may not seem to balk any dif­ficulty, and that I may the more effectu­ally demonstrate the Ignorance of the Rabbins, and their adherents, which it is my design to expose, that no man may be deceived hereafter with hard names and Hebrew Roots, and that no mans pride, or vanity, or laborious folly may hereafter be miscalled by the deservedly venerable and sacred name of Learning, I will therefore in­stance in a particular time when I believe this custom to have ceased, and when I have given the reasons of my opinion, I will then submit it to the publick Judg­ment whether the Rabbins or I be in the right.

The time which I shall pitch upon, shall be that of the division of Israel and Judah into two Kingdoms by the policy and seditious practices of Jeroboam, at which time it is expressly said that he ex­pelled all the Levites out of his domini­ons, in which there being forty Leviti­cal Num. 35. Citys, four in each Tribe, these two [Page 186] things do naturally and unavoidably follow.

First, That the Levites being driven out of all their Cities, belonging to the Ten Tribes, over which Jereboam ruled, it was impossible that the Levitical Cities which remained in the other Tribes of Benjamin and Judah, together with the half Tribe of Manasseh, which is to be taken into this account, should hold them all, together with their Wives, Children, Servants, Goods and Cattel, wherefore it was necessary they should be allow'd to shift for themselves, and to settle up and down in common with the other Jews, living by their Labour, and enjoying Land of Inheritance, if by their industry they could get it, as well as others.

And as their slocking in such numbers in­to the Territory of the King of Judah, must needs make the alteration I have mentioned in those places whether they repaired, so if you consider the Cities which they left, together with the Suburbs or Pomaeria be­longing to them, these Cities being all of them filled upon the banishment of the old Proprietors, by new Inhabitants, this makes a new and a very great alteration in the old partition or distribution of Lands which was setled by Moses and Joshua [Page 187] at the first arrival of their Fathers out of Aegypt.

But you will say perhaps, that these Cities were bestowed upon Jeroboam's new Priests, whom he set up in their stead, of the meanest of the people; to which it may be answered,

First, That this being only said not proved a bare denyal is a sufficient answer to a bare affirmation.

2. Since Jeroboam established not only a new Priest-hood but a new Worship too, erect­ing his Golden Calves in Dan and Bethel, it is more likely that his new Priests and his new Altars went together, and that Dan and Bethel were the only places, where this Lay Priesthood, and Mongrel Clergy resided.

Thirdly, The reason why this new esta­blishment was made being expresly assign­ed, 1 Kings 12. 27. If this people go up to do Sacrifice in the House of the Lord at Jeru­salem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their Lord, even unto Re­hoboam King of Judah. And then it fol­lows, v. 28, 29. Whereupon the King took counsel and made two Calves of Gold, and said unto them, it is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: Behold thy Gods, O Is­rael, which brought thee up out of the Land of Aegypt, and he set the one in Bethel and the other in Dan.

Now the motive which induced him to make this alteration, being so expressly set down viz. lest the heart of this people turn again unto their Lord; and it being certain, which was the fundamental Max­ime upon which Jeroboam proceeded, that an union in the manners and customs of any nation with another, does also pro­duce an union of heart and mind into the bargain; and it being equally certain by experience that this is much more true in all kind of religious observances and rites, than in any other, that an uni­formity in divine Worship, does naturally produce a strange and admirable sympathy of will and affection in men to one ano­ther; and the contrary to this, a diver­sity in the outward modes and formali­ties of Divine Service, if obstinately adhered to and affectedly embraced and hugg'd by the several parties, produceth as strange and unaccountable an enmity betwixt them; it was for the interest of Jeroboam, whose design was to make the hatred of the two people of Israel and Judah, as mortal and inveterate as he could; it was but a consequence of that fundamental reason upon which he proceeded, to alter the old establishment of the Mosaick or Levitical Kingdom, as I may so call it, [Page 189] as much as ever he either could or durst, that so the greatness of their disagree­ment as to the customs or constitutions of this divided people, might produce the greater hatred and aversion in them both for one another; which was the very thing he intended, and which it was so highly and so manifestly his interest to pro­mote by all the contrivances and all the stratagems that either wit or malice could devise.

Fourthly, It would be much more for the advantage of such an usurper to divide those Cities among the common people, as a common prey, to unite them to one another, and to himself, and against his Enemies, by a common band of mutual and reciprocal interest among them all, which is found by experience to be the strongest and the most lasting engagement of affection, than by setting up a new order of men that had no legal right to what they enjoyed, and separating them after the Levitical manner from the rest of the Peo­ple, to raise the hatred and envy of the commonalty against them both, the King and his new Priests together.

And as it has been the practice of this and other ages, as well as of that of Jero­boam, to lay the foundation of civil al­terations [Page 190] in some either real or pretended scruples of Religion, so when those scru­ples had taken their effect, and had sub­verted the goodly frame of Government and the peaceable dependance of the se­veral parts of a wise and beautiful esta­blishment upon each other, then to secure themselves in that Dominion which they had Usurped, it was the policy of the lead­ing Rebels to throw the Kings and Churches Lands, as a spoil among the people, the better to engage them in interest to stand by their new Masters, to which no prin­ciple of Duty could oblige them.

But Fifthly, If he would not suffer the people to scramble for the spoil, yet still there was a better way than to give it to the Priests, and that was to turn all these Levitical Cities, into so many Garrison Towns, or Nurseries for Souldiers, and military men to keep his Subjects in awe and serve him in his forreign Wars, and it is the more likely that he took this or some such course; because no Usurpation can be long maintained without a stand­ing Army, whereas a rightful Authority is a thing to which all men have a re­verence, because it is a part of that regu­lar and wholesome justice by which eve­ry man is secure in the enjoyment of his [Page 191] own, it is a thing against which no man can have a just pretence, and which none but necessitous or desperate persons, whose ruine is usually owing to their vices, can have any real interest to oppose.

Or Sixthly, If he did not take any of these courses, yet he might have farmed out these Levitical Cities and their de­pendancies at an easie and under rate, by which he would have been sure to oblige many thousands of his subjects, and would have filled his Coffers into the bargain, which would upon both accounts have been a very great and considerable accessi­on of strength and power to himself. They might have held their Lands by Knights Service, as hath been the practice former­ly in England, and as the Timariots in Turky do at this time.

Seventhly, In the 2 Chron. 13. 9. A­bijah the King of Judah, son to Rehoboam, in whose time the division of the two Kingdoms happened, thus expostulates with Jeroboam the King of Israel, by whose faithless and rebellious practices that di­vision was occasioned. Have ye not cast out the Priests of the Lord the Sons of A­aron, and the Levites, and have made you Priests after the manner of the nations of other Lands? In which words it is plain [Page 192] not only that the Priests of the Lord the Sons of Aaron were cast out, but that they are perfectly opposed to the Priests of Jeroboam, not only as a new Priesthood, but as a Priesthood after another manner; and what manner was that? why, it was the manner of the nations of other Lands, which could not be after the Levitical platform, because the Levites were set apart from the rest of the Tribes, and the First-born of the Children of Israel, whose persons they did by this their se­paration sustain, were consecrated and set apart from the rest of their Families, for a particular reason in which the Jews them­selves, and no other nation under Heaven but themselves, were concerned.

But in the Eighth place, Abijah goes on, and does not only tell us in the words already produced, that the Priesthood of Jeroboam was after a distinct manner from that of the Levites, but in the very next words he immediately acquaints us what that manner was, so that, saith he, Whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a Young Bullock and seven Rams, the same may be a Priest of them that are no Gods. It seems therefore that it was at every mans pleasure to be a Priest or no Priest, as he pleased himself, a lively picture of [Page 193] our late confusions, when the Sons of A­aron and the Levites were discarded, and instead of them Coblers and Weavers conse­crated themselves to the Office of the Priesthood, and it was a sufficient call to the Ministry, for a Mechanick to be lazy or not to thrive upon his Handicraft Trade.

The consequence of which is, that there being no regular Priesthood, but every man being a Priest or no Priest, as he pleased himself, there could be no regular maintenance neither. And indeed what can be more unreasonable than to suppose, that there being such a mainte­nance, setled for the Priesthood in gene­ral, without regard to the persons either as to their quality or number, as fast as any man grew lazy, or discontented, or infirm and unfit for business, or opiniona­tive of himself, and his qualifications for the Priesthood, he should be admitted not only into the number of the Priests, but at his own pleasure invest himself in a right of feeding upon the sacrifices and enjoying all the benefits and emoluments of the Priestly-Office; how must the Cler­gy needs swarm at this rate with a pack of lewd, scandalous, and lazy fellows, or who that had not a prospect of very fair advantages, would be at any pains or trou­ble [Page 194] to get his living, when such encou­ragements were proposed to Idleness and Sloth? Or what maintenance indeed would be sufficient, for such an incredible swarm of sluggards and slow Bellies, the Pest and publick Nusance of that miserable state, that is So unhappy as to give them en­tertainment? so that this it self would have altered the Levitical constitution, without any more adoe, because though the Ecclesiastical Revenues and Demesnes had been converted by Jeroboam to the use of his new Priests, yet they would not have sufficed; so that all things lying in this confusion, and the regular constitution of the Priesthood being destroyed, which is the only peaceable expedient in all nations to keep the people in Obedience, it was necessary, as hath been said, that the King­dom of Israel should be governed by a standing Army, this being the only way left, when the several parts of the Govern­ment are not so regularly built, as to be able to support themselves, to preserve the publick peace: And it appears plain­ly, that this was the very case, by the several changes that were made in the Kingdom of Israel, which did not conti­nue long in the Family of Jeroboam, but suffered many alterations and remove­als [Page 195] out of one Family into another, which is the usual inconvenience of such a stand­ing force, as may be seen sufficiently in the History of the late times; when the Army without any other warranty than that of the Sword, murthered Kings, dissolved Parliaments, set up and deposed Pro­tectours, as they called them, at their pleasure. And besides the late revolutions in the Muscovian Empire, and some few in­stances in the Turkish story, though a people that take a pride in being Slaves, and seem to be born for nothing so much as to obey, the Roman History, whether you consider the horrid Butcheries of Ma­rius and Sulla, or after them of, Coesar and Pompey, before the Empire began, or in the Monarchy it self, the story of Otho, Galba, Vitellius and Vespasian, all of them Emperors, and the three first sacrifices to their own ambition and to the power of their Enemies, within little more than the compass of one single year. Or if you look still lower into the Reigns and Deaths of those Emperors that succeeded the first Twelve, you shall find almost all of them the creatures of military Tumult and Sedition, made what they were by the sole Power and Authority of the Sword, and cloathed with the Robes of Majesty [Page 196] and all the habiliments of Imperial great­ness, only to adorn the tragical Scene of blood that was to follow, and to make them the more pompous and magnificent­sacrifice to the lust and ambition of those that set them up.

Which things, by the way, if the dif­senters from our Church would seriously consider, if they would reflect how impos­sible it is, but a toleration of every mans fancy and opinion in Religious Worship, and of his outward practice and behaviour in consequence of that inward fancy and preconceived opinion, must of necessity produce a Babel of disagreeing Sects and Parties which can no otherwise be kept in awe, but by a standing Army. If they would remember the perpetual taxations & arbitrary pressures to which this way of Go­vernment did so long expose either them­selves or their Fathers; if they would think a little with themselves to what uncertainty and hazard, the estates, the persons and the lives of men are exposed by such a military constitution, where Power, and not Justice, gives sentence at the Bar, and executes that arbitrary sentence at the Scaffold; if they would recollect a little with themselves, that Bloody, rapacious, and arbitrary story of [Page 197] the late Wicked and Rebellious times, which they will not endure to hear from others; if they could Summ up, what scarce any numbers are capable of reach­ing, the infinite blessings of security and peace, the infinite mischiefs, cruelties, and devastations of War; If they would re­volve over again within themselves the fatal and frequent revolutions of the late giddy and slippery usurpation, which not being supported, as it could not be, by a stable principle of Duty, and Religion, was tossed to and fro, and staggered like a drunken man with every new Wind of Ambition, Enthusiasm, or design, of private revenge or popular discontent; if they would but suffer themselves to discern, what is very clear from the nature of the thing, which is the measure upon which wise men proceed, and from the experience of former times, which the proverb tells us is the Mistress of Fools, that such an unbounded liberty, as a pub­lick toleration of all parties and opinions amounts to, cannot otherwise be hindred from having all the ill effects of a perpe­tual confusion without a standing force, to curb the insolence of the contending parties, and hinder them from preying upon one another? If the same experience of [Page 198] our late troubles be sufficient to instruct us that even this expedient will not do, but that the plague of division and secta­rian animosity will creep out of the City into the Camp, and will rage there so much the more strongly as a malignant Feaver does in a robust and firm, than in a less masculine or vigorous constituti­on? If they could but perswade them­selves to believe, so easie a proposition as this, that one good King, is better than Ten thousand cruel, avaritious and mer­cenary Tyrants; that it is better to have liberty and peace for nothing than to pay Sixty or an Hundred Thousand Pounds a Month for being slaves and vassals to the meanest of the people, the very offscow­ring and refuse of mankind. Certainly who ever will give himself the leisure to con­sider of these things, or will but have the patience to hear them, when they are told him by another, must unavoidably con­clude, that one of these four things are true; either peace and happiness, are things perfectly unlawful in themselves, and mankind is under a perfect obligation to be at perpetual strife and variance with each other, which is not only a very strange Doctrine, but I am confident in the midst of all that infinite variety of [Page 199] opinions and factions, with which the last Age was infested, a very new one too; or else in the second place he must be forced to say, that the terms of Unity that are established by Law, are in themselves un­lawful to be submitted to: Or else thirdly that the use of the only lawful and abso­lutely necessary means in order to a Law­ful end, are in themselves Unlawful; or else lastly, he will find himself obliged to submit to the present establishment of the Church of England, which by the acknowledg­ment of most of the dissenters themselves, enjoyes nothing at all but what would in it self be Lawful if it were not imposed: And if the imposition makes it Unlawful, it is only for this reason because peace and happiness are so too, for so long as men are so subject as they are to fall out, about very small matters; so long as there are and will always be, so many whose con­sciences are tender to a disease, and so many that have no sence of tenderness or of con­sciance at all; so long as it is natural for the pretences of the one to become the scruples and grievances of the other, which they always will, wherever liberty and toleration is permitted; it will be impos­sible to keep the world, in any condition that hath the face of quietness or peace, [Page 200] without a publick rule of discipline and obedience which shall be the square and measure of every mans external behaviour in Religious matters.

But this is only by the by, for I do not design in this place to enter the lists with any of our dissenting Brethren, to whom ere it be long, I shall give another oppor­tunity, if they shall think it for the credit of their party or themselves to embrace it, to stand up in defence of a no less fool­ish than wicked separation; And so I re­turn to the story of Jeroboam, which gave the occasion to this short excursion, and I affirm that it would have been morally impossible so many revolutions, and changes should have happened, as there did, in the Israelitish Kingdom, in so short a time, which was transferred so frequently from one person and family to another, but by the means of a standing Army, which though for the time it be the natural in­strument of a great and uncontrouleable power, yet without a miracle of prudence in those that are to govern, and of submis­sion and good temper in those that are to obey, it cannot be the expedient of a safe and a lasting soveraignty over men.

It is true indeed that God told Jerobo­am by the mouth of Ahijah the Prophet. [Page 201] 1 KIngs 14. v. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. For as much as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee Prince over my people Isra­el, And rent the Kingdom away from the House of David, and gave it thee, and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes, but hast done evil above all that were before thee, for thou hast gone and made thee other Gods, and molten Images to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: Therefore, be­hold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the Wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the Remnant of the House of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone; him that dyeth of Jeroboam in the City shall the Dogs eat, and him that dyeth in the Field shall the Fowls of the air eat, for the Lord hath spoken it.

From which place though I do not de­ny but it is very clear, that the destructi­on of Jeroboam and his House was the effect of a supernatural Judgment, yet for all that it does not follow, and it appears1 Kings 15. 29. de facto that it was so, but that this Judg­ment [Page 202] might be brought about, by natu­ral and human means, and it being so necessary, as it hath been shewn it was, to Jeroboams circumstances, that he should govern by an Army, it is most likely that the ruine of his Family was effected, by the ambition or discontent of some who had considerable interest and power in the Souldiery, a sort of military and therefore dangerous propularity, which is always justly suspected and formidable to Princes. Neither can any good reason be given, why the Kings of Judah, notwithstand­ing most of them were as wicked and as Idolatrous as those of Israel, continued all the while, till the time of the Capti­vity, in the line of David, while so many changes and revolutions happened in the Kingdom of Israel, but that in the first, the Government was more civil or rather Ecclesiastical, whose parts were all regu­larly knit and fastned to each other, but in the latter more turbulent, and military than the former, it being but natural for disobliged, or necessitous or designing men with Swords in their hands, and a band of resolute Partisans at their heels, to carve out their own satisfaction, whenever they thirst after greatness or revenge, and to endeavor the advancement of themselves, [Page 203] though by all the foul Acts and mische­vious effects of Treason and Rebellion.

The first change or alteration that was made in the Kingdom of Israel, was in the time of Nadab the immediate Son of Je­roboam himself, 1 Kings 15. 27. Baasha the Son of Ahijah, of the House of Issachar, conspired against him (Nadab) and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belongeth to the Philistines, for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon. In which words as it is expressly declared that Baasha the Son of Issachar conspired against him▪ so nothing can be more plain, than that this was done by a motus castrensis, it was a con­spiracy formed in the Leaguer, by the power and interest of Baasha in the Army, as they lay entrenched before the walls of Gibbethon.

The next Revolution that fell out after this, was in the time of Elah, the imme­diate Son and successor of Baasha, by the Treason of Zimri, 1 Kings 16. 9, 10. His Servant Zimri, Captain of half his Chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the House of Arza, Steward of his House in Tirzah, and Zimri went in and smote him, and kil­led him, in the Twenty and Seventh year of Asa King of Judah, and Reigned in his stead. [Page 204] Where, this Treason being effected by so great a commander, the Captain of half his Chariots, being done so publickly, as he was sitting in the midst of his Friends, and in the sight of his very Guards them­selves, who it is very likely were of the confederacy with Zimri against their Ma­ster, and Zimri being able not only to per­petrate so black a Treason, but also to place himself upon the Throne of Israel in the room of him, whom he had with so much baseness and perfidiousness remo­ved from it; all these things do sufficiently shew, that it was not the wicked rashness of one single man, but it was a formed Confederacy in that part of the Army, that was at that time in and about Tirzah, being appointed, as it seems to me, for the guard of the Kings person, while the rest of the people were still encamped a­gainst Gibbethon (a siege more tedious than that of Troy or Veii) which belong­ed to the Philistines.

And they not siding with Zimri in his wickedness, but on the contrary, being desperately incensed against him, and re­solved to revenge his perfidiousness to the utmost, they immediately quitted the Blockade of Gibbethon, and came and sat down before Tirzah, where Zimri and his [Page 205] party had ensconced and fortified them­selves, which siege was pushed on with so much application and vigor, that they soon made themselves Masters of the place, for Zimri enjoyed his ill gotten dominion, no longer then Seven Days, 1 Kings 16. 15. and then saw himself reduced to that extremity, that there being no middle way, but either he must dispatch himself, or fall into the hands of an enraged Rab­ble, whose insolence and inhuman barbarity is usually so great, that death is a kindness in comparison of those indignities, which the living suffer when fallen into such cruel and unmerciful hands, he did as be­came a man that had been worthy to Reign, had he not waded to the Throne through the Blood of him that sat upon it, he chose to die rather by the▪ same hand that had destroyed his Master, than suffer himself to be made a publick spectacle of infamy and disgrace, an hissing and a laughing stock to Boys and Beggers. And therefore as the Roman Senators and other aged Persons when the Gauls came in, and the Young men that were fit for service, were all of them retired into the Capitol, sat every man ready to receive the satal stroke, in his best attire, and in the Robes or Habiliments of those honours [Page 206] and offices which he had born in the Ci­ty, that so they might perish like them­selves, and as became those that had li­ved like men, and understood how to die like such; so here Zimri when he saw the City was taken, and that there was no hope left, that he might perish like a King, he went into the Palace of the Kings House and burnt the Kings House over him with fire, and died. After the same manner that Sardanapalus did, who though his life have nothing in it, but what was soft and effeminate beyond expression, yet be­ing driven to that hard dilemma either to die like a man or undergo the unsuppor­table reproaches and indignities of a brui­tish and inveterat Rabble, the beasts of the people, as the Psalmist calls them, he made a wise choise of that extream, which was more suitable to the greatness of his Birth and Fortune, and expired in the midst of his Palace and his Concubines, with all his luxury and all his vices flaming about his ears, so that though it cannot be deny'd that he lived like a fool, as every man does who gives himself up to that excess of delicacy and effeminate pleasure, yet we may say of his death, as David said of Abners, Died Sardanapalus, as a fool dieth? or was it not rather true, that [Page 207] a Prince and a great man was fallen that day in Assyria? Or was not this better than to be carried about like Bajazet, by the Tartarian inhumanity of Tamberlain in a Cage, or like one of the Pseudo Phi­lippi in Henry the Sevenths time to be made a drudg or Scullion in a Kitchen, or had not Bajazet himself done more like an Emperor and a Gallant, Sultan had he tried which was hardest, his unfortunate head, or the servile grate of that inhumane Cage much sooner than he did.

I cannot stand now to enter into a nice disquisition of this case of Zimri, and to determine how far, or in what circumstances it may be Lawful or ex­cuseable for a man to take his leave of a troublesome and uneasie world, before the course of nature be expired, by commit­tingv. I. Lips. manuduc. ad Philos. Stoic. L. 3. dissert. 22. 23. & Grot. de jur. B. & P. L. 2. S. 19. 5. 5. some Act of violence upon himself, a case that hath been often disputed pro and con by the greatest wits of antiquity, and by the learned men of later times, only thus much, I hope, I may presume to say, that if in any case it be a Lawful or excusable practice, it is in this of Zim­ri, to avoid the insupportable indignities of an incensed croud, who will not spare. him at the last, but kill him Ten thousand times, before they are so kind to give him [Page 208] leave to die, by exquisite torments and insufferable affronts and by all the bar­barous cruelties and abuses that the most in­genious malice can invent.

This was the course that Sampson took, when he was sent for by the Philistines to make them sport, and Saul and his Ar­mour bearer to avoid the insolences of the same barbarous People, fell upon their own Swords, and chose to die of them­selves; and besides, that this practice, of which there are so many instances up and down in the Scripture, is not mentioned any where with any reprehension, it seems by the example of Brutus to be not only natural, but unavoidable for gallant minds in this extremity to betake them­selves to this course, for he, though he cen­sured Cato so severely for it, [...], yet when he came into the same circumstance he followed Cato's example, and chose rather to die by the same fatal hand that was yet reeking in the blood of Caesar, than submit to all the affronts and in­dignities of those, who had vowed to re­venge that ungrateful parricide upon him, and fought for nothing more than to ap­pease the angry Ghost of the perpetual Dictatours with the Blood of those bold [Page 209] conspirators that had robbed him of his Empire and his life together.

I conclude therefore, what cannot be deni'd, whatever becomes of the Lawful­ness of such a course, which I am loath to concern my self about, utpote quo nemo for­tasse penitius intellexit, omnem istam, quae institui solet [...], disceptatio­nem, in summâ rerum verborum (que) lub [...]icitate­versari, yet that it is at least an argument of a great and generous mind, and I can­notv. Lips. ubi suprà, collat. cum dissert 6 & 7. ibidem. but wonder at the Stoicks, who made so light a matter of bidding the World good night upon every small occasion and yet pretended all the while that their wise man was utterly destitute and devoid of passions, that he had no sense of pain or of misfortune, and that he could be compleatly and entirely happy, happy in himself, and in the pleasing sense of his own Wisdom and Vertue, in the worst circumstances that fortune could inflict, or human life was capable of being expo­sed to.

It is upon this occasion likewise fur­ther to be observed, that though the Re­gicide of Elah by Zimri were, as it is ex­pressly affirmed that it was, v. 13. a ca­lamity which was the effect of a divine Judgment for the sins of Baasha and the [Page 210] sins of Elah his Son, and the same was the case of Jeroboam, whose Line and King­dom was destroyed in the person of his immediate Son and successor, Nadab; yet Zimri who was the instrument of the di­vine vengeance, is by no means excused or Justified for what he did, but on the contrary, the people disowned and disavow­ed the fact, v. 16. and God himself brands it with the name of Treason, v. 20. Now the rest of the Acts of Zimri and his Trea­son that he wrought are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And how extreamly displeasing that treachery and perfidiousness of his was to Almighty God, may be seen in part by the shortness of his Reign, which was but of Seven Days continuance, v. 15. And lastly his memory was so odious to after Ages, that his name was made use of to a proverb, as the great example of Treache­ry, and the warning piece to others to beware of the same Judgments, which overtook him for it, as Jezebel said to Jehu when he entred in at the Gate, had Zimri peace, who slew his Master? 2 Kings 9. 31. But of this and other matters of a resembling nature, I have discoursed more largely in what I have said elsewhere, concerning the revolt of Jeroboam from [Page 211] the House of David, and concerning the instance of Nebuchadnezzar King of Baby­lon, who was forsaken and abandoned, though, in the midst of the utmost cruelties and provocations, never actually resisted and much less slain by his subjects; in which place I have likewise explained that whole Chapter of the Prophet Daniel, with all the certainty and unquestionable evidence even of direct and strictly Ma­thematical demonstration, and to what I have said there, I shall here only add that, nothing can justifie Rebellion against a Lawful Prince, but such an express War­rant and Commission as Jehu had, 2 Kings 9. v. 6, 7. where the Prophet poured Oyl upon his head, and said unto him, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have Anoin­ted thee King over the People of the Lord, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the House of Ahab thy Master. But I am very confident, if we have no Rebellion, till we have so plain a Warrant and commis­sion too, we and our Children after us, may be very peaceable and quiet subjects for many, nay, for all succeeding generations.

Zimri being thus dispatched out of the way, the next that succeeded him in the Throne of Israel was Omri the Captain of [Page 212] the host, whom the people made King over Is­rael in the Camp, and he, though it can­not be denyed but he was a Lawful King, the House of Baasha being extinct, 1 Kings 16. 12. And Zimri not being a rightful Prince, but an Usurping Traytor, v. 20. And therefore in this case it was Lawful for the People of Israel to chuse them ano­ther to be King over them; yet this is another instance of the Power of the Sol­diery in deposing of Princes, and in set­ting them upon the Throne, and of the dangers and vicissitudes to which any Na­tion is exposed, when it is governed by the Sword, and is at the mercy of a stand­ing Army, in which every new sedition and every fresh discontent endangers the continuance of the publick peace, and makes a proportionable revolution in the state.

Omri enjoyed quietly as long as he li­ved, the Crown and Kingdom of Israel, which the Armies choice, v. 16. and his own merit and Loyalty, in revenging the death of his late Master Elah, had bestowed upon him; but yet it is said, v. 26. that he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the Son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to pro­voke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their [Page 213] vanities. However he Reigned quietly for the space of Twelve Years, v. 23. and then he slept with his Fathers, v. 28. Which is as much as to say that he died in peace and by a natural death, and Ahab his Son Reigned in his stead, v. 29.

Ahab a very wicked and Idolatrous King, after having reigned for the space of Twenty and Two Years, was slain at Ramoth Gilead in Battel against the King of Syria, and was succeeded by Ahaziah his Son, whose Reign was very short, for he Reigned but Two Years, 1 Kings 22. 51. and was succeeded by Jehoram, not his Son, for it is said expressly, that he had none, 2 Kings 1. 17, but his Brother, for Jehoram is expressly called the Son of Ahab, 2. Kings 3. 1. and v. 2. it is said, that he wrought evil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his Father, (that is, Ahab) and like his Mother (that is, Jeze­bel) for he put away the Image of Baal that his Father had made, that is again, Ahab; for so it is said of Ahab, 1 Kings 16. 31. that he went and served Baal and Worshipped him, and v. 32. He reared up an Altar for Baal in the House of Baal.

Jehoram was succeeded by Jehu the Son of Nimshi, the Captain General of all Je­horams [Page 214] forces, a man very famous for his exploits in War, and particularly for the boldness and fury of his attacks in Battel, who knowing very well, that expedition is the very life of business, when the mes­sengers from Jehoram came one after ano­ther to ask him, is it peace? would not so much as stay to give them audience, but with a military roughness, what hast thou said he, to do with peace? turn thee behind me, and so drove on with all the speed he could for Jezreel, where Joram lay to be healed of the Wounds, which he had re­ceived in a late Battel against Hazael King of Syria at Ramah; and the Watchman that stood upon an eminence to observe what became of the messengers that were sent, knew that it was Jehu by the fury of his driving, though neither of the Messengers that were sent returned; the driving said he, is like the driving of Jehu, the Son of Nimshi, for he driveth furiously.

And though it cannot be denyed that Jehu was in a most especial manner ap­pointed by God himself for the sins of Je­horam and the House of Omri to be King, and was accordingly Anointed to the Kingly Office by the prophet, as hath al­ready been shewn, yet this divine designation [Page 215] had its effect by natural and human means, by the power and interest of Jehu in the Army under his Command, as it was in the case of Omri, the head of that Royal family which was extinguished in the person of Jehoram, and of his Seventy Bre­thren the Sons of Ahab 2 Kings c. 10. For so it is expressly said, when Jehu had ac­quainted the Captains of the Host, with the subject of the Prophets message to him 2 Kings 9. 12. Thus saith the Lord, I have Anointed thee King over Israel, that v. 13. they hasted and took every man his Gar­ment, and put it under him on the top of the Stairs, and blew with Trumpets saying, Jehu is King; and Jehu's party that had proclaimed him, was so strong, that the rulers of Jezreel and the Elders that brought up Ahabs Children, being Seven­ty in number, c. 10. saw it was in vain to insist upon their right, against so power­ful a pretender to the Throne, v. 4. behold, two Kings stood not before him (that is, Jeho­ram King of Israel and Ahaziah King of Judah, how then shall we stand? so that they were forced, though, as it seems, contrary to their Inclinations to comply with the Conqueror in a very cruel and sanguinary Command, v. 6. take ye the heads of the men, year Masters Sons, and come to me to Jezreel by [Page 216] to morrow this time, and accordingly it came to pass, v. 7. when Jehu's letter came to them, that they took the Kings Sons (be­ing seventy persons which were with the great men of the City, that brought them up, v. 6.) and put their heads in Baskets and sent them to Jezreel, and as he had served his Sons, so he served likewise, all that remained of the House of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great Men and his Kinsfolks, and his Priests, until he left him none remaining. v. 11. So that this is another instance of military revolutions, and of the mischiefs and calamities, to which that nation is ex­posed, where Armies are in constant pay, and are either divided among themselves, in the consequences of which division the State cannot be unconcerned, or acted una­nimously by their own discontents, or by the designs, the ambitions, or the private and concealed resentments of their leaders, or when being at leisure from any For­reign service they are at leisure likewise to do the more mischief at home, as it is mo­rally, impossible so great a body of men, made up for the most part, as it is in all the world besides, of a mixt multitude of Knaves and Fools, should not brew some mischief, when they are out of Employ­ment, and the Commanders have little else [Page 217] to do but to lay out a Scheme of greatness for themselves, and then pursue the means of compassing their designs.

Jehu Reigned Twenty and Eight Years, and at length died in peace, and slept with his Fathers, and Jehoahaz his Son Reigned in his stead, 2 Kings 10. 35, 36. And in the line of Jehu the Kingdom of Israel con­tinued, during the Reigns of the four Im­mediatly succeeding Princes, that is to say, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam the second of that name, and Zachariah, against whom Shallum the Son of Jabesh conspired, c. 15. 10. and that it was by a publick and formed conspiracy, as well as any of those other changes in the Crown of Israel which have been mentioned, appears by this, that it is said, that he smote him before the peo­ple and that he Reigned in his stead. The first of which he would not have dared to do, and the last he could not possibly have effected, had he not had before hand a considerable power and interest in the people before whom he is said to have slain Zachariah.

But to see the inconstancy of disloyal Subjects, who have once forfeited their Al­legiance to their Lawful Prince, they can be true to no Interest, no Person, or Esta­bishment (as it proved by our own experience [Page 218] in the late giddy times,) when once they have prostituted that incommunicable fidelity, which is wholly and entirely due to the rightful and Lawful King and to none else besides him, for Shallum Reign­ed but One single Mouth and then gave place to Fate and to the more powerful in­terest of Menahem the Son of Gadi, who went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the Son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him and Reigned in his stead, 2 Kings 15. 14. And with what cruel­ty he mannaged that power which he had gotten, and the conquest which he and his party had made over Shallum and his ad­herents, appears immediately in the next words, and is a woful example as well as the story of Jehu, of those unspeakable mi­series and devastations, with which all publick revolutions are generally attended, v. 16. he smote Tiphsah and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him therefore he smote it, and (as if Tipsah and Tredagh had been the same) he put all the Inha­bitants and the Garison to the Sword, And all the Women therein, that were with Child he ript up; and the cause of this cru­elty being expressed, because they opened not unto him, this shews what divisions [Page 219] and animosities there were at that time in Israel, some taking part with Menahem, and some with Shallum, which factions were so great and boysterous among them, that they could not be appeased with the death of one of the contending parties but prevailed so far, that Pul King of As­syria made use of this advantage and came against the Land, weakened and divided by its own intestine broils, which were so great and dangerous, that Menahem found himself obliged to make his peace upon the best terms he could with the Assyrian King, therefore he gave him a Thousand Talents of Silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the Kingdom in his hand, which was the cause of grievous taxations, and arbitrary fines levied upon the Sub­ject, without any regard to Equity or Justice, to the ruine and impoverishment even of the mighty men of Wealth, who it seems, as they had reason, were very loath to part with their mony, but it was too late to dispute the power of two Kings together, and one of them so potent, that he could force an obedience, if the thing it self were but possible, to whatsoever he Commanded v. 20. And Menahem exacted the mony of Israel, even of all the mighty men of Wealth, each man Fifty Shekels of Silver, to give to the King of [Page 220] Assyria: So the King of Assyria (well pay­ed for his journey) turned back and stayed not there in the Land.

Menahem Reigned Ten Years and slept with his Fathers and Pekahiah his Son Reigned in his stead; but his Reign was but very short, he Reigned but Two Years, and then Pekah the Son of Remaliah, one of the Captains of his host conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the Palace of the Kings House, with Argob, and Arieh, and with him Fifty men of the Gileadites, and he killed him and Reigned in his Room, 2 Kings 15. 25. And in his days, there being, as it is more than pro­bable, great divisions among the People of Israel, Tiglath Pileser King of Assyria layed hold on the occasion, and took Ijon and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Ga­lilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them Captive to Assyria. Neither was this all, but Hoshea the Son of Elah like­wise took the opportunity of those factions which he found among the people to set up for himself, therefore, v. 30. he made a conspiracy against Pekah the Son of Re­maliah, and smote him and slew him and Reigned in his stead, in the Twentieth year of Jotham the Son of Uzziah. Lastly [Page 221] Hoshea Reigned in Samaria Nine Years, and then the great and final Captivity of Shal­maneser happened, which put a fatal peri­od to the Kingdom of Israel, as it was distinguished from that of Judah, 2 Kings c. 17. and thus it was exactly true of the Kings of Israel, who very few of them died a natural death.

Ad generum Cereris sine caede & sanguine pauci
Descedunt reges, & siccâ morte Tyranni.

Having thus given a particular account of the state of affairs in the Kingdom of Israel from the time of its division, from Benjamin and Judah till the Captivity of Shalmaneser, in which the very name and memory of the Ten Tribes was lost, I could now make a no less pleasant, than profitable representation of the state of Ju­dah likewise, if it would not be a digres­sion, but I have done all that I designed al­ready, which was only to shew that the Kingdom of Israel after the division of the two Kingdoms from one another, was governed altogether by the power of the Sword, and that the factions prevailing from time to time in the Israelitish Armies, and the power and interest of this or that [Page 222] Commander among the Souldiers, were the true causes of those many and great re­volutions which happened among them, and of the supreme powers being so frequently translated out of one Family into another, and that from hence it may seem probable that there being Armies in continual pay, and the Levitical Cities being emptyed of their old Inhabitants, that they were distributed among the Souldiers, as well for the satisfaction of their arrears, as that the Souldiery by this means being disper­sed through the Land of Israel, might be the more serviceable to keep the people in obedience, and might be ready at hand in what quarter soever any popular tumult or insurrection should happen. But I am not at all sollicitous, whether this be so or no, only if it be so, it will serve my turn, to prove that the old partition of inheritances was at this time destroyed, and if it be not so, yet it is certain that the Levites were expelled, and we may be equally confident that these Cities were filled with new inhabitants, it being the ex­tremity of folly and dotage to imagine, that they were suffered to lie Idle and Useless, without any new inhabitants at all; and this it self will as effectually destroy the old partition as the other way.

Another argument by which it will undeniably appear that the Priesthood of Jeroboam was by no means after the man­ner of the Levitical Priesthood, may be drawn from the express words of Abijah, immediately subjoyned to those other words of his which I have last produced by which the manners and customs of the one are expressly distinguished from, and opposed to the manners, rites and usages of the other, 2 Chron. 13. v. 10, 11. But as for us the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him, and the Priests, which minister unto the Lord are the Sons of [...]on, and the Levites wait upon their bu­siness, and they burn unto the Lord, every Morning and every Evening, burnt Sacrifice▪ and sweet incense; the Shew-bread also set they in order upon the pure table, and the Candlestick of Gold with the Lamps thereof, to burn every Evening; for we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but ye have for­soken him.

A tenth consideration by which it may appear that the Priesthood of Jeroboam was not after the Levitical manner, and that they were not placed by him in the Leviti­cal Cities, which the Levites themselves had been compelled to relinquish, may be drawn from those words of Abijah which [Page 224] have been already insisted upon, though not to the same purpose for which I now produce them, 2 Chron. 13. 9. So that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a Younog Bullock and Seven Rams, the same may be a Priest of them that are no Gods. From, which words it is plain that Jeroboams Priests were Priests properly and strictly so called; they all of them did sacrifice, and sprinkled the blood by way of expiation for themselves as well as for others, otherwise they did not consecrate themselves, as it is here expressly said they did, but they were consecrated to the Priestly office, by those to whom the performance of this sacrifice in their behalf appertained; now it is cer­tain that this part of the Priesthood, which consisted in sprinkling of the blood and making an atonement for the Souls either of themselves or others, belonged only to the Priests properly and strictly so called, this being the most sacred and essential Character of the Priesthood, and therefore was not common to all the Levites, who were dispersed through the whole Land, and had in a greater latitude the charge of the holy things, but was peculiar to the Sons of Aaron, who had always their constant residence at Jerusalem, and were bound to give their daily attendance upon the Altar▪ [Page 225] so that the Priesthood of Jeroboam, being not barely a Levitical, but a more strict, and sacrificial Priesthood, such as was peculiar to the Sons of Aaron by the Law of Moses, and the only places of Sacrifice set up by Jeroboam, being the two Altars erected at Dan and Bethel, it follows plainly from the nature of his Priesthood, compared with the places where it could only be exercised, that these two were the only places where his Priests resided:

An Eleventh consideration by which the distinction of the Mosaic Priesthood from that of Jeroboam will appear, may be taken from the different solemni­ty of their respective consecration to the Priestly Office, as it is described Levit. 8. and 2 Chron. 13. in the words of Abijah so often appealed to.

A Twelfth argument shall be taken from the difference of the Feasts, which were observed by the one Priesthood and the other, for Jeroboam to make the greater distinction and the wider breach between the two nations of Israel and Judah, had altered the time of the solemn Feasts, that the people might not be tempted to go up to Jerusalem and do sacrifice, at the same solemn and stated times when those of [Page 226] Benjamin and Judah repaired thither, 1 Kings 12. 32. And Jeroboam ordained a Feast in the Eighth Month, on the fifteenth day of the Month, like unto the Feast that is in Judah; it was like the Feast in Judah, but it was not in the same Month, in which that Feast was kept, for it follows, v. 33. so he offered upon the Altar which he had made in Bethel, the fifteenth day of the Eighth Month, even in the Month which he had devised of his own heart, and or­dained a Feast (which had not been ordain­ed before at that time) unto the Children of Israel, and he offered upon the Altar and burnt incense.

If you ask me what Feast in Judah that was, which was resembled by this, I An­swer, it was the Feast of the Passover, and the reason I give of my opinion is this; Epiphanius in his Haeresies mentions among the Samaritans a Sect called [...], Sebu­aei, who had their name from sheba, which signifies Seven, because they observ­ed the Passover in the Seventh Month, that is, in Tisri, whereas by the Law of Moses it was to be observed in Abib or Nisan, that is, in the first Month, and their name put into Greek is not [...], but [...], or [...], as I have elsewhere observed [Page 227] against Joseph Scaliger. Now Seven and Eight, in these cases are the same, as Grotius hath observed before me, and therefore Jose­phus saith of the Passover, somtimes that it was a Feast of Seven, and sometimes of Eight Days continuance; in the first account ex­cluding that day in which the Passover was killed, which did not belong to the Feast of the Passover properly so called, and in the latter including it: And so here, if you take in the Terminus à quo which is the Month before Nisan, then Tisri is the Eighth Month, but if you consider the Months only inclusivè, beginning at Nisan or Abib, then it is the Seventh, which is a plain way of reconciling this seeming disagreement betwixt Epiphanius and the writer of the Book of Kings. And to shew still more plainly that both writers are to be understood of the same Feasts, it is to be considered that the Samaritanes receiv­ed their Religion from the Israelitish Priests, which were sent among them to instruct them, as appears by the Seventeenth Chap­ter of the Second Book of Kings, where the story of Salmanesers deportation is related, and these Priests were subjects of that Kingdom and Priests of that Order and Institution of which Jeroboam was the Founder; so that I think there can be no [Page 228] doubt, that the same Feast is understood by Epiphanius, with that which is menti­oned in the Book of Kings, but Epiphanius his Feast is expresly said to have been the Passover, therefore it follows that in the Book of Kings we are also to expound and interpret it of the same; and as Epiphanius explains the sacred story, so on the other hand the inspired Writer returns Epiphanius his kindness back again, by giving authority and credit to his relation: And if we con­sider that Epiphanius did not understand Hebrew, which it is easie to prove that he did not, and I think I have done it in some other papers, the name it self does sufficiently vouch the credibility of the story, since its signification is so well ac­commodated to the practice of the sect it self which he describes. I do therefore disown and recant those reasons, which I have given of the Samaritan practice, as to this particular, in the papers I have mentioned, which being already finished from the press, though not yet published, cannot be recalled; since it appears so plain­ly that it is wholly owing to the perverse institution of Jeroboam which was devised by him on set purpose, to make the breach wider, and the enmity more irreconcileable betwixt the two Kingdoms of Israel and [Page 229] Judah. And it is further to be noted that he did not only institute a new Feast, or which is the same thing, an old Feast at a new time, but also that he did sacrifice in his own person, by that means invading the Priest­ly Office, a sin so grievous in the sight of God, that for this very thing, for offer­ing sacrifice of himself, before Samuel came into the camp, the Kingdom was rent from Saul and his posterity, and Azariah or Ʋzziah only for burning Incense upon the Altar of Incense, though in all other re­spects a very good, and a very pious King, was smitten with the Leprosie all his life­time after.

But in the thirteenth and last place, it appears beyond all possibility, all colour of contradiction, that the Priests of Jeroboam were not dispersed in the Levitical Cities, all over the Land of Israel as the Levites themselves were, but only in Dan and Bethel, from the express words of the text it self, 1 Kings 12. 32. And he placed in Bethel the Priests of the high places which he had made; and there being the same sacredness of Dan as of Bethel, the same kind of Priests belonging to them both, and the same sacrifices and ceremonies to be performed at both places, there is no question but it is to be understood [...] [Page 230] of them both, that Dan as well as Bethel was to be the residence and habitation of Jeroboams Priests. Quod erat ostendendum.

And though these reasons are sufficient to prevail with me to retract that opinion which I have elsewhere favoured, though I could not positively affirm it, that the Levitical Revenues and Demesnes were set­led and conferred by Jeroboam upon his new Priests; yet as to the matter in que­stion, concerning the time when the Mo­saical partition ceased, and the ancient boundaries of Inheritances were confused, it is all one to me whether it be true or no, because it is certain upon the banishment of the Levites, that these Cities were filled again by new Inhabitants of one sort or other, which is sufficient of it self to de­stroy the old partition of the Tribes, when it appears so plainly that one Tribe was to­tally expelled from their ancient seats, and that into the places, which were by their departure left empty, there were other Tribes and Families, that had formerly no claim or pretence to Inhabit there, admitted. But this is not all neither, there is another con­sideration yet behind, which will of it self demonstrate all that I design to prove, and that is, that the Mosaical partition ceased, [Page 231] at the time of the division of the two King­doms of Israel and Judah.

My argument is taken from those words of 2 Chron. 11. 13, 16, 17. And the Priests and the Levites that were in all Israel re­sorted to him out of all their coasts.—And after them out of all the Tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice un­to the Lord God of their Fathers, so they strengthened the Kingdom of Judah and made Rehoboam the Son of Solomon strong. So that here being, besides the Levites, being one whole Tribe, so great a party flocking to Jerusalem out of all the rest of the Tribes, as to be so great an accession of strength and power to Rehoboam, these following things must unavoidably come to pass: First that so many new Families being crouded in so small a compass, that the natural growth and product of the Country seems to have been very far from being of it self sufficient to maintain them, they found themselves obliged to enter in­to commerce and traffick with their neigh­bour nations, and to improve their stocks by trade; and it being utterly impossible that the trade of a nation should be managed without taking mony up at interest, un­less people would be so good natured as to [Page 232] lend it for nothing, which is not to be ex­pected: And again, it being equally impos­sible, that Usury should be practised with­out the destruction of that Mosaical Parti­tion of Inheritances, for the preservation of which the Prohibition of Usury was pas­sed into a Law, as I have shown more large­ly in my Discourse concerning the Marriage of Cousin Germans, it is a plain case, that the old Distribution of Inheritances, which was established by Moses, and by Joshua, must at this time begin to be confounded; and the same Causes that first made the breach upon the Mosaical Platform, would soon reduce it into such absolute Confusion, that the old Partition of the Tribes and Fa­milies, as to the Lands or Messuages belong­ing to them, would be perfectly destroyed.

And this Argument would be yet more strong, if it were true what is said, 1 Kings 12. 20. That there were none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only; which seems to have been done in consequence of what God himself had said to Solomon, c. 11. 13. Howbeit, I will not rend away all the Kingdom: but will give one Tribe to thy Son, for David my Servant sake, and for Jerusalems sake, which I have cho­sen.

But these things are not by any means to be understood in the utmost Strictness and Propriety of Acceptation; for it is indispu­tably certain, That that one Tribe was two and a half: and so v. 30. of this Eleventh Chapter, Ahijah the Prophet catches hold on the new Garment that was on Jeroboam, and rends it into twelve pieces, which twelve pieces were intended Symbollically to de­note the Twelve Tribes of Israel: and v. 31. He said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the Kingdom out of the Hand of Solomon, and will give Ten Tribes to thee. From whence it follows plainly, that there must be two remaining to the House of David; and yet it follows, v. 32. But he shall have one Tribe for my servant Davids sake, and for Jerusalems sake, the Ci­ty which I have chosen out of all the Tribes of Israel. And again, v. 36. And unto his Son will I give one Tribe; but it is clear, That that one Tribe was two; for it is said expresly, 1 King. 12. 21. that when Reho­boam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the House of Judah, with the Tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were Warriours, to fight against the House of Israel, to bring the King­dom again to Rehoboam the Son of Solomon. [Page 234] And v. 22, 23. the half Tribe of Manasseh is likewise taken into the Account. The word of God came unto Shemajah the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam the Son of So­lomon King of Judah, and unto all the House of Judah and Benjamin, and to the Remnant of the people, saying, &c. Where it is mani­fest, that by the Remnant of the people, which is here plainly distinguished from the Two Tribes of Benjamin and Judah, nothing else but the half Tribe of Manasseh can be un­derstood. And the true reason why Benja­min sided with Judah in this Conjuncture, bating the Business of Religion, which might be a Motive to them, as well as it was to several of the other Tribes to come and associate themselves with them, seems to have been this; That Benjamin it self was a Pretender to a Soveraignty over the rest of the Tribes, in right of Saul the Son of Kish, who was the first King both of Israel and Judah together, which was the reason of Shimei's cursing David, and of Sheba the Son of Bichri's Rebellion against him, both of them being Benjamites, and one of the Family of the House of Saul, and there­fore Enemies to the Family of David, and the Royal House of Judah; but when Jeroboam an Ephrathite, set up for himself, they not being strong enough to make a distinct [Page 235] Kingdom by themselves, chose rather to con­sederate with the House of David, who had been chosen King, by God himself, and who was ally'd by Marriage to the House of Saul, than to favour the Pretences of an Upstart of the House of Ephraim, which had never any just pretence or title to the Crown.

Another Reason which may be assigned of these Two Tribes and an half confede­rating together, is the convenience of their situation, being all of them the very next Neighbours to each other; for it is said, Josh. 10. 11. That the lot of the Tribe of the Children of Benjamin came up according to their Families, and the coast of their Lot came forth between the Children of Judah, and the Children of Joseph. From whence it is manifest, that the Inheritances of Ju­dah, Benjamin and Joseph, did border and abutt upon each other; and the Children of Joseph being divided into the Two Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, by the Chil­dren of Joseph in this place, we are not to understand the Tribe of Ephraim, of which Tribe Jeroboam himself was, and therefore that whole Tribe sided with him, but of Manasseh, which was divided into Two; the one half on the one side of the River Jordan, being a part of the Land of Canaan, [Page 236] and belonged to the Kingdom of Judah, as well for the conveniance of its Situation, as upon any other Account; and the other half was on the other side of the River, to­gether with the Sons of Gad and Reuben, and belonged to the Kingdom of Israel.

Lastly, a third Reason which may be as­signed, why these Two Tribes and an half associated themselves together, or rather, kept stedfast in their Allegiance to their law­ful Prince, besides the Duty, and the com­fort of Loyalty and Integrity considered in themselves, may be fetched farther off from the Kindness and good Will of the Progeni­tors or Patriarchs of these Tribes to one ano­ther; for Judah saved Joseph from being slain by his Brethren, and by consequence was a kind of Father to the Two Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who, without this, had perished before they were born; and it is well known what Kindness there was be­twixt Benjamin and Joseph, both of them the Sons of Rachel, the beloved Wife of Jacob, and one of them the Fruit of his Fa­thers old Age, the Stay and Support of his declining years, after the loss of Joseph, whom he gave over for dead, and the unex­pected Progenitor of so numerous a Tribe. But whether the King of Judah were only [Page 237] possessed of that one Tribe, which gave de­nomination to his Kingdom; or whether he were also, as I have proved he was, King over Benjamin, and the Remnant of Ma­nasseh likewise; yet it is certain, when we have taken things in the utmost Latitude that the Truth will bear, that after all, by the flocking of the whole Tribe of Levi in­to the Territory of Judah, and by the con­course of so many others out of all the rest of the Tribes, it must of necessity come to pass, That the old Partition of Inheritances must be destroyed, and that the Land being too little to afford them all a sedentary Subsistence at home, they must be forced to take up Money at use, to be employed in a foreign Trade, which was forbidden only to preserve the Mosaical Distribution, and which being once allowed, I have demon­stratedDiscourse of Marri­age of Cos­ [...]erm. elsewhere, would as effectually de­stroy it, as if it had never been.

And to confirm this▪ it is observable, That in all those Countries where this equa­lity of Inheritances was observed, there for the better Preservation of it, the Exercise of Usury was forbidden; as Solon, of whom Seneca observes, as I have taken notice in that other Dissertation which is to follow this, That he made all things in the state [Page 238] of Athens to be aequo jure, after a sort of Gavel-Kind, did likewise forbid Usury by a Law which he called [...]. Laertius in Solone: [...]. that is, Solon first of all in­troduced that Law among the Athenians, which was called Sisachthia, that is to say, A releasing of the Bodies and Possessions of those that were in Prison or Bondage, or had Morgaged their Estates to satisfie their Creditors, the Ʋsurers of those times; for men pay'd Ʋse with their Bodies, when they could not do it with their Estates; and many were brought into slavery upon that account: So­lon led the way himself, by forgiving Seven Talents which were due to him, being parcel of his paternal Estate, and exhorted others to follow his Example; and this Law was called [...]. Hesychius, [...]. And that this was no other than an Eastern Law, brought by him into the Practice of the Athenian Republick, ap­pears by an Observation of (Observ. in D. La­ert.) Menagius, who tells us out of (Biblioth. l. 1.) Diodorus Siculus, [Page 239] That the Egyptians likewise, by whom perhaps we are to understand the Jews, had such another Constitution among them; and that Solon received his from thence, or if you will rather understand Diodorus, of the Egyptians properly so called, this only con­firms what I have already asserted more than once, that many of those Laws which are to be found up and down in the Code of Moses, were also in force both before and under the Mosaic Dispensation among all, or most of those Eastern Countries, as well as among themselves; neither is it any won­der to find this Hebrew, or Egyptian Law of Solon, when it was transplanted into Greece, to be likewise called by a Greek Name, as the Canary Vine transplanted into the German Soil partakes of the Nature of the Climate where it grows; for so Bo­chartus In Criti [...]. Bochart. Geog. Sacr. par. 1. l. 1. c. 15. p. 68. expresly tells us out of Plato, Ne­cesse habuit Solon cum Egyptia nomina non posset carminibus suis inserere, his alia Graeca substituere ejusdem significationis.

And here if it be true, that by the Aegyptians in this place of Diodorus, we are to understand that people properly so called, as they are distinguished from the Jews, we have a very fair occasion to take notice, of the great unskilfulness, or rather [Page 240] impudence of Maimonides, and Moses theIn Moreh Nevoch. in Deut. [...]2. 23. Son of Nachman and other of the Jewish Rabbins, who pretend to give an account of several of the Laws that are to be met with in the Books of Moses, only from this, that they were designed to thwart and op­pose the customs of the Zabii by whomSee Cud­worth of the Sacra­ment, p. 35, 36. Ed. Fol. 1676. they mean the ancient Chaldaeans. Mul­tarum legum, saith the Aeyptian Moses, rationes & causae mihi innotuerunt ex cog­nitione fidei, rituum & cultûs Zabiorum, but from whence have these Zabii this name of theirs which is unknown to any other Geographer, but to the Rabbins themselves? and they it is well known, are the worst Geographers and Historians in the world,v. Con­stantin L'empe­reur praef. & not. in Benjam. Tudel & Buxtorf. praefat. in lex Tal­mud. & Is. Voss. de 70. interp. or rather they are the shameless corrupters and depravers of Geography and History, and of all good learning, they confound the names of places and persons and the succession of times, and they are used ei­ther wholly to pass by the truth and to give us nothing but monsters and incredi­ble prodigies in its stead, or else so to blind and corrupt it by figments of their own, that it is utterly impossible by a Rabbini­cal light to discern truth and falshood from one another.Ep. 62. ad Isaac. Casaub. cit. Cudwor­th. ibid.

Joseph Scaliger, tells us they were called so from an Arabick word signifying the ven­tus [Page 241] Apeliotes, or the Eastern wind, and so this name will comprehend all the Eastern Nations; but now to say that the Jews ab­stained from any thing meerly in opposition to the Eastern Nations, in the general consi­dered, is certainly false, because I have gi­ven so many instances of a manifest, un­questionable and undenyable agreement be­tween them: Who then are these Zabii? what particular people are they? Where­abouts shall we find them, if they are not all the Eastern Nations? Why, in good truth, if we may be allowed to speak out with the good leave of the Rabbanim and the [...], a sort of Gentlemen much the less excusable of the two, for suffering themselves to be so miserably deluded by errant Fools and down-right Knaves, and yet pretending all the while to be the Ma­gisterial Oracles and Dictatours of a Learned Age, I say, with the good leave of these two sorts of Asiatick Monsters more ugly and deformed than any of those that Africa produceth, the Zabii are certainlyv. Bochart▪ Phaleg. l. 4. c. 8, 9. & Lloyd lex Geo­graph. in Sab [...]i. neither more nor less than only those, whom the Greek Geographers are used to call [...] and [...] and the Latines Sabaei, a People bordering upon the Red Sea of whom no ancient Geographer whether Greek or Roman, tells any of those stories, which [Page 242] the Rabbins have fathered upon them, and though there be such a man, nay, Four that are of that name, as Sheba or Shaba in the sacred story, from whom these Zabii or Sabaei may very well be supposed to bev. Bochart. ubi supra. descended; yet there being no such people as the Zabii mentioned any where in Scripture, I make no question but the Rab­bins borrowed their name of Zabii from the Greek [...] or the Latin Sabaei, but from whence they had their pretty Roman­ces concerning them, they know best them­selves.

But let them e'en be who the Rabbins please, or who they please themselves, let all the Eastern Nations be comprehended under the term of Zabii, as it were from Shoub or Shab which signifies to return, because the Sun sets in the West, and re­turns again, or rises in the East, or let them be only those whom the Greeks and Latins call Sabaei: Or lastly, since there are four persons in Scripture who are called by the name of Sheba or Shaba, let each ofv. Bochart. ubi supra. them be supposed to have been the Father of a Nation, and let us place these four Na­tions at the four Cardinal Points, if that may not be too much for the Interest of Po­pery in an Age that is in it self so Popish and so Popishly affected, without landing [Page 243] Pilgrims out of Terre del Fogo, or because they are namesakes, let them live together, and let them all be inhabitants of some Eastern Countries, where men hate Images, as we do the Pope, the Image of the Beast, and Statuary General of the Western World.

But wherever they are whether some where, or any where, or every where, or no where, yet how came the Jews, those learned and famous Antiquaries the Rabbins, to be so well acquainted with the customs of other nations, who are so ignorant of their own, as I have proved already in very many particulars? And it is the cha­racter, which Joseph Scaliger gives of the Samaritans, very much to the credit of theDe Emend. temp▪ L 7. in not▪ ad Ann. sama­rit. Jews, Gens est hodiè suprà Judiacam, totius vetustatis, etiam quae ad ipsos pertinet, ig­narissima. But I dare not English it, lest the Rabbins should be angry, and they are a sort of men so musty and so sullen that I would not willingly incurr their displeasure.

But not to play too long upon the skirts of the business and to insist only upon ge­nerals, as if we were afraid of being more particular, which is the Phanatick way of argumentation and dispute, when the point is as tender as the conscience of a non-con­forming [Page 244] Divine, and the good man is afraid of touching or being touched, for fear of being made ashamed of himself and of his party, there are two notions especially in which the Rabbins pretend to have received a marvellous light from the customs of the Zabii compared with those of the Jews.

The First of which concerns the Mosa­ical Prohibition of feeding upon Blood, the Second that of seething a Kid in the Milk of its Dam; I shall consider both of them as briefly and as clearly as I can.

As to the first of these Dr. Cudworth hathp. 35. ubi supra. these words: There is an excellent story in Maimonides his Moreh Nevochim, con­cerning an ancient custom of the Zabii, of Feasting together with their Gods in a fe­deral way—For going about to give the rea­son why the eating of Blood was forbidden in the Law, he fetches it from the Idolatrous use of it then in Moses's time among the Za­bii; according to his principles, who thought the reason of all the Ceremonial Precepts was to be fetched from such accidental grounds, because those Laws were not primae, but secundae intentionis, in God, Multarum legum rationes & causae, saith he, mihi inno­tuerunt ex cognitione fidei, rituum & cultûs [Page 245] Zabiorum. Very like; but I long extremely to hear this excellent story, and therefore enter Aben Tibbon Druggerman in chief to the great R. Moses Ben Maimon; and what sayes he? why, he tells us, as he had it from Maimonides his own mouth, upon the faith of a Rabbin, and by all that is sacred in that Whisker of a Book the Tal­mud. Quòd licet sanguis impurus & immun­dus admodum fuerit in oculis Zabiorum; tamen ab illis comestus fuerit, eò quod ex­istimarunt cibum hunc esse Demonum, & quod is qui eum comedit, hac ratione com­municationem aliquam cum Demonibus ha­beat, it à ut familiariter cùm illo conversentur, & futura ei aperiant. An excellent story indeed! and every whit as good sense as the plastick nature, and other pretty tran­gams in the Intellectual systeme; but if no body be a Bishop till this excellent story be true, the Apostolical succession from this time forward will fail.

But say you so Master Tibbon? and are you sure you had this from Maimonides himself? Dah chi hadam hou Tamè mod, &c. Know that the Blood was accounted very impure in the Eyes of the Zabians, and yet they were used to eat it, &c. This may be excellent for ought any body knows, because it is very strange and this is the [Page 246] common Priviledge of all strange things, that people are usually very civil to Strangers, and therefore they pass for excellent with­out Examination: Otherwise if a man were minded to be so barbarously rude, to call a­ny thing in question, which is affirmed ei­ther to be true or false, fide Rabbinicâ, upon the skill or honesty of a Jewish Doctor, he might argue thus:

All things that were anciently looked up­on as impure, were so upon one or both of these accounts; either they were impure in Sacrifice or Food, or both; or by impure was meant, That it was not lawful to touch, or have any thing to do with them; now if the Blood were impure, that is, unlawful to be eaten; and if the Zabians thought so, why did they eat it in Contradiction to themselves, and in defiance to their own Consciences and Understandings? Again, though they had an Opinion that it was im­pure, yet they offered it up in Sacrifice to their Idols, that is, they used it by way of Expiation, as the words of Tibbon them­selves do very plainly aknowledg. And this indeed, was no wonder, for by Expiating and Atoning for the Souls of men, it came to be impure, as being polluted with the sins of those, in whose behalf it was shed; which by the way sufficiently discovers the Error [Page 247] and Unskilfulness of the Papists, who pre­tend to drink the very Blood of Christ in the Sacrament, which, as being the Blood of an Expiatory Sacrifice, is for that reason un­lawful to be drunk or eaten; and it was for that reason, as the Author to the Hebrews tells us, That he suffered without the Gate, as the Sin-offering was used to do without the Camp, because he had contracted a Levi­tical Uncleanness, as the Sin-offering did, by being polluted with the sins of those in whose behalf he was offered.

But then if you consider what hath been already proved, That every Meal among the Ancients, as well Jews as Heathens, had the nature of a Sacrifice; it follows plainly, that the Blood of all Animals was account­ed unclean, as being always of an expiatory Nature. And therefore if the Zabians drank the Blood of any Sacrifice, they might as well drink it at all their Meals; and to say, they did at sometimes, but not at others, is to say, That they did that sometimes, and which is worse upon a Religious Account too, which they knew was always unlaw­ful to be done, and which indeed was the highest Profanation of that Victimary Ser­vice, in which all the Religion of the An­cient World consisted.

But whether it be owing to the Evidence of Truth, or the Inconsistency of the former Tale to it self, or to spin out his time in a multitude of words, or for what other rea­son, I know not; but he tells us afterwards, That there was a Faction among the Zabi­ans themselves, and that there were some that made a great scruple of this Eating of Blood, and therefore performed their Ser­vice True no­tion of the Lords Sup­per, ibid. in a little different manner, which is there described, eating the flesh themselves, as the Jews were wont to do in their Peace­offerings, and in all their Meals, which were, though not so solemn, of the same Nature; and feeding the Daemon with the Blood, that is, pouring it out upon his Altar by way of Expiation, as the Jews themselves were wont to do by the express Command of God himself, differing only from the Zabians of Maimonides, whom he endeavours to ex­pose, and whom he would make in every thing so opposite to the Jews, as to the Ob­ject of this Ministration.

And indeed, the Argument which is there brought as the reason upon which this other pretended Faction of the Zabii proceeded, is of it self abundantly sufficient to confute the whole Story: Vehajou sham anashim she­hajah kashah beheneihem achilath hadam, chi hou dabar shejimashou tebah haadam. ‘There [Page 249] were some among them, to whom the eating of Blood seemed hard in their Eyes, because it is a thing which the Nature of man abhors;’ and this a man would think might be enough to perswade us, that it was never the constant use of the Sacrifices of any Nation, that is, in effect of all their Meals which had all of them the Nature of a Sacrifice, as hath been already frequently declared.

But the learned Doctor goes on; and as for the former part of this Story, saith he, I find it also in R. Moses Bar Nachman up­on Deut. 12. 23. where he goes about to give the reason why Blood was forbidden in the Law, as Maimonides did; although in the first place, he saith, it was because Blood ser­ved in Sacrifices for expiation, otherwise than Maimonides, for there was a great Contro­versie between these two Doctors about the Nature of Sacrifices; but yet in the second place he brings in this also, because it was used superstitiously by the Heathens in the Worship of the Idol Gods. Vehajetha haha­bodah hi beachilath min hadam, &c. i. e. ‘They performed this superstitious Worship by eating of Blood in this manner; they ga­thered together Blood for the Devils their Idol-gods, and then they came themselves, and did eat of that Blood with them, as be­ing [Page 250] the Devils Guests, and invited to eat at the Table of Devils; and so were joyned in federal Society with them. And by this kind of Communion with Devils, they were a­ble to Prophecy and foretel things to come.’

As to the last part of the Story of fore­telling things to come, though I am far from denying, that there hath been, or that there is such a thing as Witchcraft in the World, or such people as Sorcerers and Witches, whom the Law of Moses calls Chartoumim and Mecashphim, Wizards and Enchanters; yet as for this particular In­stance, all I have to say, is, sit fides penes Auctorem, and credat Judaeus Apella; for I believe nothing barely upon the Testimony of a Rabbin, without other sufficient Pro­bability to back it; no more will any man else that is not in love with being imposed upon, or that understands but half so well as I pre­tend to do, the extream folly and impu­dence of those fellows.

But when the Learned Doctor is pleased to tell us that there was a great controversie between the two Rabbins, as little as they differ in name from one another, for one is Rambam and the other Ramban, accord­ing to the Rabbinical way of Rashei Teboth, and that this controversie consisted in this that Nachmanides would have the Blood in [Page 251] Sacrifices to be of an expiatory nature, which Maimonides denyed, this does by the way sufficiently discover how unskilful a sciolist and how insignificant a trifler the so much celebrated and adored Maimonides was, not withstanding there have been those that have given him this character, that he was primus Rabbinorum qui desiit nugari. For what can be more foolish, nay, what can be more stupid, insensible and sottish than to question the truth of that which is affirmed in express words by God himself? An Authority which without detraction a man may safely say it is at least equal to that of Moses Ben. Maimon. And he says thus, Levit. 17. 10, 11. whatsoever man there be of the House of Israel or of the strangers, that sojourn among you; that eateth any man­ner of Blood, I will even set my face against that Soul that eateth Blood and will cut him off from among his People. For the life is in the Blood, and I have given it to you upon the Altar, to make an atonement for your Souls; for it is the Blood that maketh an atonement for the Soul. So that we see here that the reason why Blood was prohi­bited to be eaten or drunk by the Jews, is expresly said to be this, because it is the Blood that maketh an atonement for the Soul, and because God had given it upon the [Page 252] Altar to make an atonement for the Souls of men. And after all this, if Maimonides will still go on to lay a groundless claim to that unbounded priviledge called liberty of conscience, and if in spite of so plain a text he will needs humbly conceive, with or without submission to better Judgments, that God himself is mistaken, who can help it? Maimonides is a Rabbin, and great Rabbins and great Travellers may say what they please.

But though Maimonides be mistaken, yet the comfort is that Moses Bar Nachman, who hath his name from comfort, is in the right, as how should it be otherwise in contradictory Propositions, but one must needs be false, the other true; but yet as Maimonides upon examination does not appear to be full out so wise as God him­self, who certainly understood the mean­ing of his own Constitution, and may be allowed to explain the sense of his own Laws, so neither is the Comforter Nachma­nides altogether so infallible as that other Comforter, mentioned by St. John, one of whose great and excellent employments it is to enlighten the understandings, as well as to restrain and govern the wills of good men, and to lead them into all truth, [Page 253] as well as to strengthen and confirm them under all temptation.

Vehajetha saith Nachmanides, hahavo­dah hi beachilath minhadam, chi hajou me­kabtsim hadam lesheedim, vehem oclim halau oumiemennou. ‘They gathered toge­ther the Blood for their Idols, and then they ate of it together with them.’ By which words a man would think, not only that they were used to eat of the Blood, but also that gathering the Blood of several sa­crifices together, they used to eat of it, as beggers do pottage, without partaking of the sacrifices themselves, whereas no custom can be shewn in any Antiquity where the Blood of any sort of Sacrifice, either among Jews or Heathens, was generally eaten, for as for single instances, if any can be produced they are nothing to the purpose, or where the Flesh of Sacrifices, unless in the Sin and Burnt Offerings, was not, and indeed it is impossible in the Nature of the thing, that Blood by it self should be the food of men, unless you may call that food, which is poison too, and which would certainly clod and coagulate in the stomachs of those that eat it, and by that means kill them; it is a barbarity so contrary to nature that I believe scarce any Birds or Beasts of prey, not even the [Page 254] Wolves not the Vulturs themselves are ever guilty of it.

Neither is this all, for it is still more pleasant what the Doctor tells us, that Maimonides going about to give the reason, why the eating of Blood was forbidden in the Law, he fetches it from the Idolatrous use of it then in Moses his time among the Zabii; but how came this Rabbinical trifler to know what was done in Moses his time? for unless he means himself or his Brother Nachman, the comfortable im­portance of the Hebraizing tribe, I am sure he could know nothing of that other Moses, but what is written in the Law it self.

The monstrous, absurd and ridiculous Winter tales which the Rabbins tell us are enough to blast the credit of their traditi­ons, and if you consider how long it was before either of the Talmuds were compi­led, the one not till Two, and the other not till Five hundred Years after Christ, and these were the First traditions that appear to have been put into writing; it is morally impossible, especially among men so given to lying on the one hand, and be­lieving on the other, as the Jews, that any certain tradition should continue so long, as from the time of Moses till then.

And as for the Traditions of Moses from mount Sinai, which they call the Torah sheba hal phi or the Oral Law, I have in my discourse of the Samaritans, which I intend shortly to publish, lay'd it so flatly and so fairly upon the ground, that I am very confident it will never rise any more, and as it lies now, it is with its face downwards not daring to outface the Sun, and that which is brighter then the Sun, the truth, any longer.

To conclude this first point, it is still more pleasant to consider, that this reason which is assigned by Maimonides of the prohibi­tion of Blood, was not a single reason by it self, but was in consequence of a Prin­ciple by which he pretended to explain se­veral other things. Multarum Legum saith he, rationes & causae mihi innotuerunt, ex cognitione fidei, rituum, & cultûs Zabio­rum. And the Doctor acquaints us, as from the Rabbin himself, that it was according to his principles, who thought the reason of all the Ceremonial Precepts was to be fetched from some such accidental grounds. But if his Principles led him, as they did in this in instance of abstaining from Blood, to con­tradict the express words of the Scripture and of God himself, what credit is to be given to the Authority of a man, who pro­ceeds [Page 256] not only upon so absurd, but also upon so impious and detestable a Principle as this, or had he not as good have told us in fewer words, that he was wiser then his Maker, and that he understood the meaning of the Mosaic Laws better than he that made them. Besides, that it is in general a false principle appears from this, that all the Ceremonies in the Law of Moses, were for the most part of a Symbolical Na­ture, and this is the true key which is all along to let us into their meaning, inso­much that even this prohibition of Blood of which another reason hath been already assigned, is also founded upon a Symboli­cal bottom, and was intended as an aenig­matical and figurative prohibition of all sorts of cruel and sanguinary courses, as appears not only from the general consti­tution of the Law of Moses, which was, like the religion of all the Eastern world, of an Hieroglyphick and Symbolick Nature, but also from the express words of God himself in that Chapter of Leviticus, which I have last produced, for it (the Blood) is the life of all flesh; the Blood of it is for the life thereof: To intimate to us that this abstinence from Blood was intended Symbolically to denote a caution that we do not wrongfully or unjustly take away the [Page 257] life of another, and because it was the life of all Flesh, therefore it was used by way of expiation, God being graciously pleased to accept the life of the sacrifice in­stead of that of the Offender himself, and to eat Bulls Flesh, and drink the Blood of Goats, when he might in Justice have ex­acted the life of men, and might have en­acted without any wrong to any of his attributes, that he that had sinned should die in his own person; and I appeal to all the World, of what Credit or Authority his expositions or determinations ought to be, who hath either never had, or hath lost that Symbolical Key, by which alone the Law of Moses can be opened, and instead of that hath substituted another in its stead which is so flat a contradiction to the express words of Scripture and to the Laws it pretends to explain, a Key that may break the Lock and it self, but can never fairly open the door, a Key so very unfit for what it pretends to do, that a pick-lock is a much more hopeful way of letting us into the sacred Temple of Truth, than all the bunch of Keys that make so learned and so loud a noise at the girdle of a Rabbi.

And is not this exceeding fine, when the Law of God enjoyns expresly this Absti­nence [Page 258] from Blood, and sets down expresly the particular Reasons upon which this Ab­stinence was founded; because it was an A­tonement for the Soul; and because it was the life of all flesh; yet the Rabbins think much to pay Obedience to this Law, for the Reason upon which it was made, and upon which alone God expected an Obedience from them, but they will needs do it for a Reason of their own, because the Zabians, a certain sort of people that no body knows where or who they are, were used to feed upon the Sacrificial Blood, therefore, and therefore only they think it fit to abstain; as much as to say, They will indeed obey the Law of God, but not out of a Principle of Obedience to him, but out of a Spirit of op­position to their Neighbours, if indeed these Zabii were so near Neighbours to the Jews, as is pretended, and are not rather to be looked for in Lucian [...], or in Hevelius his learned Mapps of the Bedlam World in the Moon. Or is not this exactly the Picture of our Sectarian Malecontents, whose chief Scruple against Obedience, is, because good Subjects practise it, and the Laws com­mand it; and the only way to make them good Christians or tolerable Subjects, is to enjoyn Separation and Faction by a Law.

The second thing in which the Rabbins pretend to have received great light from the Customs of the Zabii, for the clearer understanding of the Law of Moses, concerns the Prohibition of seething of a Kid in the Milk of its Dam, Exod. 23. 19. The first of the first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the House of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a Kid in his Mothers Milk, and why not? a Question very luckily ask'd, just as Don Isaac Abrabanel comes by, and very spruce he is in his Jom tob Attire, a Plush Jacket and a Lace-band, but neither Point de Venice, nor Colbertine, nor any o­ther sort of Point whatsoever; for the Rab­bins hate Points, though they made 'em themselves; and therefore since it is our good Fortune to meet so luckily with this great Rabboni, let us ask his opinion of the Reason of this Law.

Pray, Sir, you that are a Master in Israel, you that were privy to all the Conserences of Moses upon Sinai; you that writ down all the Traditions as they were delivered, and took the Thunder and the Lightning of the Mount, in short-hand; Pardon me, I be­seech you, mighty Sir, if I the vilest of the Gojim, the veriest Heretick of all the Minim, the most contemptible and unworthy of all the Children of Cuth, approach the awful [Page 260] and venerable presence of your Hagaon Raphshippe; not the Ass of Issachar in a Ly­on's skin, but the very Lyon it self of the Tribe of Judah, with an important Que­stion fit only to be resolved by a Master of Assemblies; this Gentleman and I, and please your Lordship, have laid a small Wa­ger concerning the meaning of that place of Exodus, c. 23. 19. Thou shalt not seethe a Kid in his Mothers milk; and we were a­greed to be determin'd by the next famous Rabbin that came by. Abrab. Hajother nir­reh Bazeh shehajah mimahaseh hobdei habo­dath Elilim.

Je n' entende pas de mots Hebreux, par­lez vous Anglois, Monseignieur? A. Oues, Monsieur, je parle Anglois, Francoise, E­scosse, Espagniol, Italien, Allemagn, E­breu, Grec, Latin, Arabien, Ethiopien, Sclavonien, Grand Mogor, Prestre Jean, toutes les Langues, B. En veritè, Mon­seignieur, vos estès le plus admirable de tout le monde. Parlez donc un peu d' Anglois, sil vous plaist, Monseignieur. Abrab. Why then in short, Sir, thus, for I am in great haste, we are about returning to the Land of Pro­mise, and have a great deal of Business to dispatch, and Lumber to remove.

It seems most probable, that this Command True No­tion, p. 13. was occasioned from a custom among the idola­trous [Page 261] Heathens, that at the time of their gathering in of Fruits, they were wont to boil a Kid in the Dam's Milk, thinking that by this means they were made acceptable to their Gods, and did procure a Blessing by it. And so having told his Tale, away goes he in smoaking haste, without staying to answer Scruples and Objections, to pack up his Awls for Jerusalem and the Land of Pro­mise, where he designs to be no less than King, and is full of Projects and Expediti­ons against the Turk and Tartar, and Per­sian, and I know not who besides.

But however since he is gone, let him go, and though it be scarce civil to object a­gainst a man behind his back, yet since it is necessary for the discovery of the truth, I hope we shall at least be excused, and I desire it may be considered to the advan­tage of our Cause, that his flying for the same, is a plain Argument, that he cannot answer what shall be objected.

And does it then seem most probable, that this Command was occasioned from a Custom among the idolatrous Heathens; but I pray, why does it seem so? have you this upon the credit of any good Historian? then it does more than seem so; and we have the same reason to believe it with any other matter of Fact whatsoever, which our own Eyes [Page 262] did not see; but if you have it not upon any credible Testimony, then why does it seem so at all? or may not any thing else, that which is flatly contradictory to this seeming and incompatible with it, seem so as well? 'Tis a fine Trade indeed, when men shall first make Stories, and then believe 'em themselves, and say it seems so, and then impose 'em upon the World, as if they were really true. But it seems to confirm this gloss, he tells us of a Custom somewhat P. 14. like to this, used in his time in some parts of Spain; and we perhaps might have been so silly to believe him, if he had not spoil­ed his Authority already; or if we knew distinctly whether this Custom were among the Spaniards or Moors, that we might have fair play to examine into its Truth; or if we knew what was the meaning of a Custom somewhat like, for a Custom somewhat like is a Custom somewhat unlike too, and how much that is, no body knows.

But because Abrabanel doth not tell his Tale so handsomly as he should, there is a lear­nedP. 14. ib. Karraite called in to help him out; and these Karraites, you must know, are despe­rate Fellows at a dead lift; they are a sort of Talmudical Dissenters, that reject all Tra­ditions P. 15. ib. which are not grounded upon Scripture; they will submit to nothing, if you cannot [Page 263] prove it out of a direct Text in the Bible: and yet very honest Genlemen for all that, and just like the Dissenters of our times, who will neither Eat nor Drink without a Text to justifie the Action, and believe no tales but what they make themselves. They are no Irish Evidence, I assure you, and therefore I hope you will believe what they say; and that which they say, is this:

It was a Custom of the ancient Heathens, when they had gathered in all their Fruits, to take a Kid and boil it in the Dam's milk, and then Derek Cashephah, in a Magical way, to go about and besprinkle with it all their Trees, and Fields, and Gardens, and Or­chards, (certainly this must needs raise the price of the Commodity, and make it al­most as dear as Bristol Milk) thinking by this means they should make them fructifie, and bring forth fruit again more abundantly the following Year. And for this Reason, saith the Doctor, God forbad his people the Jews, at the time of their in-gathering, to use any such Idolatrous or Superstitious Rite.

And yet these are the Men that reject all Traditions that are not grounded on Scrip­ture; so that if we were to appeal to them­selves for the truth of this Story, all the Question would be, Whether this were a Tradition of the Rabbanim for the Explana­tion of Scripture which is not grounded upon the Scripture it self; And the Que­stion, I think, is easily determined, if the Doctors own Concessions and Quotations do not deceive us; or if the Bible of the Karraites be the same with ours, and that they had such things as Traditions of theirP. 23. ib. own, though they rejected those of the Rab­bins; and a Tradition is a Tradition let it be whose it will, appears from another Passage in his Karraitish M. S. where the Author tells us she col Jisrael modim, That it is con­fessed by all Israel, that from the time of the Kingdom, they were ever wont to consecrate the New Moons by the [...]; and this being a Tradition of so great use, and of so neces­sary Relation to the observance of their New Moons, and by consequence of all their Feasts, this is another Instance of the Karraites expounding Scripture by Tradi­tion. And they expresly tell us, after a little pause, that it is not a Tradition in general, but a Tradition of the Rabbins, contradict­ing the Traditions of their Wisemen, that is, [Page 265] of the Karraites themselves, which is the thing rejected by them, if I understand any thing of that Hebrew Sentence, with which the Doctor hath obliged the [...]. And yet after all, we are not so much beholding to Tradition for this notion, that the ancient way of computing the New Moons was by the [...], as to the nature of the thing it self, and to this honest Coun­trey Reason, which no learned man can confute, that Eyes were made before either Almanacks or Letters.

And therefore this was the ancient way of the Romans, as well as of the Jews, be­fore the Fasti were published by Flavius, Saturnal. l. 1. c. 15. the Scribe. Macrobius; Priscis temporibus, antequàm Fasti à Cn. Flavio Scribâ invitis patribus in omnium notitiam proderentur, Pontifici minori haec provincia delegabatur, ut novae Lunae primum observaret aspectum; visamque Regi sacrificulo nuntiaret: that he might give notice, as I suppose, to the Countrey round about. But whether the Air were all tuned to the Key of Mek­uddash, whether the Bells rung backward,P 24. ib. and all the Beacons of the Countrey were fired, as if an Invasion were threatned by the Man in the Moon, or the Gauls were set down once more before the Capitol; of that Macrobius saith nothing at all.

But the chief Excellency of all of this Karraitish Notion is behind, for he tells us, That this hath been the Custom of Israel ever since the Kingdom, to compute the New Moons by the Phasis; as if it had not equally been so before, when this hath been proved by an Ar­gument that cannot deceive, to have been the most ancient way of Computation. But yet as pretty as the Tradition is, the Rea­son which this Author alledges to confirm it, is still more pretty than the Tradition it self; the very Etymon, saith he, of the word P. 24. ib. Chodesh, implies so much, for it signifies the renewing of something, so that it is denomi­nated from the change of the Moon or Phasis, as the Epocha or beginning of it. Is it so? but why might not this change of the Moon, which is the renewal of it, be computed either way from the Phasis, or by the Ca­lendar, or only by the latter of these, as it was actually for many Years, and then what becomes of this hopeful Ety­mology, which concerns one way of Com­putation no more than the other, but only proceeds upon a Supposition, that the Moon is renewed as the Calendar does? Or, what if I should prove, as I shall do by and by, that the middle of the Month, or the time of the full-Moon was anciently called the Renewal of it, although that Renewal [Page 267] were not measured by the Phasis, but by the Calendar, and indeed by a very unequal Computation? for the Idus among the Ro­mans, which is no other, as I shall shew, than the Hebrew Chiddoush, and signifies Renovation, if the Nones were quintanae fell upon the fourteenth, but if they were sep­timanae, upon the sixteenth day of the Month; and this must be granted to be a considerable difference in the Computation, though the motion of the Moon be equal and the same in one Month, as another.

But after all, the Karraites are like other Dissenters, and though they are all united in a common hatred against the Rabbanim, to whom the best Language they can give, is, That they are Papists and Tories, and all the bad Names, and stinking things that Billinsgate can afford, yet are they not a­greed among themselves, but the same Spi­rit of opposition that separates them from the Traditionary Jews, divides each Kar­raite from his nearest Neighbour; and for ought we know, the same man may be fal­len out with himself, and then it will be very hard to arbitrate the difference, when a man quarrels in despite of himself, or to bring two parties to a better understanding, that are so entirely angry with one ano­ther. For so the Doctor citing a Passage [Page 268] out of his Karraitish M. S. a learned Book that hath neither head nor tail, if we may believe a man that does not always speak truth, subjoyns immediately the following words, and I produce this the rather, be­cause True noti­on. p. 15. p. 14. ib. Abrabanel, toward the end of his com­ment on this place, mentions a gloss of some Karraiteish Author upon it, although it be altogether unlike to this which we have here related, scribunt sapientes Karraeorum nè coquas haedum in lacte matris suae, hoc est, nè commisceatur germen cùm radicibus.

So that the Karraites themselves not be­ing certainly determined what to say, or what reason to assign of this prohibition of the Law of Moses, sometimes referring it to an abhorrence of the Zabii, and at other times to a Symbolical reason, I hope we are no longer obliged by their Autho­rity, who confess themselves to be so much in doubt, and by their uneasie riggling out of one way of [...]o [...]tion into another, to be altogether ignorant of the matter; but, though I am far from doing this upon the Authority of any Karraite of them all, the Karraites themselves being every whit as ignorant and as soppish as the rest, yet because it is agreeable to the grain and genius of the Law of Moses, which pro­ceeds [Page 269] almost wholly upon Symbolical grounds, I affirm this last to be a very good solution of the difficulty proposed. Nè coquas haedum in lacte matris suae, hoc est, nè commisceatur germen cum radicibus. That is, it is a prohibition of all incestuous and un­natural copulations in the ascending and de­scending lines, for so if Mother and Son should commit uncleanness together, there is in both respects, in the Act it self and in the consequences of it, germen cùm radicibus, and the infant begotten by such a foul con­junction, as long as it continues after the first vitality be formed, and fed and nourished in the Womb, is in the Symbolick language, so commonly used and so well understood at that time in the East, Hae­dus in lacte matris suae, a kid seethed in the milk of its Mother.

There are other expositions which in my own thoughts I did formerly pitch upon my self, which might be assigned as the mean­ing of this place, but not to fall too foul upon the Hebrew Doctors where there is no occasion, I must acknowledge that I am infinitely pleased and satisfied with this, though it be expressed after such a manner, that it will require some thoughtfulness and a little dexterity in matters of this na­ture to pick out the meaning of the com­ment [Page 270] as well as of the Text, and yet after all, I do not allow of this, as a traditionary exposition upon the testimony either of a Karraite or of any other, but as an inge­nious conjecture at the meaning of the place, and it would be hard not to allow the Rabbins so much, as well as other men, that by considering a place of Scripture they may sometimes pick out its true meaning, though it is certain they are gene­rally men of shallow parts, and that where there is any thing of Judgment or of nicety required, they are much oftner mistaken then they are in the right.

Such another Symbolical prohibition as this, is that of Deuter. 22. 6, 7. If a Birds nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any Tree, or on the ground, whether they bee Young ones or Eggs and the Dam sitting upon the Young ones, or upon the Eggs, thou shalt not take the Dam with the Young, but thou shalt in any wise let the Dam go, and take the Young to thee, that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest pro­long thy days. Which precept as well as that other of not seething of a Kid in the Milk of its Dam, though I make no question but it was also literally to be observed, yet it was moreover a Symbolical prohibi­tion of all kinds and instances of cruelty [Page 271] or injustice, because in this case the young ones may be bred up by hand, and will be well enough pleased with the confinement of a Cage, but the old one that hath been used to liberty and the open air will pine and be fullen, and perish for want of food, so that it is cruelty to take the Dam toge­ther with the young ones, and when the Scripture enforces a Law that is in its literal sense of so little avail or signification with so great a sanction as this, that it may be well with thee and that thou mayest prolong thy days; It is as much as to say in more comprehensive terms, that God will shew mercy to men that shew it to one another, but that all manner of cruelty or injustice his Soul hateth, and they are a perfect abomination unto him. So also v. 8. of the same Chapter, When thou build­est a new House, then thou shalt make a battelment for thy roof, that thou bring not Blood upon thine House, if any man fall from thence. Not that there was so great danger of mens breaking their necks every day in the Week, or every hour in the day, if men had not ballisters round about upon the leads of their Houses, or that the incon­veniences which those rails would prevent, were great enough to compensate even the charge of making them through all the [Page 272] Land of Israel, but the reason why they were set up being here so plainly set down, it is as much as if God had said, that he intended them for a standing Symbol of mercy, and that men were not only to avoid shedding of Blood out of set purpose and malice prepense, but also to beware as much as might be of all the accidental oc­casions and avenues to it.

So also v. 9, 10, 11. Thou shalt not sow thy Vineyard with divers seeds, lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown and the fruit of thy Vineyard be defiled, thou shalt not plow with an Ox and an Ass together, thou shalt not wear a Garment of divers sorts, as of Wollen and Linnen together. Shall we think that these were forbidden to the Jews, or that the Jews themselves abstained from them only out of a cross-graind, covenanting humour, because the Zabii sowed and plowed and were ap­parelled in that manner? No certainly there can be nothing more ridiculous than to extend the Zabian Hypothesis to all these prohibitions in the Law of Moses? And yet nothing can be more reasonable neither, if what Maimonides has acquainted us be true, that the practices of the Zabii are not only avoided in the abstinence from Blood, and from the scething a Kid in the [Page 273] Milk of its Dam, but are to be lay'd down as a Principle by which other Negative Pre­cepts are to be explained, and if this be not a true principle, as certainly it is not, how can any man think himself obliged to ac­quiesce barely in the Authority of Maimoni­des, who is guilty of an error, that branches it self out into so many several mistakes, and is so fruitful of falshood and deceit, without other good Authority from the reason of the thing, or from the testimony of honester and wiser men? Or is not this way of solution, under pretence of Learn­ing, rather to be interpreted as a confes­sion of Ignorance, and as the Peripateticks and the Schoolmen flye to occult qualities and substantial forms when nothing else can be found to give a satisfactory answer; so here when the Rabbins are gotten into the dark, and cannot find their way out of a prohibition, they call to the Zabii to lend them their hands, and thus the blind lead the blind, and then no wonder if both of them fall into the ditch of error, instead of that at the bottom of which Democri­tus was used to say the truth it self lay concealed. Only there is this difference be­twixt the Aristotelians and the Rabbins that when the one flies to a Quiddity or an Entelechia for want of something more [Page 274] plain and satisfactory to say, though it be a Confession of Ignorance, yet it is an Argument of Modesty too, to acknowledge themselves, though by an hard word, to be unequal to the Mysteries of Nature, with whose sacred Depths, upon a serious and impartial Examination of the whole Matter, the Corpuscularian Philosophers will be found to be as little acquainted as the Ari­stotelians themselves; but when the Rab­bins, to explain that which they do not un­derstand, are so bold to impose their own Figments and Inventions, as the voice of God, and the only true expositions of the Divine Law, what is this, but a Blasphe­mous and execrable conjunction of the most childish Ignorance, and the most effronted Impudence together?

But if instead of the Dreams of Maimo­nides and his very inconsiderate, however haughty and assuming Disciples, we will submit our selves to the infallible Conduct of that excellent Clue which the Law it self has given us for our direction through the Mysterious Labyrinth of Antiquity, it will then be as difficult to lose our way, as it is now to find it by the glaring and specious, but deceitful Light of the Rabbinical Pre­tenders.

The Law it self gave this Reason why the Vineyard was not to be sown with di­verse Seeds, lest the Fruit of the Seed which thou hast sown, and the Fruit of the Vine­yard be defiled. And if you ask wherein this Defilement consisted, the answer is at hand, that it was not a Natural, but a Symbolical Defilement, it was not a real Defilement in it self, but it was a Symbolical Prohibition of that which was. And the same account is to be given of those other Prohibitions, that an Ox and an Ass were not to Plough toge­ther, and that no man was to wear a Gar­ment of divers sorts, of Linnen and Wollen together; and as the negative Precept, which hath been already explained, of not seething of a Kid in the milk of its Mother, was an aenigmatical Prohibition of ince­stuous Copulations in the directly or oblique­ly ascending and descending lines, for both of these are equally forbidden by the Levi­tical Law, so were these Laws which have been last recited, a modest and clean way of forbidding those Brutalities and Bestial Conjunctions, of which the Amorites were guilty, and which were not forbidden the Jews, only because the Zabians, if any such people there were, or the Amorites allowed themselves in the practice of so foul, so horrid, so detestable a sin; but because it [Page 276] was the highest reproach and indignity that could be put upon the Image of God in the Nature of man, because it was so plain­ly against the Interest of Society, because it carries in its execrable Womb such Mon­sters of impiety, as no Repentance, no Prayers, no Sacrifice can expiate, because it brings an Universal Deluge upon all those wholesome Principles of Chastity, Sobriety, and Religious Fear, without which no Na­tion can be happy, nor any Government secure; or to sum up all in a word, God does not forbid any thing for no Reason at all, but only for his own arbitrary Will, or out of a Peevishness inconsistent with the Perfection and Happiness of his blessed Na­ture▪ because the same things are practised by those against whom he hath taken a Cal­vinistical and unaccountable Pique; but it is either upon a Symbolical Reason for the sake of somewhat that is morally evil, or because of the intrinsick and eternal Tur­pitude of the thing in its own Nature.

And that this was the true reason of all those Prohibitions which I have last recited, I gather from their extream resemblance and likeness to one another in themselves, com­pared with the Exposition of no less than two of the three, which is to be found ex­presly set down, Levit. 19. 19. Thou shalt [Page 277] not let thy Cattle gender with a divers kind: Thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled Seed: neither shalt thou let a Garment mingled of Linen and Wollen come upon thee. Where, in the first place, we are to take notice, that though Cattle be only men­tioned in this prohibition, yet Mankind is included under it â fortiori; because the na­tural Reason why such unnatural Conjun­ctions are forbidden in Beasts, is, because they are enemies to Generation, they would spoil all the breeds of the several Kinds and Species in the World; and they would ge­nerally beget nothing but Monsters, un­grateful to the sight, not sitted with such Organs as are necessary to make them Vital; or, as is seen in the Experience of Mules, unable to propagate themselves by Genera­tion; and therefore here our Saviours Ar­gument takes place, Matt. 6. 26. Behold the Fowls of the Air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into Barns; yet your heavenly Father seedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? And again, v. 28. 29, 30. And why take ye thought for Raiment? Consider the Lillies of the fields how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his Glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so cloath the Grass of the [Page 278] field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the Oven, shall he not much more cloath you, O ye of little Faith? And the same Argu­ment in the instance of a Sparrow, is made use of, c. 10. 29, 30, 31. Are not two Spar­rows sold for a Farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Fa­ther. But the very hairs of your head are all numbred. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many Sparrows. And so I say in this Case, if God forbid the unna­tural Conjunctions of different Kinds of A­nimals for the better preservation of their re­spective Species, he is much more to be supposed to forbid the same in men them­selves, because the hairs of their heads are all numbred; that is, he takes a more solici­tous care of the Welfare of man, who is placed over the rest of the Creatures, as God is over him; and he is in some sense, the God of this lower World, though with respect to his Maker, he is but the Priest of this magnificent Temple, to thank, and praise God for himself, and for, and in behalf of all those Creatures, that are not a­ble to do it for themselves; he is Lord of the Earth, but a Servant to Heaven; he is like Eleazer, who was a Servant to Abra­ham, though he ruled over all his house, and was the Master over all besides; or like [Page 279] Melchisedech the King of Salem, to whom though Abraham payed Tithes, yet he him­self was but the Priest of the most High God, the God of Gods, and Lord of Lords, God over all, blessed for ever.

Another thing to be considered upon oc­casion of these words, Thou shalt not let thy Cattle gender with a divers Kind, is this, That Cattle very seldom or never do gen­der with any Kind, but their own; and those few Instances of this kind that are, it is perhaps impossible to prevent, unless we shall suppose the Jews obliged by this Pre­cept to sit up day and night to watch by their Cattle, for fear of any such Hetero­geneous Conjunctions, which I hope no man will be so extremely credulous and sil­ly as to believe. From whence it follows plainly, that there are but two things that can be inferred from this negative Law; the first is this: There were then as well as now, a certain sort of Creatures called Mules, that were of a mixt or Hybridian kind, engen­dred betwixt Horses and Asses in Conjun­ction together, of which the first mention is made, Gen. 36. 24. This was that Anah. that found the Mules in the Wilderness, as he, fed the Asses of Zibeon his Father; And these, as being very fit for service and for burthen, were industriously propagated by [Page 280] the Husbandry of those times; but because they were of a mixt and Heterogeneous Na­ture, because they proceeded from such un­natural Copulations, as were so detestable in the sight of God, because they could not propagate their Kind by Generation, and because all such miscellaneous and Hetero­geneous things had a Levitical or Symbolical Uncleanness, they were forbidden by the Law of Moses.

Secondly, when that is forbidden to Beasts, which is so unnatural to them, that they scarce ever use it, and which so much as they do, it is scarce humanly possible to prevent, this is rather to be interpreted in such a Sense as if it were only a more modest and a more cleanly way of Prohibiting the same abominable Practises in men; as much as to say, Do not you, by any means, defile your selves though the Amorites and other Nations whom I have destroyed, have done it with those detestable Instances of the most degenerate and filthy Lust, which are a Dis­grace and Scandal to the Beasts themselves.

But then in the last place when to this Prohibition, Thou shalt not let thy Cattle gender with a divers Kind, it is immediately added, Thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled Seed: neither shall a Garment min­gled of Linen and Wollen come upon thee; [Page 281] It is very foolish and absurd to imagine, that things in their own nature perfectly in­different, things that have no natural Pravi­ty or Desilement in them, should be equal­ly forbidden with the greatest Villanies that Wickedness it self can either devise or per­petrate, if it were not upon account of a Symbolical Uncleanness, though they have none of their own; and since there cannot be a more natural Symbol of Heterogeneous Copulations in Animals, than the sowing of a field, or a Vineyard with divers seeds, or then the wearing a Garment of divers sorts of Stuff, and since these are joyned in the Context with the other; I think for my part, that nothing can be more plain, than that the same thing is over and over Symbolical­ly forbidden; and these Prohibitions being again inculcated, Deut. 22. 9, 10, 11. and under so great a Sanction, which is to be added [...] to all those Laws, That it may be well with thee, and that thou mayst pro­long thy days: This is to show us how so­licitous the Divine Goodness is for the Wel­fare of Mankind, in which all these Prohi­bitions are manifestly founded; and it ought to fill us with an equal solicitude to please so merciful and so gracious a Being, who hath thus linked our Duty and our Interest together, and expects no instance of Obedi­ence [Page 282] from us, but what is for our own Ad­vantage, as well as it is an Act of Homage and Allegiance to him.

But yet I do not so wholly confine my self to this Interpretation of the Mosaic Laws, which have been last recited, as to affirm, they had no other, for though that be certainly one meaning which I have as­signed, yet this hinders not, but other very probable interpretations may be admitted, as being equally connected in the Symbolical way to the types and shadows contained in the words of those Laws; and therefore when the Jews were prohibited to Plow with an Ox and an Ass; or wear Linsey Wolsey, or to sow a Field or Vineyard with two sorts of Seeds, another meaning of these Figu­rative Precepts may very well be supposed to be one of these two things, or indeed both of them together.

First, They were forbidden under these Types and Figures all manner of Hypocrisie and Dissimulation, they were not to have an heart and an heart, as the Hebrew Idiom excellently expresses it, but their Actions and Pretences were to be of the same Grain and Colour with one another, and their outward Appearances were to be but Co­pies of the original Realities within. Se­condly, by the same Prohibitions they were [Page 283] aenigmatically forwarned against all kind of lukewarmness and indifference, they were to be true Blew, not parti-colour'd men, or of a faint and Yellow dye, not Phy'lemorts, not halters between two par­ties and different opinions; for syncerity and heartiness in every thing we do, is so much for the benefit of the world, and for the interest of mankind, and so like to God, who is the fountain of truth, and is what he is to the utmost of himself, that though the sacrifice of the wicked be an abomination to him, yet open wicked­ness it self is an acceptable sacrifice in com­parison of coldness and indifference and dissimulation.

Another Law which I shall mention to shew that the Zabians do not keep the Key of the Cabinet of Moses, but that the true Method of finding out the meaning and de­sign of all his Institutions, is to search for it in the Symbolick or Hieroglyphick way, shall be that of Levit. 19. 23, 24, 25. con­cerning the Fruits of Trees. And when ye shall come into the Land, and shall have Planted all manner of Trees for Food, then ye shall count the Fruit thereof as uncircum­cised: Three Years shall it be as uncircum­cised [Page 284] unto you, it shall not be eaten of. But in the fourth Year all the Fruit thereof shall be Holy to Praise the Lord withal; and in the fifth Year shall ye eat of the Fruit there­of, that it may yield unto you the Increase thereof I am the Lord your God.

Now I dare appeal to all Mankind, would it not be very pleasant to say, the reason why the Jews were so long before they Offered of their Fruits to God, and so much longer before they partook of them them­selves, was to be taken from the Zabii, who were used to do these things either sooner or later than the Jews are commanded to do? Or would it not be every whit as ex­cusable to say, that the reason why the Jews are any Victuals at all, was because the Zabii never did? And yet there is no help for it; but the Customs of the Zabii must explain this Law as well as any other, if it be true that their Practises are to be laid down as an Hypothesis by which the reason of the Law of Moses is to be ex­plained.

But not to concern our selves any further with this miserable tool of an Expedient, the most foolish and ridiculous that ever was invented. The Fruit was uncircumcised; that is, it was unhallowed, or unclean, or unlawful to be used for three Years, because [Page 285] till after then, their Juice was crude and un­concocted, and therefore it was yet unfit to be Offered to God, to whom, as every thing which was used in Food, was in some small proportion first to be Consecrated and Offered up, that so the Primitiae might Hallow and Sanctifie the use of the rest; and that by this means an acknowledg­ment might be made, to whom they were indebted for all the Necessaries, and all the Conveniencies or Delicacies of Humane Life, so was the Offering to be of the best in its kind, because this was a Testimony of the most profound respect, and was an acknowledgment of the Excellence of his Nature. And then after this it was per­mitted to be eaten, but not before; for the same reason for which it was unlawful in other Cases [...] to eat of that of which no part had before hand been Sacrifi­ced, by way of Acknowledgment and Thankfulness to the giver of it; and there­fore of these Fruit-Trees it is said, When ye shall come into the Land, and shall have Planted all manner of Trees for food, to intimate, that of those Trees of which there was no use in Food, there was no need to make any Offering neither; as it was in Animals, for the unclean Beasts which were not permitted in Food, would [Page 286] not be accepted in Sacrifice neither. And so in proportion, those Creatures that are the soonest in a condition to be eaten, are likewise the soonest fit for Sacrifice, as I gather from that of Pliny, l. 8. c. 51. Suis foetus Sacificio die quinto purus est, pecoris die octavo. For both these Animals being permitted in Food among the Romans, who were used to abuse the Jews for their ab­stinence from Swines Flesh, and among whom the Sumen was accounted so deli­cate a Dish; the Reason why one was ca­pable of being Sacrificed sooner than the other, was without question to be derived from this, that it was sooner fit for Food.

Farther yet as another argument, be­sides what hath been already very largely represented upon this Subject, that the Law of Moses did neither forbid nor command any thing, how commodious or hurtful soever the thing forbidden or commanded might be in it self, meerly because the Aegyptians or the Zabians or any other Heathen Nation did either practise or dis­allow it, I shall instance in Circumcision it self which was the peculiar mark of the Co­venant which God had entred into with A­braham and his Posterity, & whichr seems to have been parctised very anciently, among theall Eastern Nations, the Philistines only ex­cepted, [Page 287] who are the only Men in Scripture that are reproached with uncircumcision, and by the Philistines, I mean all the In­habitants of Palestine but the Jews. Hero­dotus, and out of him Josephus in his first against Appion, mentions many Nations by whom this rite hath been very anciently parctised, and the Jews at this rate of argu­ing would have been obliged to leave it off, at least when not only in the thing it self, but in the manner of it, they saw them­selves so exactly Imitated by Barbarous and Idolatrous People; for the Priests of Cybele, did not only use the rite of Circumcision, but they performed it with a sharp Stone, in the same manner that Zipporah Circum­cised her Son. Juvenal.

Semivir, obscaeno facies reverenda minori,
v. Etiam Selden alicubi in de Diis Sy­ris ex Strabone.
Mollia qui ruptâ secuit genitalia testâ.

And the same may be said likewise of that Custom, Exod. 21. from v. 2, to 6. in these words, 2. If thou buy an Hebrew Ser­vant, six years he shall serve, and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by him­self; if he were Married, then his Wife shall go out with him. 4. If his Master have [Page 288] given him a Wife, and she have born him Sons or Daughters; the Wife and her Children shall be her Masters, and he shall go out by himself. 5. And if the Servant shall plainly say, I love my Master, my Wife and my Children, I will not go out free: 6. Then his Master shall bring him unto the Judges; he shall also bring him to the Door, or unto the Door-post, and his Master shall bore his Ear through with an Aul, and he shall serve him for ever. For this custom obtained in other places of the East, as well as in Judaea, as is ma­nifest from another passage in the same Author.

Sed Libertinus prior est, prior, inquit, ego adsum,
Quid timeam, dubitemve locum defendere, quamvis
Natus ad Euphraten, molles quod in aure fenestrae
Arguerint, licet ipse negem?

The reason of which Ceremony was, that the Ear was aunciently looked upon as a Symbol of Obedience, because hearing is a necessary Praerequisite in order to it, from whence it is that as Ozen in Hebrew, signifies an Ear, so the Verb in Hiphil Heezin derived from it, signifies to give [Page 289] an aweful and dutiful attention, and so La­mech uses it, Gen. 4. 23. speaking to his two Wives Adah and Zillah, with the Autho­rity of an Husband in those times, which we have already shewn to be very great, Shmahan Coli, Neshei Lemech, Haazenah Imrathi. Hear my voice ye Wives of La­mech, hearken unto my speech, and thence in Greek [...] and in Latin Obedire, (that is, Obaudire) and Auscultari signi­fies to Obey; and as the Ear was a Symbol of Obedience in the general, so the boaring of it, by the Master of the Family upon the Door-past of his own House, were Ce­remonies denoting the Object of this obe­dience, and specifying in a more especial and particular manner, to whom this Obedi­ence was to be payed; and this explains that passage of the Psalmist, Ps. 40. 6. Sacrifice and Offering thou didst not desire, mine Ears hast thou opened, that is, it is obedience rather than sacrifice that God requires, ac­cording to that of Samuel to Saul, that to Obey is better than Sacrifice, and to hear­ken than the fat of Rams, though I am notv. L. Cap­pel. crit. sacr. & Is. voss. de 70. Interp. ignorant that the Greek Interpreters have rendered this place to a far different sense, and that they are followed in it by the Au­thor to the Hebrews, however the sense as it lies now in the Masorethical Bibles must [Page 290] be acknowledged to be very good, and very sutable to the context, and to the whole drift of that Psalm.

Add to all this that the reason why the Servant was to be let free in the seventh year, was it self also of a Symbolical nature, in memory of that great sabbatisme after the Creation of the World was finished, upon which also the weekly Sabbath and the Sabbatical Year, and the Year of Jubile, which was the great septenary multiplyed into it self, depended; but though at the ex­piration of the sixth Year, the Hebrew ser­vant was at liberty himself, yet he could not carry his Wife and Family along with him, in case he did not bring them thi­ther, but Married while himself was in the condition of a Servant, to another Servant of the same Family, because in this case she was only Ʋxor Ʋsufructuaria, and the Master of the House did not lose his pro­priety in her as a Servant, by suffering ano­ther to enjoy her as an Husband, and for the same reason the seventh year being in­tended only to release the Person of him, who had put himself into a Voluntary Sub­jection, it did not extend to those who were born in a state of bondage, and did not come into the possession of their Master by Compact or Agreement.

But yet notwithstanding, though they were not released together with their Fa­ther at the Seventh year, yet being come of Israelitish race, they were not in a state of perpetual servitude neither, but were to come out at the year of Jubile, and if the Seventh year, and the year of Jubile were coincident, then he and his Children were to go free together, Levit. 25. 41. Then he shall depart from thee, both he and his Children with him, and the same must be understood of his Wife also, supposing she were of the seed of Abraham, for this was the general Rule that none of their own Nation, upon any pretence whatsoever, without their own consent and choice were to be an Haereditary and Per­petual possession, Levit. 25. 45, 46. and the year of Jubile, being the time when all things were restored to the old and true Proprietors, this was the time, when the disposal of every Man and Womans Person, as well as of Estates and unalienable Possessi­ons did Naturally devolve upon themselves again; so that when it is said, Exod. 21. 7. If a Man sell his Daughter to be a Maid­servant, she shall not go out as the Men­servants do, this must be understood only of the seventh year, not of the year of Jubile when all things were restored, and as the [Page 292] reason why the Maid and the Man-ser­vant had not equal Priviledge, is to be re­ferred to the different Esteem and Dig­nity, which the one Sex had above the other in those times, so the reason why she also was restored to freedom at the year of Jubile, is to be referred, as hath been said to this, that no person what­soever of the Hebrew race, was to be an everlasting and perpetual slave.

Thus I have considered the Zabian Hy­pothesis, of which Doctor Cudworth is so fond, and upon which he hath thrown a­way so much Hebrew to no purpose, a thing as full of Ostentation, and as empty of truth, as it's assertour; it is now high time to look back, and to consider what it was which gave occasion to this dis­coursePag. 237. Supra. of the Zabii, which was this; I had demonstrated beyond all possibility of doubt or scruple, that the old Partition of Inheritances which was established by Mo­ses, and by Joshua, allotting to every Tribe and Family a proportion of Land, which it was not in their Power to alienate from themselves, any longer than till the Year of Jubile, was destroyed at the time of the Division of the two Kingdoms of Israel and Judah from one another, and that one Consequence of this Alteration, was, that [Page 293] Ʋsury which was forbidden by the Law of Moses, for the continuance and preservation of that partition, must now of necessity be­gin to obtain, it being no where forbid­den upon any other account, than only for the preservation of such a partition, as that of Moses was, from whence I took occasion to observe, what had before hand been sufficiently proved, by many other instances, that the Jews were so far from declining any thing purely, because it was practised by the neighbour Nations, with­out any other reason, that this very pro­hibition of Usury, if it be true that it was forbidden by the Aegyptians, as well as by the Jews, was but another instance, after many that had been taken notice of before, of the agreement of the Laws and Usages of the Mosaick dispensation, with those of the Heathen Nations round about, and therefore that it must needs be false, besides other very great inconsistencies and incongruities, which I have found in the thing it self, that the Jews abstained from any thing meerly because it was in use among the Zabij, as Maimonides would have them to have done.

And that this equality of Inheritances, which was engrafted into the Laws, not only of the Aegyptians and Jews, and from [Page 294] thence of the Athenians, nay, and Lacede­monians too, if we may believe Plutarch in the life of Lycurgus, but also of the Romans, I say, that this equality cannot otherwise be preserved, than by a prohi­bition of Usury, besides the reason of the thing appears by the last instance of the Romans, among whom it is certain it did at first obtain. They are the words ofD. Sigon. de antiq [...]ur. Ital. l. 2. c. 2. Sigonius, a very good Judge in these cases. Primum igitur Romulum Regem ex agro Publico viritim diviso bina jugera singulis assignasse invenio. Testis est hujus divisionis, praeter Dionysium, Varro, cujus haec verba sunt in libro de Re Rusticâ primo. Antiquus noster (Romulus) ante bellum Punicum pendebat [...] jugera quod à populo primum diviso videbuntur, viritim, quae, quod hae­redem seque bantur, Haeredium appellarunt, and the same thing is no less plain from all the Colonies that were from time to time, deduced by the Romans, into the con­quered places, in which you may see every where in Livy, there was an equality of distribution observed at first, but yet this equality could not be preserved, in a place where Usury was so excessively practised, as it was among the Romans, among whom many of the publick disturbances and com­motions that happened were occasioned [Page 295] by this sort of oppression, as may be seen up and down in many places in Livy.

And how could it possibly be otherwise, where Usury was publickly allowed, and extortion privately practised, where Lands, when they were sold, were sold out-right, without any Year of Jubile in which they were to return to the old possessour again, but that a difference, as there will always be between one man and another, in in­dustry, Frugality, Ingenuity, Craft, Am­bition and the like, must very soon make the industry of one encroach upon the sloath, the frugality of one upon the pro­fuseness, the ingenuity of one upon the dullness, the Ambition of one upon the Indifference, and the Knavery of one up­on the honest and undesigning temper of another.

From whence it came to pass in the com­pass of not many years, that the dispro­portion was so great, that it began to be complained of as a grievance by the poorerLiv. l. 6. sort, which occasioned that Law of Li­cinius Stolo, ne quis plus quingenta agri Jugera possideret; which Law was afterwards broken by himself, and he severely sined,ib. l. 7. quod mille Jugerum agri cùm silio posside­ret; emancipandoque filium fraudem legi fecisset.

Another uncontroulable testimony to the truth of this, as to matter of fact, be­sides the natural evidence of the thing it self, shall be taken from the Book and Story of Nehemiah c. 5. whose words I will here transcribe at large, from v. 1. to 12. inclusively.

1. And there was a great cry of the Peo­ple, and of their Wives, against their Bre­thren the Jews. 2. For there were that said, We, our Sons and our Daughters are many: therefore we take up Corn for them, that we may eat, and live. 3. Some also there were that said, We have Mortgaged our Lands, Vineyards, and Houses, that we might buy Corn, because of the dearth. 4. There were also that said, We have bor­rowed money for the Kings tribute, and that upon our Lands and Vineyards. 5. Yet now our Flesh is as the Flesh of our Bre­thren, our Children as their Children: and lo, we bring into bondage our Sons and our Daughters, to be Servants, and some of our Daughters are brought into bondage already, neither is it in our power to redeem them: for other men have our Lands and Vine­yards. 6. And I (Nehemiah) was very angry when I heard their cry, and these words. 7. Then I consulted with my self, and I rebuked the Nobles, and the Rulers, [Page 297] and said unto them, Ye exact Ʋsury, every one of his Brother. And I set a great as­sembly against them. 8. And I said unto them, We, after our ability, have redeemed our Bre­thren the Jews, which were sold unto the Heathen; and will you even sell your Bre­thren? or shall they be sold unto us? then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer. 9. Also I said, It is not good that ye do, ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the Hea­then our Enemies? 10. I likewise, and my Brethren, and my Servants, might exact of them money and Corn: I pray you let us leave off this Ʋsury. 11. Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their Lands, their Vineyards, their Olive-yards, and their Houses, also the hundredth part of the money; and of the Corn, the Wine, and the Oyl, that ye exact of them. 12. Then said they, we will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the Priests, and took an Oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.

Upon which words that I may descant with the greater clearness, it is first to be observed that this happened just upon the return from the Captivity, in which state while the Jews continued, being utter­ly [Page 298] dispossessed and ejected out of their re­spective inheritances, they had no way to subsist but by trade, so that they could not subsist without usury, or at least not without making a gain by the exchange of the Commodities which they sold, which was one sort of usury prohibited by theDeut. 23. 19. Law of Moses, and comes under that ge­neral term of encrease of Ʋictuals, or usury upon any thing that was lent upon usury, which the Law forbad as well as encrease of money, and though this were only prohi­bited them with respect to one another, [...]b▪ v. 20. but permitted upon the alien or the stran­ger, yet in the Captivity it was impossible, but it must be exercised mutually upon each other likewise, for they had no subsistance but by trade, and to trade without making some advantage by the exchange, when they had no other way to live, and were at a constant charge, for the mainte­nance of themselves and Familes, would in a very small time bring a Noble to Nine­pence, and was, as we are used to Phrase it, to buy and sell and live by the loss.

From whence it is easie to perceive, accord­ing to the different industry or ingenuity of men, according to their greater or lesser opportunities of advancing themselves in the way of traffick and commerce, ac­cording [Page 299] to their greater or lesser charge by reason of the number of their own Fa­milies or the incidental and external ne­cessities of their relations, according to the greater or lesser degrees of Thrift and Par­simony of one man compared with another, and lastly, according to the different ho­nesty, or Capacity of those they had to do with, but this must needs make very great inequalities among the Jews themselves, one must be excessive rich, and another poorer than beggery it self, one rather than give, would lend at usury out of hopes to make an advantage that way, and ano­ther must be forced to borrow at any rate, and be a slave to the lender.

And these hard circumstances instead of being abated or redressed by their return from the Captivity, were rather increased by it, for in the first place it is to be con­sidered, how they were interrupted in the building of the Temple and City, in the Reign of Artaxerxes the successor of Cy­rus, Joseph. Antiq. l. XI. c. 2. & 5. whom Josephus calleth Cambyses (as that other Artaxerxes who succeeded Da­rius, is by that Author called Xerxes) by the Artifices of Rehum and Shimshai (cal­led by Josephus after the Apocryphal writer of Esdras for the greater softness of theJoseph▪ Antiq. l. XI. c. 2. 1 Esdr c. 2. sound, Rathymus and Semellius) and this [Page 300] could not but be accompanied with a pro­portionable oppression, because the reason why they were forced to desist, was be­cause they were represented as a Rebelli­ous and Seditious people, which oppression though it were soon after taken off, in the Reign of Darius the Son of Hystaspes (for that of Artaxerxes or Cambyses was but very short,) so that by vertue of Dari­us his decree, they were encourag'd a fresh to set upon the building of the Temple, which was actually finished, and the Feast of Dedication kept, in the sixth year of that King, Ezr. 6. 15, 16, 17. nay, and as it seems the Walls of Jerusalem were compleated likewise, yet this new scene of Affairs was but of short continuance, for in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, the Immediate Successour and Son of Da­rius, when Nehemiah enquired of his Coun­tryman Hauani, concerning the Jews that had escaped which were left of the Captivity, Nehem. 1: 2. and concerning Jerusalem: The answer which he received was this, The remnant that are left in the Captivity there in the Pro­vince, are in great affliction and reproach. The Wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the Gates thereof are burnt with fire. And Josephus adds what is but a veryAntiq. XI. 5. easie and necessary consequence of what [Page 301] Nehemiah hath written. [...], that is, that the Nations round about made perpetual inroads upon them, pillaging and ravaging the Coun­try in the day, and surpriseing their Towns and Villages in the night, and filling all the ways and passages with heaps of dead Bodies. And though this insolence at the instance of Nehemiab were not long after severely forbidden by the Decree of Artaxerxes or Xerxes the Son of Darius, yet this hin­dered not but Sanballat and Tobiah, and their adherents did still do all they could to plague and torment the Jews, and to hinder them from repairing the Ruins of their slighted Wall Nehem. c. 4. so that they were forced the one half of them to be a guard to the rest, while they pro­ceeded in their work, and the other half in a mixt condition betwixt that of La­bouring and military persons, were necessi­tatedNehem. 4. v 13. ad fin. cap. to hold a Sword in one hand, while they employed a Trowel with the other.

The consequence of which was, that the Land all this while lay unmanured, while the people were all of them so whol­ly [Page 302] taken up in the defence of themselves, and in the building of their Wall and City, and if they had Tilled and Sowed, or Planted their ground with never so much industry and care, yet it could not be o­therwise in this posture of affairs, but the Enemy would either have spoil'd and wast­ed what they had done, or being so strong as they were in the Country round about, while the Jews were all of them employ­ed in the building of Jerusalem and in theNehem. 4. 22. defence of the builders, they would have enjoyed the Fruits of what the others had Planted and Sown.

Wherefore these causes, as very well they might, produced a Dearth of Corn and of all manner of sustenance among the Jews, Nehem. 5. 3. and this Dearth which was enhaunsed by this, that they were not only to maintain themselves and Families, butv. 4. were also to pay a Tribute to the King, compelled them to mortgage their Lands, Nehem. 5. 2, 3, 4. Vineyards and Houses, that they might buy Corn for themselves; and their Sons and their Daughters, which were many, that they might eat and live. Which hardship of theirs, would have been still greater, if Nehemiah, who was the Tirshatha or Governour appointed by Artaxerxes, had exacted the Governors allowance, to [Page 303] which he had a right equal to that of any of his Predecessors, who without the ad­dition of any of those calamities which have been lately mentioned, were them­selves a sufficient plague and burthen to the people, not being content barely to oppress them themselves, but permitting their very Slaves and Servants to Lord it over the Heritage of God, and to play the worst, because the meanest of Tyrants, by all manner of cruelty, rapine and injustice. But Nehemiah notwithstanding his charge was very great, for he had an hundredv. 14, 15. and fifty constant guests of the best quali­ty among the Jews at his Table, besides those that came from among the Heathen that were about them, and his allowance was sutable to so numerous a company consist­ing of persons of so considerable a rank,v. 18. ib. v. 10. ib. yet for all that required he not the Bread of the Governor, because the bondage was heavy upon the People. No wonder there­fore when the old partition of Inheritances was destroyed, when the Dearth was so great, and the oppression greater, if they were not only forced to mortgage what they had of real estate, that they might take up Money, to maintain themselves and Families, and to pay the Kings Tribute which lay very heavy upon them, but also [Page 304] when this was done, and yet proved insuffici­ent to satisfie all their wants, to sell their very Sons and Daughters into bondage to be Ser­vants, whom, as they complained very [...]. 5. 5. justly, it was not in their power to redeem, because other men had their Lands and Vineyards.

Which things being premised, for the better understanding the true state of affairs at that time, I shall now for the explication of this Chapter of Nehemiah, do these two things. First, I shall shew in what sort and manner, and to what degree Usury was practised among the Eastern Nations. And Secondly, I shall shew that the Old Laws and Usages of the Romans which con­cerned Usury, were derived from thence.

As to the First of these, that is to say, in what sort and manner and to what de­gree Usury was practised among the Eastern Nations, or at leastwise among the Jews, as well before as after their return from the Captivity of Babylon, may be seen from this place of Nehemiah compa­red with some other places in the Law of Moses; and in the general it is certain, that Usury was two fold, it was either increase of Money, or increase of Victuals, or in­deed of any thing necessary or convenient for the support of humane life; as hath [Page 305] been already sufficiently declared, and this Usury in respect of the difficulties to which it reduced those who were involved in it, was called in Hebrew Neshec from a word that signifies to bite, because in time it ate quite through their Estates, and in like manner all kind of Extortion and im­moderate Exaction is by the Turks called eating at this day, and this is the very word by which the Prophet David describes the unjust man, and the oppressour. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledg? who eat up my people as they would eat bread, and call not upon the Lord. Psal. 14. 4. and 53. 4. and as with relation to the party borrow­ing it was called Neshec, so with respect to the lender, there are two words by which it is exprest, Tarbith and Marbith, both from the same root, and both signi­fying improvement or increase, but in case they could not duely pay their Use, or being reduced to extream want, having but just a bare subsistence for themselves, and perhaps hardly that, they could not pay it any longer, then if they had any Lands or Vineyards, or Houses, they were forced to Mortgage or Paun them till the year of Jubilee. Lastly in case of a still greater necessity which sometimes happened, as it did in Nehemiahs days by reason of the [Page 306] Famine and the Kings Tribute, notwith­standing the Tirshatha's allowance were not exacted; then they sold themselves or else their Sons and their Daughters into bondage, by virtue of that absolute power and Authority which they had over them, the Men till the Seventh year, and the Women till that of Jubilee, the reasons of which difference have been already explain­ed.

If you ask to what degree this Usury was exacted, the Text of Nehemiah tells you expresly, it was the Hundreth part of the Money, and of the Corn, the Wine and the Oyl. Hebr. Meath hacheseph Vehada­gan, &c. but the Seventy have Translated it to another sense, [...] ( [...].) The sense of which is that Ne­hemias not only exhorted the Creditors to restore the Lands, and Vineyards, and Houses which they had in Mortgage, but also out of their own Pockets to furnish their necessitous Neighbours and Kindsmen; for it was they, who were the first Mortgagers in all these cases, with whatsoever was necessary for their present support; where­fore the Seventy instead of Meath read it Meeth with a very little alteration: but, I confess, I prefer the Masorethical reading [Page 307] before it, not only because the condition might seem too hard to be submitted to, that they should restore the Principle and forgive the Use, and furnish them de suo with large contributions for their support into the bargain, but also because the Ro­mans, who as I have said, as to the case of Usury, received all their customs from the Jews, did exact it in the same proportion in which Nehemiah affirms the Creditors among the Jews, in his time to have done, as shall be shown more largely by and by.

And to begin with Names before we pass to other particular circumstances of the matter in question, there are two names in Latin by which the Principle, and two by which the Usury of it was exprest. The Principle was either caput or sors, and the advantage redounding from it was ei­ther Faenus or Ʋsura, all which are plainly and unquestionably Hebrew, or at least Oriental Names; Caput is manifestly the Hebrew Gabhouth, by which any sort of Eminence, or Hill, or Top of any thing was aptly signified, so that nothing can answer more exactly either in word or sig­nification then the Hebrew does to the Latin, and thence the Capitol was called not a Capite Toli, as the Roman Etymo­logists, who did not understand their own [Page 308] Language, ignorantly tell us, but it was as much as Gabhouth el or Gabhouth al, more broadly according to the manner of the Chaldees, whose a is as broad as the Do­rique, and does almost answer the pro­nunciation of o, as much as to say the Hill of God, or the Hill where God was anciently Worshiped, as it was the custom all over the East, from whence I make no question but the Romans were a Colony) to Worship God in Hills and High places whence Ramah, and Gibeon, and Gilboah had their names, as being such Eminences or High places, as it seems, set apart an­ciently for the Worship of God.

And such another account as this, is to be given of several other of those famous seven Hills upon which the old Rome was afterwards built, the Mons Palatinus is not à balandò, as the Roman Grammari­ans would needs have it to signifie, but it is from the Hebrew Phillel, from whence with an Heemantique is the noun Tephillah, which being rejected, as not belonging to the root, mons Palatinus is the Mountain of Prayer, so also the Vatican Mountain, is as much as, har Hahatik, the Old Moun­tain, where the first Planters of the Colony seem to have Worshipped God, by chang­ing the hajin into an Aeolique Digamma, [Page 309] which answers to the Latin v consonant and f, of which I shall give more instances very suddenly, for that it is not à vatibus, according to the Latin Analogy, is clear from this, that the Syllable ti in vatibus is short, but in vaticanus long according to that of Martial

‘Et vaticanis condita musta cadis.’

Though I deny not but vatis it self, if it be not à fando, as the Greek [...] is from [...] may very well be supposed to be from the Hebrew Hatik, because the Seers and Prophets of Old time were gene­rally old Men, and from vatis is vaticini­um, that is, Hatikinium, an old Saying, or an ancient Prophecy, so that these things do naturally strengthen and con­firm one another.

Again the esquiliae or the mons esquili­nus, had its name from the Thickets or Groves that grow upon it, for that is the signification of Eshel in Hebrew, whence was the Latin Asilum, and as the name so the thing it self, was derived from the Cities of Refuge among the Jews, as well as the pomeria among the Latins, which was no­thing else but aliquid extra & intra muros vacui at humano cultu soli, for the Cities of the Levites, and consequently those of [Page 310] Refuge, were to have a Suburb of a thou­sand Cubits round about, this was their pomaerium, and at the farthest boundary of this, the jus asylorum took its beginning; and because where such shady Groves are used to be found, there are usually Medows and Watercourses adjoyning, therefore Eshel seems in differently to signifie all these, and accordingly it is usually rendered by the Seventy, by the general name of [...], which signifies properly any arable Land, (though neither the pomaeria of the Romans nor the Suburbs of the Levites were ever Plowed upon any occasion whatsoever) and from hence Asilus in Latin is a certain flye or Gadbreeze, troublesome to Cattel, which breeds in such Meadowy or Woody places, which the Latins call otherwise Tabanus and the Greeks [...]. Virgil,

Est lucos silari circà Ilicibusque virentem
Plurimus Alburnum volitans, cui nomen Asilo
Romanum est, aestrum Graii vertere vo­cantes,
Acer, acerba sonans, quo tota exterita sylvis,
Diffugiunt armenta, fugit mugitibus aether
Concussus, sylvaeque & sicci ripa Tanagri.

Lastly as from Eshel is the esquiliae, and the mons Esquilinus, and the asylum, and asilus, so from Ethel which is the same in Chalday, that Eshel is in Hebrew is the Latin Italia, by reason of its Fruitfulness and pleasant situation, as one of part of it was called Campania, and the Metropolis of that Province Capua, from the Greek [...], so widely are they deceived who would have Italy derive its name from the Greek [...], for a fabulous and foolish reason, or rather for no reason at all, but only the resemblance in sound.

But enough of this, I could show the same of the rest of the Roman Hills, that they had their names from the East, which is sufficient to prove the inhabitants of that place to have been a Colony from thence; but I return to the business of Usury which occasioned this digression, and the Second name by which the Principal sum is cal­led in Latin, is Sors, which is derived from the Hebrew Joresh, signifying an Inheri­tance or Estate; and because the Inheri­tances among the Jews were divided by lot, therefore sors in Latin does also signi­fie chance or fortune, and sortes are lots, and sortiri is to cast lots, or to obtain by lot.

These are the two words by which the Principle is signified in the Latin tongue, the use as hath been said is either faenus or usura. Faenus is hanoush, from hanash, paenâ affecit, mulctavit, mulctam imposuit, as much as to say, id quod mulctae loco exi­gitur, by changing the hajin into the Aeoli­que digamma, as in the instances above mentioned of vatis, vaticinium and vati­canus, and in two other instances that shall hereafter be produced, and the word is used in Chalday, Esra. 7. 26. Lahanash Nicsin, which we render by confiscation of Goods, and the Seventy by [...], which is proportionably the same in Usury as in confiscation. Lastly, utor, and usus, and usura, are the first of them from Hathar in Chalday, the two last from Hasar in Hebrew, signifying a tenth, because this was the ancient usura centesima, or in the Lan­guage of Nehemiah, the hundreth part of the Money, the Corn, the Oyl, and the Wine. For the year anciently consisted of ten Months, before it was reduced (by seve­ral degrees, and upon necessary considera­tions because of the seasons of the Year, as it were shifting their course, and pas­sing successively through all the Months) to a perfect equation with the motion of the Sun, and one in an hundred for one [Page 313] Month, is ten in the hundred for the year, as afterwards by the addition of two other Months it came to be twelve in the hun­dred; and that we may understand the bet­ter how perfect the analogy is, it is to be observed, that as hasar is decimare, to re­ceive the tenth, or use of any thing, for one in the hundred, for one Month is ten in the hundred, that is one in ten, a tenth of the whole, for the use of an year, so in Pu­hal, mehousar, or by letting out the forma­tive honsar, is id quod decimatum est, or id omne quodcunque usurae nomine accipitur. So that I think there is nothing at all preca­rious in this account, unless it be that one of these two things do not seem sufficiently proved. First, That there was anciently an Eastern year which consisted of ten Months. Secondly, That the use of Money and of all things else was Monthly payed. And for the First of these it is certain that Ro­mulus his Year consisted but of ten Months, as Ovid expresly tells us in his Fasti,

Tempora digereret cùm conditor urbis, in
Constituit menses quinque bis esse suo. (anno

For which the learned Poet alledges se­veral reasons, the first is taken from the supposed ignorance of Romulus in the course and motion of the Stars.

Scilicet arma magis quam sidera, Romule, noras.
Curaque finitimos vincere major erat.

But this by his favour could not be a good reason, neither can it be thought a likely matter, that a wise Man living a great many Years in the World, and observing in every one of them the seasons of the Year, and by consequence the course of the Sun, should think the solar Year to consist but of ten Months; for if you go by the Lunar, those ten Months will be so many several Years, being so many several compleat and entire descriptions of the Lunar Circle, and indeed something more, if you assign thirty days to each Month; which I shall prove by and by to have been the true an­cient ten Month Year; neither was Ovid himself satisfied with this solution, as ap­pears by his substituting two others in its stead, one of which is, that this was that Period of time wherein the Widow was used to mourn for her deceased Husband.

Per totidem menses, à funere conjugis, uxor
Sustinet in viduâ tristia signa domo.

And this I do not deny to be a possible reason, but I am far from thinking it is the true one; nay, I am rather of opinion that the contrary is true, that is, that the reason why the Year consisted of ten Months, was not because the Widow mourned so long for her Husband, but the reason why the Widow mourned so long, and no longer for her Husband, was because it was cu­stomary to mourn for a Year in this case, and the ancient Year consisted of ten Months, though the time of mourning was not inlarged together with the Year, as many of our customs depend upon rea­sons which are now long since expired and forgotten, but I speak this only with refer­ence to the ancient Romans, for at this day it is manifest that the Year of mourning is measured by the Sun.

But the true reason of this ancient Year consisting of ten Months is yet behind, and is assigned by Ovid in the words immedi­ately preceding those which I have newly cited, namely that it was taken from the time of Child-bearing, or from the usual Period that is found to pass from the time of conception to that of parturition.

Quod satis est utero matris dum prodeat infans
Hoc anno statuit temporis esse satis.

And this discovers withal from whence the Romans had their ancient Year, for there is no question but they received it from the East, where there was such a Period of ten Months taken from this last reason which Ovid assigns, and which was properly and peculiarly called the time of life. So the Angel called it in his promise made to A­braham, Gen. 18. 10. I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life, and lo Sarah thy Wife shall have a Son. And that this time was a fixt and certain Period, by which it was well understood, what time was meant in those days, appears plainly by v. 14. where it is called the appointed time. Is any thing too hard for the Lord? at the time appointed will I return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a Son. And that we may see more plainly that this was an usual Period in the East, and this which is here mentioned, a stated and setled form of expressing it, the very same words are repeated in a like case, by the Prophet Elisha to the Shunam­mite Woman, 2 Kings 4. 16. about this [Page 317] season according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a Son. and again, v. 17. And the Woman conceived and bare a Son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, accord­ing to the time of life; and that by this ap­pointed time of life, the space of ten Months was understood, is clear besides the expe­rience of the thing it self in the usual Pe­riods of parturition, from the words of the Text themselves, especially if we compare them with the version of the Seventy, who translate Mohed and Heth Hazeh, at this time or this appointed time by [...] and [...], in the places of Genesis which I have produced, [...], and in those of Kings, [...], which passages are not so to be interpreted, as if the Angel in one place, or the Pro­phet in the other had said, at this time twelve Months I will return unto thee, or this time twelve Months thou shall embrace a Child, but at the return of this season of the Year, which must of necessity happen within less then ten Months dividing the Year into four quarters, each of which is in Greek properly called [...] or [...], and in Hebrew Mohed, as in that place in the first of Genesis, where the Stars are ap­pointed Leothoth, Oulemohadim, Oulejamim, Veshanim. For signs, and for seasons, and [Page 318] for days, and years. Where the Seventy render it, [...].

Further that the Romulian Year con­sisting of ten Months was without question taken from the East, may appear by re­flecting upon Rome and Romulus them­selves; for both those names are taken from the East, Rome is from Rom, excelsum esse, exaltari, and may signifie any high place whatsoever, as Ramah and Gibeon might also have done, though they have been ap­propriated to two particular places; and Romulus is the God of that high place, by the addition of el. Romulus, if I am not mistaken, is the same with Remus, the latter being only a corruption of the for­mer; though tradition and common speech, which made the corruption, have to justifie it, invented Fables concerning them, as of several persons, and as Romulus is the same with Remus, so is Numa the Second King of the Romans, the same perhaps with Nu­mitor, the Father of Rhea, and the pretend­ed Grandfather of Romulus; for Amulius his Brother is certainly a fained person, his name being given him only from his Emu­lation and Ambition, and as it were to justi­fie the story that is told concerning him; that he deposed his Brother Numitor from the Kingdom. Romulus, was otherwise called [Page 319] Quirinus and this not for any of the reasons assigned by Ovid in the Second of his Fasti,

Sive quod hasta quiris priscis est dicta sabinis,
Bellicus à telo venit in astra Deus:
Sive suo regi nomen posuere Quirites,
Seu quia Romanis juxerat ille Cures.

But Quirinus is [...] from the Hebrew Keren signifying an Horn, which was in the East accounted an emblem of Dominion and Power, for Quoi, and Qui, and Cui are the same, as in that of Catullus,

Quoi dono lepidum, novum libellum
Aridâ modò pumice expolitum?
Corneli, tibi, namque tu solebas,
Meas esse aliquid putare nugas.

And by the same Analogy, what the Latins call Quintus, when it is a Praenomen, that the Greeks call [...], and from [...] is the Latin Quino, with its compounds in­quino and coinquino.

Further yet, the First place where any temple was built, and where the an­cient Romans preserved the Images of all their Gods, there where the Capitol it self was afterwards built, was called mons Tar­pejus, not from Tarpeius, the supposed Go­vernour [Page 320] of the Citadel, or from his Daughter Tarpeja, who is slandred by An­tiquity with having betrayed it to the Ro­mans, for want of a more likely tale to give an account of the Etymon of the place; but because the Idols, which the Romans Worshipt, which Idols are properly called Teraphim in Hebrew, and in construction Tarphei, were in that Mountain kept and preserved.

The manner of Romulus his being transla­ted to Heaven, according to the relation of those who pretended to be Eye witnesses of it, was either a pretended imitation or a manifest corruption of the stories of Enoch and Elijah in the sacred Volume, and the stratagem by which the Romans procured Wives to themselves, having none of that Sex among them, by inviting the Sabines to come and see the Consualia Ce­lebrated by them in Honour of Neptunus Equestris, is answered exactly by the story of the Benjamites with relation to the Daughter of Shiloh in the last Chapter of the Book of Judges, so that not only as to names and words, but as to events and things themselves there is a plain and un­deniable Orientalism in the Roman story, as is evident before we leave Romulus by the name of Rhea the vestal Virgin (im­pregnated [Page 321] by Mars) who is pretended to have been his Mother; for this Rhea pro­perly signifies a Priestess, from Rhaah vi­dit, as the Priests and Prophets in Scrip­ture are frequently called Rhoim or Seers. Romulus was succeeded by Numa the Sabi­ne, and Numa being a Lawgiver had his Name from thence, for this is the very word by which God himself in Scripture expresses his Legislative Authority and ab­solute Power, Neoum Jehvob, thus saith the Lord, and this perhaps is a better de­rivation of [...], and of Nomisma or Nu­misma derived from it, then the usual Ety­mology of the Grammarians from [...], neither can any thing be a greater confir­mation of this, then what we find record­ed in the History of Rome, that Numa re­ceived all his Laws from the Nymph Egeria, for this Egeria is Hagar, which St. Paul tells us in the Cabalistical and Arcane Lan­guage signified, Mount Sinai in Arabia, and is as much as to say, that Numa had all his Laws and Institutions out of the East; and still further to strengthen this matter, it is to be noted, that among other things in­troduced and instituted by Numa, were the Salii, the Ancilia and the Luperci; I shall pass my conjecture at the meaning of all these, and so conclude this digression, the [Page 322] Salii were the Priests of Mars, twelve in number, with Shields or Targets called Ancilia, from El or Al which the Latins call Sol, as much a Solii, the Priests in ge­neral of God, or more particularly of the Sun, to which all the Heathen Deities are reduced by Macrobius, and I appeal to any Man whether this be not a better Etymon then the common one a Saliendo, especi­ally if you consider these two things; First, What Macrobius tells us, that in his time the Salii did not understand their own Songs, and solemn Hymns, which shews then to have been written in some Exotique Language and probably in the Eastern. And Secondly, That the same persons are by Catullus, Epigr. 17. called Salisubsuli, which, if this Etymology were true, would be at once à saliendo & à subsiliendo, which is per­fect non-sense as any thing can be.

Again, their Arms or Targets were cal­led Ancilia, not ab Ancidendo, as the Gram­marians would have it, without any ground in Analogy to favour their conjecture, but because the Salii in their dances were used, as I conceive, in certain measures to beat or play upon their Shields, ingeminating these words in honour of their God, Een ca el, Een ca el, there is none like God, or there is none like our God, which it is very [Page 323] natural and easie for any Man to conceive them to have done. Lastly, The Luperci the Priest of Pan, or of the Demourgick and Plastick nature of the universe, whose bu­siness it was to run naked though the Streets, Mulierum palmas uterosque caprinâ pelle feri­entes, Lloyd lex George. & Poet. in voce. quâ re faecunditatem & facilem par­tum sieri putabunt, had their name from the words which they seem to have pronoun­ced in the performance of this Superstiti­ous office, lou parothka, or lou parothk. utinam parias, and though the Original of these things be driven back by some as far as Evander himself, at his First coming in­to Italy, which according to the general computation is a great while before the time of Numa, yet it is sufficient that they were most certainly and most solemnly practised in his time, and that when ever they began, as the Chronology of those ages is very confused, yet they are most probably of Eastern growth, and speak a Language intelligible to the East, but not to any other besides them.

But to return to that which occasioned this digression, and that is the Romulian or the ten Month Year: Another instance re­maining to this day of the ancient Period of ten Months in the East, is to be found in the [...] of the Babylonians, for the [Page 324] Babylonians or Chaldeans had three several ways anciently of measuring time, by their [...], their [...], and their [...], which have never yet been satisfactory explained; their First Kings they tell us Reigned One hundred and twenty Sari, but what Period of time the [...] was, is not so easie to determine, Hesychius is content to tell us in the general that it was [...], A certain number or measure of time among the Babylonians, but there is a fragment of Abydenus preserved in Euse­bius, which gives a more particular accountSee the most learn­ed L. Bp. of Chester upon the Creed, Ar­tic. 1. p. 59. of the matter, [...], the [...] contains Three thou­sand Six hundred Years, and with Abydenus Berosus and Alexander Polyhistor do exactly agree, at which rate the Sum total of an Hun­dred and twenty Sari, amounting to so vast and prodigious a number, being in all Four hundred thirty two thousand Years, which are all of them pretended to have been ta­ken up in the Reign of ten Kings only; so that one King with another the proportion will be Forty three thousand two hundred Years a piece, an incredible time for the whole life, and much more for the Reign of one Man, which is but a part of it, and sometimes no very considerable one neither; this was the reason why Anianus and Pano­dorus [Page 325] with great Judgment concluded these Babylonian Years to be indeed but days, (as I have demonstrated elsewhere that e­veryDiscourse of the true time of our Saviours Passover. revolution of any of the Heavenly bodies, so as to describe an entire Circle, and end where it began, is in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, rightly called Shanah, [...], and annus) and this conjecture of theirs was no other then the very truth, not only as to the [...], but as to the [...], and the [...], as I will now prove by shewing the Etymology of each, the Saros say they, is Three thousand Six hundred Days, but yet in this they are mistaken, that where they reduce these Days into Solar Years, they proceeding according to the most perfect equation of the Suns course, consisting of three hundred Sixty five Days and a quar­ter in each Year, have made the whole Sa­ros to be but nine Years, six Months, and odd Days, whereas according to the ac­count of the Chaldeans themselves, whose Solar Year consisted but of Three hundred Sixty days, the whole Saros contained ten entire and perfect Years, I do not say or mean perfect in themselves, but in thev. Scal. d [...] Emend. temp. l. 3. & Cl. Stillingfl. orig. Sacr. l. 1. c. 6. account and esteem of those unskilfull Ages, till at last by the variation of the seasons of the Year, or at least by a foresight that this in time would be the consequence of it, [Page 326] the Aegyptian Priests bethought themselves and added Five Days more to the ancient account, of which Plutarch from the mo­numentsDe Iside & Osiride. of the Aegyptians hath given a fa­bulous account, which it is needless to men­tion; it is sufficient that the ancient Solar Year consisted of no more then Three hundred and sixty days, now Three hun­dred and sixty days multiplyed by ten, make Three thousand Six hundred, which was the Chaldean Saros, From the He­brew hasar, by the Elision of the Guttu­rall, which is in a manner a Quiescent let­ter, and so it appears in the version of the Seventy in the proper names, who some­times leave it perfectly out, as in heden, which they have expressed by [...], with­out taking any notice of the Consonant at all, though sometimes they render it by the Grecian Gamma, as in hamorah, [...], Chedarlaomer, [...] and the like; and by the same Analogy with this from the proper name Asshur, which begins with an Aleph, a Quiescent letter, we have not only the Greek [...], but sometimes by the Elision and Omission of the Quiescent [...], so that the Analogy being so perfect, and answering so exactly to the thing pretended to be explained by it; I make no scruple confidently to affirm [Page 327] that this is a plain and true account of the Saros which will be still further confirmed by considering the [...] and the [...], which I am now going very briefly to ex­plain; and as the Saros was a Period of Three thousand Six hundred Days or ten solar Years, so is the Neiros an intervall of Six hundred Days, or two times of life, or Periods of ten Solar Months, and the Sosos of Sixty Days, or of two such Months as the Neiros had ten; as to the first of them it is to be noted, that in Hebrew Nechirim or Nechiraim signifie the two Nostills, from the Singular Nachir, whence by the Elisi­on of the Guttural is the Latin nar, naris; and by the same expedient, that is, by omitting the Guttural which the Greeks can­not properly express by any letter of their own, proceeds that which in the Chaldean account of time was called the [...], be­ing two equal and similar Periods of time, as the Nostrils are similar and fellows to one another, which making up together Six hundred, it is manifest that each Period considered by it self, must on both sides be an equal Period of Three hundred Days, or a Year of Ten Months according to the time of life, which was the thing I under­took to prove, and to make the Analogy yet more clearly out, we have the same in [Page 328] [...], which is from the Hebrew Nachal, or as the Aegyptians perhaps might call it Nachil, by the Elision of the same Cheth, which as I have said cannot be properly and truly answered by any Greek Letter whatsoever, and so what the Hebrew calls the Land of Chavilah, Gen. 2. 11. which is incompassed by the River Phison, that the Seventy call [...], and other Authors [...], both by the Elision of the Guttural, and both meaning Africa by it, of which this [...] was a promontory towards the Sea side, from whence the whole Coast might ve­ry well derive its name; and I hope this may pass for as handsome a conjecture, as the ab Illaa of some other Learned men, upon no better grounds then only because Festus who did not understand the punick Lan­guage, hath been pleased to tell us, that Abyle in that Language does signifie mon­tem excelsum.

But let that be as it will, yet that by Havilah, Africa is understood, is plain to me from what is added concerning the place, Gen. 2. 11, 12. There is Gold, and the Gold of that Land is good, For the Gold of Ophir was famous all over the East, and Ophir and Africa are the same, and so were Ophir and Havilah in a manner the same, that is, they were both the Sons of Joktan, [Page 329] Gen. 10. 29. and both of them probably co-planters and co-inhabitants of the same Country, whence it was called by some Ha­vilah and by others Ophir, whence the Latin After and Africa are derived.

And now there is only the Sosos to be considered, which was a Period of Sixty Days, or Two solar Months, from the He­brew Shish, which perhaps by the Chaldeans was called Shoush, signifying Sixty, as the Plural Shishim in Hebrew stands for Sixty.

So that it is now clear, which was the First thing to be proved, that there was anciently in the East a Period of time con­sisting of Ten Months, allowing to each Month Thirty Days, which in the Sacred story is called the time of Life, and which being doubled did constitute the [...] of the Babylonians, against which if it be ob­jected that even so long ago as in the Histo­ry of the Floud, the Year is represented as consisting of Twelve Months; to this there are two things to be answered, First, That Moses in his account of the Floud does with­out question reduce the Years of that age, which to me seem to have been only Lu­nar, to the Calculation of his own time, but because Mr. Burnet in a late Book of his,Theory of the Earth. the design of which I do by no means ap­prove, though otherwise I acknowledg him [Page 330] to be an excellent person, hath made it his business Elaborately to defend the Years of the Patriarcks to have been solar Years, which I do no more believe, then I do that they were so many several revolutions of the Circle of Saturn, therefore I will take time to consider further of it. But a Se­cond answer to this objection, which is ta­ken from the pretended length of the An­tidiluvian Years, is this, that these two Periods the solar and that of Ten Months, are not inconsistent together, since nothing hinders but that they might both be used at the same time, not only with relation to different things, but also to the same, though by a different way and measure of compu­tation, as it is certain before Elisha's time that the Year of Twelve Months obtained amongst the Jews, as is manifest by Davids Calculation of the Years of human life, arising no higher then Threescore and ten or Fourscore, which is the usual Period of it now a days, in such as live temperately and are strongly made, but yet Elisha, long after Davids time, makes mention of the time of life, which was a Period of Ten Months, as hath already been proved, and so the Chaldeans at the same time they had their Neiros, had their Saros also, one of which was a Period measured by the time [Page 331] of life, and the other by the solar Year.

I am far from denying, that the solar Year was in the East a very ancient mea­sure of time, it was as ancient as Numa a­mong the Romans, who to the Ten of Ro­mulus added Two more, and those both of them as to their very names taken from the East, but what was the exact form of Numa's Year, is not so easie at this distance of time to tell, only thus much we know from what Livy hath enformed us concern­ing it, that to speak properly it was neither Lunar nor Solar, only it consisted of Twelve Months, and that the intercalations of each beyond the Lunar Year were so ordered, as that in Twenty Years time the account was made even, and the New Moon an­swered exactly to the same place; from whence the Sun set out Twenty Years ago. The words of Livy concerning Numa are these, in his First Book, Omnium (inter Romanos) primum ad cursum lunae in duo­decim menses describit annum, quem, quia Tricenos dies singulis mensibus Luna non ex­ple [...], desuntque dies solido anno qui solstit [...] ­ali, circumagitur orbe, intercalares mensi­bus interponendo ità dispensavit, ut vigesimo anno ad metam eandem solis unde orsi essent, plenis annorum omnium spatiis dies congru­erent. Which place of Livy never yet ex­plained [Page 332] or understood by any, I will now clearly vindicate from obscurity any longer.

Numa's Year as I have said was neither perfectly Solar nor Lunar, not perfectly Solar, because it did not consist of perfectly Solar Months, by reason of the different inter­calations in different Months, so that the Sun in each Month did not describe an e­qual segment of the Solar Circle, (and yet in this sense it might then, as it may now be said to have been Solar, because the Months were so ordered, that at the end of Twelve of them, the Sun returned to the same point of the Heavens from whence he set out Twelve Months before;) nor perfectly Lunar neither, because of the same Intercalations, which were sometimes one, and sometimes two Days longer then the de­scription of the Lunar Circle; But now sup­posing the Solar Year to be as it is, about Thirty Days longer then Twelve compleat Revolutions of the Lunar, and supposing first one, and then two Days every other Month, to be added by way of Intercalation to the course of the Moon, it must of necessity so happen that the Intercalations must fall every Month lower into the age and course of the Moon, and in twenty Lunar Months by this alternate Intercalation of one and two Days, there would in the whole be an [Page 333] Intercalation of thirty days, which is the space of a Solar Month or thereabouts, (and what it wants may be adjusted by the Intercalation of an odd Day in certain Months,) so that it is manifest the Interca­lations [...] having run through all the Lunar Months, and being equal in the whole to the Solar, the New Moon, and the Sun, that is, the beginning of one Twelfth Section of the Suns motion must set out together, and thus it would be true if we understood Livy of the Lunar Year, ut vigesimo anno ad metam eandem solis undo orsi essent, plenis an­norum omnium spatiis, dies congruerent, that is, The Sun and Moon would now conspire and agree in their motion as they did at first. But then the meta eadem, must not be so understood, as if the Sun were in the same point of the Zodiac, that he was, when he and the Moon set out together Twenty Months ago, but only that they do so exactly agree, as if they had set out together, as they did, and had kept equal pace all along with one another. But I confess this is an hard exposition of eadem meta, but though the place of Livy be not to be understood of Twenty Lunar Months, but Solar Years, yet this which I have said concerning the Intercalations or Embo­lisms at the end of the Lunar Months, will, [Page 334] if attended to, infallibly conduct us to the truth it self, for if the New Moon by vir­tue of this intercalation, be at the end of Twenty Months again co-incident with the beginning of a Monthly segment of the So­lar Year, then there being Twelve, such co­incidences in Twenty Years, all of them happening from one another at the dist­ance of a Twelfth part or segment of the Solar Circle; for Twelve times Twenty Months, is Twenty times Twelve Months, it will unavoidably happen that at the end of Twenty Years these co-incidences will have run through the Zodiac, and will fall upon the same point from whence they first set out, which is an exact Interpreta­tion of the words of Livy; Ʋt vigesimo quoque anno ad metam eandem solis unde orsi essent, plenis annorum omnium spatiis, dies congruerent.

The late Eminently Learned John Fri­deric Gronovius hath in his Book of Ob­servations a particular disquisition upon this place of Livy, which I Remember to have read many Years ago, but at this distance I am not able to give any parti­cular account of it, only that it is not that which I have given, and that it depending, as I take it, upon a different reading and many Elaborate Criticisms which the place [Page 335] does not need, I make no scruple to affirm, that it cannot be the right, and that this exposition which I have made of the words is without question no other then the very truth, and carries its own evidence along with it.

The two Months which Numa added to Romulus his Year, were January and Fe­bruary, for the Year of Romulus began in March, according to that of Ovid,

Martis erat primus mensis, venerisque se­cundus.

And again, presently after speaking of the Year of Numa, he says,

At Numa nec Janum, nec avitas preterit umbras,
Mensibus antiquis apposuitque duos.

Janus or Januarius is from the Hebrew Shanah signifying a Year, not that a Month and a Year are the same, any other­wise then in the Lunar sense, but that in this Month the Year returned into it self, it was the boundary of the Year past, and the beginning of that which was to come; therefore Janus was Painted with two Faces, looking two several ways, the one back­ward upon the Year past, and the other [Page 336] forward upon the ensuing new Year, and in one of these respects he was called Clusius be­cause of his shutting up the Old, and in ano­ther Patulcius by reason of his opening the New Year, as he speaks of himself in the Fasti,

Nomina ridebis, modò nam (que) Patulcius idem,
Et modo sacrifico Clusius ore vocor,
Scilicet alterno voluit rudis illa vetustas
Nomine, diversas significare vices.

And in another place a very little above

Quicquid ubique vides caelum, mare, nubila, terras
Omnia sunt nostrâ clausa patent que manu,
Me penes est unum vasti custodia mundi,
Et jus vertendi cardinis omne meum est.

Because the duration of all these things is measured by time, which time is opened and shut up by Janus in that manner which hath been already declared.

That Janus was not Originally an Ita­lian God, but a deity of Foreign growth, appears by this, that in his Coins or Me­dals, as on the one side there were two Heads or Faces, so on the other there was the appearance of a Ship to signifie that he came thither from beyond the Seas.

And this is the reason he gives of Saturn's having the same device upon the reverse of his Coyns or Medals, though it had been more properly applyed to himself, concern­ing whom the Question was asked by the Poet.

—Sed cur navalis in aere
Altera signata est, altera forma biceps?

To the last of which Questions, for he speaks first to the last of these, he is not very clear in his Answer, but I have al­ready explained it, to the sormer he An­swers Thus:

Caussa ratis superest, Thuscum rate venit in amnem,
Antè per errato falcifer orbe Deus.
Hac ego saturnum memini tellure receptum,
Celitibus regnis ab jove pulsus erat,
Inde diu genti mansit saturnia Nomen,
Dicta quo (que) est Latium terra latente Deo.
At bona poster it as puppim servavit in aere,
Hospitis adventum testificata Dei.

Now it had been much more pertinent to have spoken this concerning himself, and such an Answer as this, so seemingly for­reign to the Question proposed, cannot [Page 338] otherwise be reconciled to any thing but cross purposes, then by saying that Saturn and Janus were the same; for as Saturn was the ancientest of all the Gods the em­blem of Time as appears by the sithe, which he carries in his Hand, so is Janus the first, that is, the oldest Month in the Year, and as Saturn came by Ship to Rome, so did Janus too, and the Romans were beholding to some Eastern Traditions, for the name of this and other Months, as well as for the measure of them all, and for the form of their Year. The Analogy is perfect, na­tural and easie, for as from [...], is Juno, from [...] Jugum, so from Shanah, which it is likely was anciently pronounced with the Sibilus of a z, Janus, as at this day a­mong us, almost all those words, which are pronouced by us with an s, are by the Inhabitants of Somerset shire and those West­ern parts, pronounced by a z.

From Janus is Janua, because of its two Faces or surfaces, one of which looks inward towards the House or Temple, and the o­ther outward or abroad into the World, or as it is excellently expressed by the same Ovid,

Omnis habet geminas, hinc atque hinc janua frontes,
[...]E quibus haec populum spectat, at illa Larem.

And from Janua is Janitor, as much as to say shanitor, from shanah iterare because he watches both ways at once, and looks after all that go in or come out, as Janus himself speaks in the same place,

Ʋt (que) sedens vester, primi propè limina tecti,
Janitor egressus introitusque videt;
Sic ego perspicio caelestis janitor aulae,
Eoas partes, Hesperiasque simul.

Lastly for the same reason, that the first Month of Numa and of the more perfect Roman Year was called January, from shanah iterare, or shanah annus, because in this Month the New Year begins, and be­cause this Month looks backward and for­ward, upon the Year past and to come; for the very same reasons the Old Aegyptians and at this day their posterity the Coptites describe the Year, by a serpent returning into himself, as the Year does, and Biteing his Tail, which they call [...], from the Hebrew Nashak, which signifies to Bite; [Page 340] because the end of one Year and the begin­ning of another are contiguous, and do as it were bite and tread upon one another.

Numa's Second Month was called as ours is now February, and this was also taken from the East, where the Ammonites were used to make their Children pass thorough the Fire to Molock, as some conjecture by way of Sacrifice, and as others would have it by way of lustration, but as I am of opi­nion, for both of these causes; and this pas­sing through, is by the Hebrew expressed by the verb habar, whence the hajin being turned into the Aeolique digamma, as in some other instances that have been al­ready mentioned, the Latin Februa is de­rived; by which word all things that were used in their lustrations was signified, and not only Februa, but Febris also, which is a kind of passing through the Fire, as the Ammonites did, and thence it is called in Greek [...]; for the signification of Fe­bris it is well enough known, and for the other we have the Authority of the same Ovid in the Second of his Fasti.

Februa Romani dixere piamina patres,
Nunc quo (que) dant verbo plurima signa fidem.
Portifices ab rege petunt & flamine lanas,
Queis veteri linguâ februa nomen erat.
Quaeque capit lictor domibus purgamina certis,
Torrida cùm micâ farra vocantur idem.
Nomen idem ramo qui caesus ab arbore purâ,
Casta sacerdotum tempora fronde tegit.
Ipse ego flaminicam poscentem februa vidi,
Februa poscenti pinea virga data est.
Deni (que) quodcun (que) est quo pectora nostra piantur
Hoc apud intonsos nomen habebat avos.

And by exactly the same Analogy with this, there are two other words which come just now into my mind, and which I did not think of before, which are very plainly of Hebrew Origination, the first is facio, from the Hebrew hasah, as appears not only by the Analogy it self, which is the same in all these words, but also by the exact agree­ment of them both not only in their com­mon, but even in their more rare and un­usual signification; how they agree in their common signification is known to all, that understand any thing of these matters, or will but consult an Hebrew Lexicon, for their information; but they have also this pe­culiar signification both in Hebrew and La­tin, to denote the preparation and order­ing of any Animal by killing, flaying, em­bowelling, Roasting and Boiling either for Sacrifice or Food, so the Hebrew word is used, Gen. 18. 7. And Abraham ran unto the Herd, and fecht a Calf tender [Page 342] and good, and gave it to a young-man and he hasted to dress it, that is, to do every thing which was requisite to the making it fit for food; the Hebrew words are Vajimaher lahasith othoh, and just thus the Latin facio is used in that known place of Virgil

Cum faciam vitulâ pro frugibus—

And from thence is carnifex, à carne facien­dâ, and sacrificium, à faciendo sacro.

The Second instance is in the Hebrew heth, whence is the Latin fatum; heth is a time or an appointed time, and fatum is that hour which presides over such ap­pointed times and seasons, and brings every thing to pass in its predestin'd and prede­termin'd order, according to the opinion of the ancients, as is manifest by that place of Seneca and by many others, where speak­ing according to the sentiments of the Stoicks he says, Eadem necessitas etiam deos alligat, irrevocabilis divina pariter ac hu­mana cursus vehit, ille ipse omnium conditor ac rector, scripfit quidem fata, sed sequitur, semper paret, semel jussit; and just so Ovid describes his Janus as having the dominion of all things both in Heaven and Earth, in words that have been already taken notice of; and again, a little after, Janus saith of himself,

Praesideo foribus coeli cûm milibus horis.
It, redit officio Jupiter ipse meo.

And as fatum is that power which Governs and Orders all things by certain and pre­determin'd causes, so fortuna is that which presides as it were over the irregularities of nature, where this Order is broken and things happen by chance, and the Latin words sors, fors, forte, and fortuna, are all of them derived from the Hebrew joresh, of the Etymon; of the first of which an account hath been given already, and the three last are derived from it, as in the other Ety­mologies which I have last mentioned by the addition of the Aeolique Digamma, of which more instances come into my mind, but I will not suffer my self to digress any further.

Therefore to conclude this matter, be­cause of the Ammonites and other Easter­lings passing through the Fire to Molock by way of Lustration or Sacrifice, which in­cluded an expiation, therefore all kind of lustrations and expiatory rites, were by the Latins properly called Februa; this was the reason why there could be no proper Sacrifice without Fire, because of its clean­sing and purifying nature, and the Greeks [Page 344] and Romans burning the Bodies of their dead, depended upon the same reason, be­cause they had received it, by tradition from the East, that a dead Carkass was an unclean thing, and that Fire was a Symbol and an Instrument of cleanness and purifi­cation, and therefore they applied the one to the other; this reason is expresly assign­ed by the old Scholiast upon Homer; where speaking of Cillus the Auriga or Charioteer of Pelops, who died at Lesbus, as they were going to Pisa, a City of Pelopon­nesus, where Pelops designed to Fight Oeno­maus the Father of Hippodamia, who would not part with his Daughter upon any other terms, then to such as could first Atcheive the conquest of himself, which had been the death of many of her Lovers, he says, [...] Ad il. [...]. [...]. 38. that is, As soon as Pelops had got as far as Lesbus on his way to Pila, his coachman Cil­lus died, and appearing to Pelops, who was greatly afflicted for his death in a dream, he did at once bemoan his own misfortune, and [Page 345] begg of Pelops to take care that the Fu­neral justa or exequiae should be performed, at which Pelops arising out of his sleep, af­ter he had cleansed and purified the dead Carkass by Fire, buried the Ashes, and e­rected a sumptuous Monument to the me­mory of Cillus over them; and a little af­ter he cites a passage of Euripides to the same purpose, though this was not the thing which he designed to shew in either of these places,


And as Fire, so also Water was used in lustrations by reason of its cleansing and pu­rifying Nature, but Ovid was very much mistaken when he refers the Original of these things to Greece, for they all of them without question came out of the East, but so he tells us,

Omne nefas omnem (que) mali purgamina causam,
Credebant nostri tellere posse senes.
Graecia principium moris fuit, illa nocentes
Impia lustratos ponere facta putat.
Actoriden Peleus, ipsum quoque Pelea Phoci
Caede per Hemonias solvit Acastus aquas.
Vectam frenat [...] per inane draconibus Aegeus
Credulus, immeritâ Phasida fovit ope.
Amphiaraides Naupactoo Acheloo,
Solve nefas, dixit, solvit & ille nefas.
Ah! nimium faciles, qui tristia crimina caedis,
Flumineâ tolli posse putetis aquâ!

But of this matter and others that have a connexion with it, I have discoursed more largely in some other papers, which toge­ther with some other disquisitions of incon­siderable bulk, I design to make publick some time or other under the Title of Miscellanies.

Lastly, Though Ovid hath already told us that Numa added two Months to Ro­mulus his Year, which agrees with Livyes account, and therefore is most credible; yet in the words immediately following those I have newly cited, he quite and clean changes his note, and says that January and February were the two ancient Months of the Roman Year, and that they had no other Months besides them, till the other ten were added, in process of time, by App. Claudius and the rest of the Decem­viri.

Sed tamen (antiqui nè nescius ordinis erres)
Primus ut est Jani mensis, & antè fuit.
Qui sequitur Janum, veteris fuit ultimns anni,
Tu quoque sacrorum, Termine, finis eras.
Primus enim Janimensis, quia Janua prima est,
Qui sacer est imis manibus, imus erat.
Postmodò creduntur spatio distantia longo
Tempora bis quini continuâsse viri.

But I confess I am of Ovid's first opinion, that the ancient Year of Romulus consist­ed of ten Months, First, Because March was manifestly the beginning of a Year in some ancient account or other, as is ma­nifest by the names of Quintilis, Sextilis, September, &c. which are computed from it. Secondly, The Saturnalia were cele­brated in December, and Saturn seems to have been Worshipped in Italy long before the times of Numa or of Romulus him­self, as they are usually computed, and much more of the Decemviri, he seeming to be the very ancientest of all the Deities wor­shipped in that Country, as may sufficient­ly appear from what hath been already spo­ken. Thirdly, The name of the Month Martius, which is from Mars is manifest­ly of Hebrew Origination, notwithstand­ing that the Decemviri received all their [Page 348] Laws and Institutions from Greece, for Mars is Mecharesh, he that makes or uses the weapons of War, by the Elision of the Guttural cheth, as in several instances al­ready produced, from charash, insculpsit fabricavit, and from thence is the noun charash, for a Smith or other manual arti­ficer: and macharesha is interpreted, rutrum, sarculum, and macharesheth, vomer, and the Sabine word quiris was from the same root and signified a Spear, as Ovid tells us,

Hasta quiris priscis est dicta sabinis.

And thence Quirites, is as much as to say, Hastati, who were a particular Order of Souldiers in the Roman Camps, as may be seen in many places of Livy, and by re­jecting the Formative, and dissolving the Guttural, as in the Latin Mars, is the Greek [...], which answers exactly to the Hebrew charash, signifying a Smith or other worker in Iron, or instruments of War, whether they be for personal Com­bate or Battery, as [...] is both in that known verse of Homer


And by retaining the Guttural, as in Qui­ris, is the Latin Mercurius, by the addi­tion of Mar signifying a Prince or Lord, as much as to say, Mar Choresh, the chief Engineer or chief Deviser, as Mercury was by the ancients supposed to be the God of subtilty, stratagem and invention, who is called in Greek [...], that is, Haarami, the Assyrian God, whom they Worshipped by casting of Stones, to which that place of the Proverbs, is by the most Learned and Skilfull of the Jewish Interpreters thought to refer, c. 26. 8. As he that bindeth a v. Buxt­lex. Tal­mud. in Markolis. & autho­res ab eod. cit. ut & Jac. ouzel. ad min-Felicem. Stone in a Sling, so is he that giveth Ho­nor to a Fool, where the word Margemah which we Translate a Sling, is by some of the best of the Jewish expositors, inter­preted by acervus lapidum, and so the vul­gar Latin renders it likewise, sicut qui mittit lapidem in acervum mercurii, &c. as much as to say, that to give Honor to a Fool, hath some resemblance and agree­ment with Idolatry; because it is in both cases the placing Honor upon a false object, and these heaps of Stones were byv. Jac. Ouzel in minut. fae­licem. the Greeks called [...] and [...], as the Statues of Mercury himself were by the Greeks called [...] and by Cornelius Nepos, Herniae.

Wherefore my opinion upon the whole matter is, that the Year of Romulus, as I have said, consisted of ten Months, and that these two Months were added after­wards by Numa, and taken from the East, as their names shew, and perhaps from some place where their account of time was so imperfect, that they had no other Months in their Year, which answers ex­actly to the Sosos of the Chaldeans already described, and might well enough give oc­casion to this tradition in Ovid; and so much may suffice to have spoken, upon occasion of what was first proposed to be proved; namely, that there was anciently a Year or Period of ten Months, returning into it self, by which they anciently mea­sured time in the East, which I think is now sufficiently done.

But Secondly, I am to prove that in the East the usury of Money and other things was Monthly payed; from whence it fol­lows supposing the Year to have consisted of ten Months, that the usura centesima was ten in the hundred, that is, one in ten for the Year; and for the proof of this I shall first shew that it was so among the Romans, whom I have already shewn not only to have borrowed the names of some of their Months from thence, but also the [Page 350] very words by which both the Principle and Interst of Money, or any other im­proveable substance or thing is expressed in Latin, and for this I shall content my self with the testimony of John Gerhard vos­sius in his Etymologicon, under the word Calendae. Antiquis, saith he, moris erat pecunias calendis credere & usuras exigere, unde est quod, Plutarchus libello de non fe­nerando, ait, Neomenias ac Calendas, Dies sacratissimos, à faeneratoribus reddi nefandos ac detestabiles, and to this purpose he ap­plies that place of Horace, l. 1. sat. 3.

Tristes misero venere Kalendae.

Although in another place he saith that the Ides were the times when the Credi­tors called in their Money. l. epod.—od. 11.

—Faenerator Alphius
Omnem relegit Idibus pecuniam,
Quaerit calendis ponere.

To which words Vossius hath subjoyned this Comment. Iduum eò meminit Poeta, quod faeneratorum is fuerit mos, ut quamquam Calendis usura deberetur, tamen in Idus concederent dilationem, Quam consuetudi­nem, ait Pythaeus reperisse se a veteri glossario [Page 352] annotatam ad illud Ciceronis in catilinam, Praetermitto ruinas fortunarum tuarum quas omnes impendere tibi proximis Idibus senties. And this indeed is of necessity to be admitted, supposing the Usury were Monthly due, as there is no question but among the Romans it was, and supposing that they did Calendis ponere, put out their Mony upon the Calends or the New Moon, as Horace tells us in this place they did, that the Use must become due at the next Calends, or at the return of the New Moon, and if they did not exact the Use or call in the Principle till the Ides or the Full Moon, this must needs be by way of forbearance, not by any thing of right in the Debtor to defer his payment so long.

But Secondly, not only the names of several of the Roman Months, but also of the Ca­lends, Nones, and Ides into which the Ro­man Month was divided were manifestly de­rived to them from the East. Indeed Joan­nes Tzetzes in his Chiliads tells us a plea­sant story of three very charitable and well disposed Gentlemen, whose names were Calandus, Idus, and Nonus, the first of which fed and supported the City of Rome in a great Famine eighteen days, the second eight, and the last of them four; and in this he is followed by Balsamon upon the [Page 353] Councils, but who sees not the imposture of this pleasant Tale? especially if we con­sider the date of it, which falls so much lower than the known Antiquity of the Roman Month, Macrobius and Fe­stus and others, have much more of pro­bability in the accounts which they give, but yet their accounts are far from the truth it self, which they did not un­derstand for want of skill in the Learning of the East, and were for the same reason ignorant of the far greatest part of the An­tiquities of Rome. The Calendae they tell us were a Calando, because then the Qui­rites were summoned to a general Assem­bly in the Curia Kalabra, the Nonae were so called, quod ab iisdem novem dies ad Idus putarentur, and the Idus were from the Greek [...], or qu. vidus à videndo, or from an obsolute verb Iduare which signifies as much as dividere, either be­cause at the Ides, that is, the Full Moon, the Moon affords the fairest shew and ap­pearance of her self, or because the Full Moon is in the middle way betwixt the New and Old, and divides the Month into two equal halves, but these though better and more tolerable then the Fable of Tzetzes, are all of them very cold and con­temptible Interpretations, but the true Ety­mologies, [Page 354] if I am not much mistaken, are to be sought for in the only true Fountain of all ancient Learning, that is, in the East, and therefore from thence I shall endea­vour to fetch them. The Calendae were as much as kahal hedah, for the New Moons were always looked upon in the East, as days of the most Sacred and Religious Solemnity in the whole Month, as is ma­nifest from many places of Scripture, which it is altogether needless to insist upon; and these Solemnities themselves are a sufficient indication, that there was once in the East a Year measured by the motion of the Moon, at the beginning of which there was always an extraordinary concourse of People, and all the publick demonstrations of joy and gladness imaginable. Such a solemn Assem­bly as this in the Full Moon, that is, at the time of the Passover, is expresly called colkehal hadath, Exod. 12. 6. and by the Se­venty it is rendred [...]. to which it is but inserting an n for the better sound sake, and we have exactly the Latin Calendae, as from the Hebrew Ha­thik, by the very same Analogy is the Latin, Antiquus, and from the very same word without the interposition of an n, which the softness and volubility of the Greek pro­nunciation would not so well bear, for

[Page 355]
—Graiis dedit ore rotundo
Musa loqui—

I say, from the very same Hebrew root,v. D. Hei. Aristort. the Attici among the Greeks had their name, as much as to say hathikim, the An­cients or the Old People, whose Antiquity was such, that it could hardly be traced. Though I do not altogether disapprove the conjecture of Macrobius, that the Ca­lends were called a Calando, for Kalare in Latin and in Greek [...], are both of them from the Hebrew word already men­tioned, and that which the Greeks call [...], answers exactly to the Hebrew Kahal; but this is so far from doing any prejudice to the Etymology which I have laid down, that it gives further strength and confirmation to it. And farther, where­as Macrobius tells us that the Quirites on that day, were used to be summoned into the Curia Kalabra, it is to be noted that though this solemnity it self, and the name of the time wherein it was performed were derived from the East, yet they did not meet together in the Curia Kalabra, Young and Old, Men, Women, and Children, as the Jews did at the Passover, and other solemn Feasts (though I know not, when [Page 356] it is said that all the Congregation of Israel shall kill the passover, whatever becomes of the Eating of it, whether we are to under­stand it of any more than the Adulti, or perhaps the Patres Familiarum) but only the Quirites, that is, such as were fit to bear Arms, as hath been already shewn, and therefore this Assembly was called Kalabra, that is, Kahal Abirim, the Con­gregation of strong and fighting Men, and from thence perhaps Calabria had its name, as being a maritime Province of Italy, and probably first possessed by Garisons of the Phaenicians or other Easterly Nations, who built them Forts there for the convenience of Trade. Lastly, As another indication of the word Kalendae, its being of Hebrew Origination, I will argue from its being spelt with a k, a Letter almost unknown to the more Flourishing and polite Ages of Rome, but in this word it hath been preserved, as well as in Karthago, answering in both cases to the Hebrew Koph, in Kahal and Kereth, the latter of which signifies a City, (and was applyed by way of Eminence to Carthage, as Rome was called peculiarly Ʋrbs, and Athens [...]) and from Kereth is the Chalday Kartha, whence Karthage is immediately derived, and this is like­wise for the same reason, the true spelling of Kalare, and Kalabra.

The Nones were so called not for the rea­sonv. D, Heiu [...] in Aristur­chy & Lloyd lex. geogr. & Poet in Ninius. above mentioned, but from the Hebrew Nin, whence with a servile letter is the noun Manon, which by the detracting of that letter is exactly Non signifying a Son, as much as to say the Sons or Daughters of the Calends, and therefore as being under their protection they had no particular Tu­telar of their own, according to that of Ovid.

Vindicat Ausonias Junonis cura Kalendas,
Idibus alba Jovi grandior agna cadit;
Nonarum tutela Deo caret.—

And it seems to be to this that Ovid imputes the unluckiness of the day after the nones of any Month, because the Nones them­selves were not under the Patronage of any of their Gods. For it follows immedi­ately.

——Omnibus istis
Ne fallare cave, proximus Ater erit.
Omen ab eventu est, illis nam Roma diebus
Damna sub adverso tristia marte tulit.

But Livy makes the reason to be rather ac­cidental, depending upon the Ides, because the day after the Ides of any Month was accounted unlucky, for such another rea­son [Page 358] as Ovid assigns in this place, where speaking of the great slaughter of the Romans at the battle of Allia, he says, l. 6. c. 1. Quod postridiè Idus quintiles non litas­set Sulpicius Tribunus militum, neque in­ven [...]â pace. Deûm post diem tertium ob­jectus hosti exercitus Romanus esset, etiam postridiè Idus, rebus divinis supersederi jus­sum: inde ut postridiè Kalendas quoque ac Nonas eadem religio esset, traditum putant.

The Nones had no Religion in them­selves, but only they were preparatory to the Religious Offices of the rest of the Month, and the Country people upon those days were used to repair to Rome, to be informed by the Priests, in what manner they were to celebrate the Feasts and Solemnities of the Month ensuing; and here it is to be noted, that as there were some Gentilitia sacra, some Sacri­fices or Ceremonies peculiar to certain Families amongst them, so there were some that were peculiar to certain Towns, and according as the Solemnities of the Month ensuing, were either more or less, and required more or less time to ad­just and settle; so the Nones were compu­ted either five or seven days after the Ca­lends, and in the first case were called Quintanae, in the second Septimanae, and [Page 359] besides this, the time betwixt the Calends and Nones, was a sort of Term time a­mong the Ancient Romans, wherein the Causes of the Country round about were heard and their grievances redrest; and why this time was longer in one Month than another, was perhaps perfectly Arbitrary, and depended upon no better reason, then the difference of our Terms as to their length does at this day.

Lastly, the Ides, were not from [...] or qu. vidus à videndo, or from Iduare, as hath been above represented out of the Roman Authors, though as to the thing it self upon which these Etymologies are founded, they are very much in the right, but from the Hebrew Chiddoush signifying renovation, as the Moon is then most properly said to be renewed, when from her utmost waining, she comes to shine pleno orbe again; and these things show clearly, not only that the Romans had their division of the Month from the East, but also that whence soever they had it, it was from a place where the Month was perfectly Lunar, without any sort of intercalation, or which is all one, where they measured their time by Lu­nar Years, which shows plainly that there was such a Year in the East as the Lunar, [Page 360] or a Year consisting but of one-Month, though Proclus upon the Timeus had been silent, and yet he tells us also of the Aegypti­ans, from the Authority of Eudoxus, [...], that the Aegyptians called a Month a Year; for it is clear, whatever the Roman Etymolo­gists are pleased to tell us, that the Calends did not always fall upon the New Moons, nor the Ides upon the Full, but by reason of the intercalation at the end of every Month, it would fall out unavoidably that the Ides and Calends and the inter­calations themselves would travail by cer­tain and regular proportions, through all times of the Moons Age, and this is the true notion of Intercalatio, it is as much as intercahalatio, or it is that time which after the expiring of the Lunar Period, consisting of twenty eight Days or there­abouts, was added before the beginning of the next Month, when the Kahal or gene­ral Assembly of the Romans was called; but yet the names of the Calends and Ides, (added to this Tradition which we see was always preserved among the Ro­mans, that they did at least originally, light always upon the New and Full Moon, though when the Year came to be altered and the Months were brought to an e­quation [Page 361] with the Suns motion, it was impossible they should do so;) these, I say, are clear testimonies that they received this division of their Month from the East, and from some place where their Year was perfectly and unquestionably Lunar, and therefore it is no wonder, that in the Ro­man story we do not find any where any such fixt and stated Solemnities, upon the New and Full Moon, as we meet with in the Scripture History, because by reason of this intercalation and the reducing their Year to the course of the Sun, the New and Full Moon came to be neglected, but so, as that though the Romans themselves did not understand it, yet the Festivities and Religions which they had upon their Calends, were borrowed and taken from the New Moons of the East; and those which they were used to have upon the Ides, were taken by Tradition from the Eastern Celebration of the Full Moon, which was every whit as sacred as the other, and at this time were Celebrated by Gods own appointment the Feast of the passover, and also that of Tabernacles, and Jeroboams Feast which was instead of the passover, was on the fifteenth of the eighth Month, and the Feast of Purim ratified by an Edict of King Ahasuerus, [Page 362] upon the fifteenth of Adar Yearly; and this is the Second reason that makes it highly probable, that Ʋsury was exacted Monthly in the East, that not only the names of some of their Months, but the division of them all, was manifestly bor­rowed and derived from thence.

Thirdly and Lastly, By this it appears that the payment of Usury was Monthly among the Jews, that Nehemiah tells us so plainly it was the hundredth part of the Money, the Corn, and the Wine, and the Oyl that was exacted of them; which hun­dredth part if you understand it of the Year was next kin to no Usury at all, and could not be the cause of so many loud complaints, and so universal a calamity, as at that time overwhelmed in a manner the whole Nation of the Jews; but if we understand it of one in the hundred, for a Month, this was twelve in the hundred for the whole Year, and this added to those other causes of scarcity and dearth, which are by Nehemiah in this Chapter recited, might well enough produce those dismal and deplorable effects, which it is said to have done.

This was the very reason why the tenth of all things was paid to the Priests, for their support and maintenance; for the [Page 363] Priests, are as it were the Family and Houshold of God, who is the Great pro-prietor of all things, to whom by way of acknowledgment, for the benefit and ad­vantage we receive from them, the tenth of all things was to be paid, this being, as I have shewn, the Ancient usura cen­tesima, upon which the payment of all Tithes was founded; and though we will not stand too Critically upon the proportion, yet there is thus much of natural reason in the case, that the Priesthood who are set apart to the Service of God, and are, or ought to be so great instruments of the publick good, ought always to have a just and honourable maintenance, inde­pendent of the People, and paid, as of right, to them, without any thing of ob­ligation to their charges for it, that so they may be the more at leisure to at­tend the Ministry of the Holy things, and may have no temptation to comply with every popular humor, against the duty of their places, and this wellfare of the publick.

But though as well by the place of Ne­hemiah, as by the proportion of the Priests in the payment of Tithes, it appears that the Usury of all things, was the centesima or ten and twelve in the hundred, yet af­terwards [Page 364] there came to be a very great difference between the use of Money, and that of other things, as Corn and Oyl and the like; the use of Money for the most part continued within the compass of the centesima, and when it exceeded those bounds, it was restrained by several Impe­rial Edicts, still extant in the bodies of the Civil Laws, both of Theodosius and Ju­stinian, but in other things it was advanc­ed very much, that is, the lender was to refund a third part increase, or an half of the whole, so as for example, he that borrowed two bushels of Corn was to re­fund three, and this was that which was properly called usura Hemiolia, concern­ingv. D. Go­th [...]f. in C. Th. l. 2. tit. 33. l. 1. de modo usu­rarum. which, there are still extant several imperial Laws, and the reason of this increase of Usury in Corn and Oyl, and other things above what was allowed, or practised in Money, are learnedly set forth by Dionysius Gothofred in his Elaborate Notes upon the code of Theodosius.

Another instance of a manifest resem­blance betwixt the Jews and Romans, as to the business of Usury, was this; Ne­hemiah tells us, the People in his time were reduced to such extremity, that they were forced to sell their Sons and Daugh­ters into bondage, and sometimes in cases [Page 365] of this nature they sold themselves, though they had still the priviledg to become free again, after a certain time, and could not be compelled to serve longer then the Year of Jubilee; the like was in the usage of the Romans, though more severe and cruel, and without any such return, into the state of freedom after the expiration of such a certain time, and they that were thus enslaved, are called nexi and addicti corporibus, and nexu vincti, and the like in many places of Livy, and how very hard and severe it was of Ancient time upon the Roman Debtors, is in ma­ny places very dolefully and Tragically described by him, and the same was al­so the practice among the Athenians, asSup. p. 238. hath been seen already, out of a pas­sage of Diog. Laertius concerning the Sisacthia introduced by Solon.

I shall conclude this discourse concern­ing Usury with this observation, that it being forbidden the Jews only upon a Political reason, which had a peculiar reference to the partition of Inheritances among them, which by the practice of Usury would have been destroy'd, and for no other cause or reason whatsoever that can be discerned in the Sacred Writ­ings, but on the contrary they were per­mitted [Page 366] to practice it upon the Stranger, where this partition was not concerned; it follows unavoidably that in any other polity, then such an one as that of the Jews was, the practice of a moderate Ʋsury is a Lawful thing, and indeed it is no more in effect, then selling of Commo­dities for a moderate gain, or receiving of rent for Land, and therefore the Greeks called it, not only by the name of [...], from its encreasing nature which answers to the Hebrew Tarbith, and Marbith, but also [...], from [...] or [...], terra, and [...] from [...] signifying the same, and both of them properly and peculiarly denoting the rent of Land.

So that it being now abundantly proved, that the Marriage of Boaz and Ruth, was by virtue and in consequence of that Mosaic Law, by which the Brother was obliged to raise up seed to the Bro­ther, in case he deceased without Issue Male, and that the obligation of this Law, together with that partition and distribution of Inheritances upon which it depended, ceased to be any longer re­garded among the Jews themselves, af­ter the division of the two Kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the time of Jeroboam, and that whereever the same sort of parti­tion [Page 367] was observed, there either Usury was forbidden as among the Jews, or else the Partition was destroy'd and broken down by the practice of it; again, it being fur­ther clear that the Jews did not abstain from any thing, meerly because the Za­bii or any other Nation round about them practiced it, and for no other reason; and lastly that the Customs of the Romans, as to the proportion of their Usury, and the time of payment, and many other things of their most remote, but yet un­doubted and unquestionable Antiquity, were derived from thence. There re­mains now only one single objection very briefly to be considered, which is by some, as well in Antiquity, as of later date alledged against what hath been said, and that is the solution of Africanus in Eusebius, by which he endeavours to reconcile the difference between the two Evangelists, St. Matthew and St. Luke; in the Genealogy of our Saviour which so­lution if it should be admitted as good, it would follow that the fratres uterini, were under the same obligation to raise up Seed to their deceased Elder Brother, as those which were born of the same Father, but this con­ceit is so substantially exploded by Mr. Selden himself, and by Grotius in his [Page 368] Learned Commentary upon the Gospels, and by Valesius in his excellent Obser­vations upon Eusebius, who is so bold as to call in question, as it did very well deserve, the matter of fact it self, and wishes that Eusebius for the credit of his History had not inserted it in it; as Grotius supposes the Tradition to have been cor­rupted, and Africanus not rightly to have understood the meaning of his Informers: that upon all these accounts I think I am excused from a particular examination and confutation of this legend, to the ut­tur ruin and disgrace of which, so many truely great and Learned Men, have with so great unanimity and constancy con­spired, and all of them upon such weigh­ty reasons, as do sufficiently justifie them­selves, and recommend the Judgment of their Authors.

At least it is sufficient in this case to say, what appears upon the most diligent inquiry to have been most true, that all this difference between the Evangelists was oc­casioned only by the carelesness, folly, or which is worse, the design and manifest ro­guery of Transcribers, among whom in the Ancientest Mss. of these Gospels there ap­pears to have been a most incredible dis­sention; they are the words of Erasmus, [Page 369] who had compared them together, In recensendis nominibus mica in Graecorum codecibus confusio, nè Latinis quidem inter se consentientibus, alibi deerat, alibi supe­rerat; in versa ac depravata pleraque quae nos diligentissimâ collatione, quà licuit, re­stituimus, and Valesius observes that though Matthat be the third from Joseph, in the present Copies of St. Luke, yet by Afri­canus, and Gr. Nazianzen and St. Am­brose he is called Melisio, and in this ve­ry instance of Jacob and Eli, one of which is the Father of Joseph in St. Mat­thew, the other in St. Luke, it is to be noted that in some Mss. as may be seen in the Oxford Edition of the New Testi­ment, for [...] there is [...] to be found, which shews the Original of the mistake, for it was anciently in both places [...], only Israel and Jacob, being exactly the same person, some Annotator in the mar­margent, had placed [...] by an ab­breviation, thus [...], which being the name of no body, as Eli was, who was also expected to forerun the Messias, for Eli and Eliah were the same, this gave occasion to the substituting the one for the other.

Erasmus, who refers this difference to a certain dyonymie of the same persons, is not to be regarded, not only because it is precarious in it self, but which is still worse, it is justified only by the Autho­rity of Annius the counterfeiting Monk of Viterbo, who not content to have counterfeited Berosus and Manetho, did also obtrude a Philo upon the World, and upon his Authority this conceit was vented, but yet so lamely and so like a counterfeit, that Erasmus himself be­gan to suspect the matter, for so he says, Neque pauca refert Joannes Annius ex Philone, ea quanquam admodum pro­babilia sint, tamen quoniam is non tam cer­tò citat, quam vellem, praesertim in recontroversâ neque nobis erat Graeci Philonis copia, paucis attingenda Judica vimus; In a word, Grotius is so little satisfied with the solution of Africanus, as if St. Matthew regarded only the natural succession, while St. Luke had reference only to the legal, that he enclines ra­ther to believe the directly contrary, of each of these Evangelists, and his opinion wants not more tolerable rea­sons to support it, than those which Africanus hath produced, which are with a deserved scorn rejected by Valesius [Page 371] and by Grotius too, nay Africanus him­self was so distrustful of the truth of his relation, that he concludes with saying, For want of sufficient testimony to support it, it ought to be embraced for want of a better.



THere is now in the Press a Second Part of this Treatise, containing Re­marks and Animadversions upon it, wherein some things are Illustrated and others Amend­ed, and the Theology and Mythology of the Fabulous Antiquity, is for the most part of it occasionally explained, by the same Au­thor.


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