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and bless unto us the seasons of the year, and give us the dew and the rain to be a blessing unto us, upon the face of all our land, and satiate the world with thy blessings, and send down moisture upon every part of the earth that is habitable.-Blessed art thou, O LORD, who givest thy blessing to the years!
"10. Gather us together by the sound of the great trumpet, to the enjoyment of our liberty; and lift up thy ensign to call together all the captivity, from the four quarters of the earth into our own land.-Blessed art thou, O LORD, who gatherest together the exiles of the people of Israel!
"11. Restore unto us our judges as at the first, and our counsellors as at the beginning; and remove far from us affliction and trouble, and do thou only reign over us in benignity, and in mercy, and in righteousness, and in justice.-Blessed art thou, O LORD our king, who lovest righteousness and justice!
12. Let there be no hope to them, who apostatise from the true religion; and let heretics, how many soever they be, all perish as in a moment. And let the kingdom of pride be speedily rooted out, and broken in our days.-Blessed art thou, O LORD our GOD, who destroyest the wicked, and bringest down the proud 13
"13. Upon the pious and the just, and upon the proselytes of justice, and upon the remnant of thy people of the house of Israel, let thy mercies be moved, O LORD our GOD, and give a good reward unto all who faithfully put their trust in thy name; and grant us our portion with them, and for ever let us not be ashamed, for we put our trust in thee.-Blessed art thou, O LORD, who art the sup port and confidence of the just!
"14. Dwell thou in the midst of Jerusalem, thy city, as thou hast promised; build it with a building to last for ever, and do this speedily even in our days.-Blessed art thou, O LORD, who buildest Jerusalem!
"15. Make the offspring of David thy servant speedily to grow up, and flourish; and let our horn be exalted in thy salvation. For we hope for thy salvation every day.-Blessed art thou, O LORD, who makest the horn of our salvation to flourish!
"16. Hear our voice, O LORD our GOD, most merciful Father, pardon and have mercy upon us, and accept of our prayers with thy
1 This is the prayer which was added by Rabbi Gamaliel against the Christians, or as others say by Rabbi Samuel the little, who was one of his scholars.
2 The Roman empire.
3 The twelfth prayer, as now used by the Jews, varies considerably from that above given. In the Prayer Book of the German and Polish Jews, it stands thus:-"Olet the slanderers have no hope, all the wicked be annihilated speedily, and all the tyrants be cut off quickly; humble thou them quickly in our days. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who destroyest enemies and humblest tyrants." In the Prayer Book of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, this prayer runs thus:-"Let slanderers have no hope, and all presumptuous apostates perish as in a moment; and may thine enemies, and those whe hate thee, be suddenly cut off, and all those who act wickedly be suddenly broken, consumed, and rooted out; and humble thou them speedily in our days. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who destroyest the enemies and humblest the proud!" Allen's Modern Judaism, p. 329.
4 Concerning these supposed proselytes of justice, see pp. 255, 256. infra.
mercy and favour, and send us not away from thy presence, O our king. For thou hearest with mercy the prayer of thy people Israel.— Blessed art thou, O LORD, who hearest prayer!
"17. Be thou well pleased, O LORD our GOD, with thy people Israel; and have regard unto their prayers; restore thy worship to1 the inner part of thy house, and make haste with favour and love to accept of the burnt sacrifices of Israel, and their prayers; and let the worship of Israel thy people be continually well pleasing unto thee.— Blessed art thou, O LORD, who restorest thy divine presence to Zion!
"18. We will give thanks unto thee with praise. For thou art the LORD our GOD, the GOD of our fathers, for ever and ever. Thou art our rock, and the rock of our life, and the shield of our salvation. To all generations will we give thanks unto thee, and declare thy praise, because of our life which is always in thy hands, and because of thy signs, which are every day th us, and be se of thy wonders, and marvellous loving kindness, which are morning, and evening, and night before us. Thou art good, for thy mercies are not consumed; thou art merciful, for thy loving kindnesses fail not. For ever we hope in thee. And for all these mercies be thy name, O king, blessed and exalted, and lifted up on high for ever and ever; and let all that live give thanks unto thee. Selah. And let them in truth and sincerity praise thy name, O GOD of our salvation, and our help. Selah.-Blessed art thou, O LORD, whose name is good, and to whom it is fitting always to give praise!
"19. Give peace, beneficence, and benediction, grace, benignity, and mercy unto us, and to Israel thy people. Bless us, our Father, even all of us together as one man, with the light of thy countenance. For in the light of thy countenance hast thou given unto us, O LORD our GOD, the law of life, and love, and benignity, and righteousness, and blessing, and mercy, and life, and peace. And let it seem good in thine eyes, to bless thy people Israel with thy peace at all times, and in every moment.-Blessed art thou, O LORD, who blessest thy people Israel with peace! Amen."
1 i. e. The Adytum Templi, which in the Temple of Jerusalem was the holy of holies, into which none ever entered but the high priest once a year, on the great day of expiation. From this place after the Babylonish captivity were wanting the ark, the mercy seat, the Shechinah of the divine presence, and the Urim and Thummim, which causing an imperfection in their worship in respect of what it was formerly, a restoration of them seems to be the subject of this petition.
OF THE JEWISH CHURCH AND ITS MEMBERS.
I. The whole nation accounted holy.-II. Members of the Jewish Church; Hebrews of the Hebrews.-III. Proselytes.-IV. Jews of the Dispersion.-V. Hellenistic Jews.-VI. The Libertines.VII. Devout men.-VIII. Circumcision.-IX. Proselytes, how introduced into the Jewish Church.
I. JEHOVAH, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, having been pleased to prefer the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, before every other nation, and to select them from every other people, for the purposes of imparting to them the revelation of his will, and of preserving the knowledge and worship of the true God; He is thence said to have chosen them, and they are in many passages of Scripture represented as his chosen and elect people. And because they were by the will of God set apart, and appropriated in a special manner to his honour and obedience, and furnished with extraordinary motives to holiness, God is therefore said to have sanctified them. (Lev. xx. 8. xxi. 8. xxii. 9. 16. 32.) For these reasons they are termed a holy nation, a kingdom of priests, and also saints;2 and their covenant relation to God is urged upon them as a motive to holiness of heart and practice. (Lev. xix. 2. xx. 7, 8. 26. xi. 45. Exod. xxii. 31.) But the Jews of later times, becoming proud of these titles, and of their ecclesiastical privileges, extended their charity only to those of their own faith; while towards the rest of mankind they cherished a sullen and inveterate hatred, accounting them to be profane persons and sinners.3 This relative or imputed holiness of the Jews as a covenant people, separated and consecrated to the worship of the true God, was perpetual (in other words it was to subsist until the institution of the Gospel dispensation); although the Jews were often extremely corrupt in their manners, as the numerous denunciations of the prophets sufficiently indicate. Hence some of the rabbinical writers call the most wicked kings of Israel
1 Compare Deut. iv. 37. vii. 6. x. 15. 1 Kings viii. 22, et seq. 1 Chron. xvi. 13. Psal. cv. 6. xxxiii. 12. cv. 43. evi. 5. cxxxv. 4. Isa. xli. 8, 9. xliii. 20. xliv. 1, 2. xlv. 4. and Ezek. xx. 5.
2 Compare Exod. xix. 6. Lev. xi. 44, 45. xix. 2. xx. 26. Deut. vii. 6. xiv. 2. 21. xxvi. 19. xxviii. 9. xxxiii. 3. 2 Chron. vi. 41. Psal. xxxiv. 9. 1. 5. 7. lxxix. 2. cxxxii. 9. cxlviii. 14.
3 Apud ipsos fides obstinata, misericordia in promptu, sed adversus omnes alios hostile odium. Such is the character of the Jews given by the Roman historian, as they were in the time of our Saviour (Tacit. Hist. lib. v. c. 5. tom. iii. p. 267. edit. Bipont.); which is abundantly confirmed by the sacred writers. See Matt. ix. 10, 11. xxvi. 45. Gal. ii. 15. 17. 1 Thes, ii. 15, 16.
and Judah holy, holy, or righteous, and Israelite, being with them convertible terms, (compare Wisd. x. 15. 17. 20. xviii. 1. 7. 9. 20.) : and in the time of our Lord the Jews held the preposterous notion, that though they should continue in their sins, yet, because they were the offspring of Abraham, God would not impute their sins to them.1
The apostles being Jews by birth, though they wrote in Greek, have retained their national idiom, and have borrowed the Old Testament phraseology, which they have applied to Christians, in order to convey to them accurate ideas of the magnitude of God's love to them in Christ. Thus, the apostles not only call them disciples and brethren, that is, friends united in the same profession of faith by bonds equally close as those of brothers, having one Lord, one faith, one baptism, but, because all true Christians are by the will of God set apart and appropriated in an especial manner to his honour, service, and obedience, and are furnished with extraordinary helps and motives to holiness, they are therefore said to be sanctified (1 Cor. 1. 2. vi. 11. Heb. ii. 11. x. 29. Jude 1.); and are further styled holy, holy brethren, a holy nation, and saints.2
II. The first members of this church were the immediate descendants of Abraham by Isaac and Jacob, whom God, having delivered from their oppressive bondage in Egypt, chose for himself to be his peculiar people, and their direct issue, without any intermixture of Gentile blood or language. These are termed by St. Paul Hebrews of the Hebrews (Phil. iii. 5.), as opposed to the Hellenistic Jews, or those who lived among the Greeks, whose language they spoke, and who were called Hellenists. (Acts vi. 1. ix. 29. xi. 20.) Many of the latter were descended from parents, one of whom only was a Jew. Of this description was Timothy. (Acts xvi. 1.) Those, who were born in Judæa, of parents rightly descended from Abraham, and who received their education in Judæa, spoke the language of their forefathers, and were thoroughly instructed in the learning and literature of the Jews, were reckoned more honourable than the Hellenists ;3 and, to mark the excellence of their lineage and language, they were called Hebrews ;—a name
1 See Whitby on Matt. iii. 9.
2 See Col. iii. 12. 1 Thess. v. 27. Heb. iii. 9. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Acts ix. 32. 41. xxvi. 10. Rom. i. 7. xii. 13. xv. 25, 26. xvi. 15. 1 Cor. i. 2. 2 Cor. i. 1. xiii. 13. Phil. iv. 22. Eph. i. 1. Phil. i. 1. and Col. i. 2.
3 It has been remarked that Greck words ending in torns imply inferiority. Thus, the 'Enves (Hellenes) were distinguished from the 'Emvioral (HellenISTE); the former imply pure or native Greeks, who spoke the Greek tongue in its purity; and the latter, Jews or others sojourning among the Greeks, who spoke the Greek language according to the Hebrew idiom. These were the 'Evora, Hellenists or Grecians who murmured against the Hebrews. (Acts vi. 1.) "Pythagoras divided his disciples into two classes. Those, who were capable of entering into the spirit and inystery of his doctrine, he called ПvSayoptii PythagoREANS; those, who were of a different cast, he termed ПvSayopiorci, or PythagoRISTS. The former were eminent and worthy of their master; the latter, but indifferent. The same distinction is made between those who were called ATTIKOVS or Attics, and ATTIKIOTAS or AtticISTS,-the pure and less pure Greeks, as between those called 'EXλnvas and 'EAλnvioras, Hellenes and Hellenists, pure Greeks, and Græcising Jews." Iamblichus de vita Pythag. c. 18. and Schoettgen, cited by Dr. A. Clarke
the most antient, and therefore the most honourable, of all the names borne by Abraham's descendants; for it was the name given to Abraham himself, by the Canaanites, to signify that he had come from the other side of the Euphrates. A Hebrew, therefore, possessing the character and qualifications above described, was more honourable than an Israelite; as that name indicated only that a person was a member of the commonwealth of Israel, which a Jew might be, though born and educated in a foreign country. Saint Paul, indeed, was born at Tarsus, in Cilicia; yet, being a Hebrew of the Hebrews, who received his education at Jerusalem, spoke the language used there, and understood the Hebrew in which the antient oracles of God were written, he was a Jew of the most honourable class; and, therefore, when cautioning the Philippians against Judaising teachers and unbelieving Jews, he enumerates this privilege among those of which (if salvation were to be obtained by them,) he might have confidence in the flesh. (Phil. iii. 4, 5.) The privileges of the Israelites, which were very highly esteemed by all Jews, are enumerated by St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, in a very animated manner.i
III. Although the constitution of the Jewish polity and the laws. of Moses allowed no other nations to participate in their sacred rites, yet they did not exclude from them such persons as were willing to qualify themselves for conforming to them. Hence they admitted proselytes, who renounced the worship of idols, and joined in the religious services of the Jews; although they were not held in the same estimation as Jews by birth, descent, and language, who, we have just seen, were termed Hebrews of the Hebrews. During the time of Jesus Christ, the Jews, especially the Pharisees, greatly exerted themselves in making proselytes to their religion and sect.
Calmet, and some other learned men after him, have distinguished two kinds of proselytes, namely, 1. Proselytes of the gate, who dwelt either in or out of the land of Israel, and worshipped the true God, observing the seven precepts of Noah,3 but without obliging themselves to circumcision or any other legal ceremony; and, 2. Proselytes of justice or of righteousness, who were converts to Judaism, and engaged themselves to receive circumcision, as well as to observe the whole of the Mosaic law. There does not, however, appear
1 See Drs. Whitby, Doddridge, Macknight, A. Clarke, or Messrs. Scott, Henry, &c. on Rom. ix. 4. and Phil. iii. 5.
2 Compare Acts vi. 5. xiii. 43. and Matt. xxiii. 15. with Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiii. c. ix. § 1. and lib. xx. c. iii. § 4.
3 These precepts are by the Jewish doctors termed the seven precepts of Noah, and (they pretend) were given by God to the sons of Noah. They are as follow:1. That man should abstain from idolatry ;-2. That they should worship the true God alone;-3. That they should hold incest in abhorrence ;-4. That they should not commit murder-5. Nor rob or steal ;-6. That they should punish a mur derer with death;-7. That they should not eat blood, nor any thing in which blood is, consequently, nothing strangled. "Every one," says a living Jewish writer, "that observes these seven commandments, is entitled to happiness. But to observe them merely from a sense of their propriety, is deemed by Maimonides insufficient to constitute a pious Gentile, or to confer a title to happiness in the world to come; it is requisite that they be observed, because they are divine commands." See Allen's Modern Judaism, p. 107. Schulzii Archeol. Hebr. pp. 148, 149.