search using CAPS ONLY


An Exposition

[An intimate acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures is a secure haven, and an impregnable bulwark, and an immovable tower, and imperishable glory, and impenetrable armour, and unfading joy, and perpetual delight, and whatever other excellence can be uttered.]


J. Collord, Printer.


EAGLE, , Exod. xix, 4; Lev. xi, 13. The name is derived from a verb which signifies to lacerate, or tear in pieces. The eagle has always been considered as the king of birds, on account of its great strength, rapidity and elevation of flight, natural ferocity, and the terror it inspires into its fellows of the air. Its voracity is so great that a large extent of territory is requisite for the supply of proper sustenance; and providence has therefore constituted it a solitary animal: two pair of eagles are never found in the same neighbourhood, though the genus is dispersed through every quarter of the world. Its sight is quick, strong, and piercing, to a proverb. In Job xxxix, 27, the natural history of the eagle is finely drawn up:--

Is it at thy voice that the eagle soars
And therefore maketh his nest on high
The rock is the place of his habitation.
He abides on the crag, the place of strength.
Thence he pounces upon his prey.
His eyes discern afar off.
Even his young ones drink down blood;
And wherever is slaughter, there is he.

Alluding to the popular opinion that the eagle assists its feeble young in their flight, by bearing them up on its own pinions, Moses represents Jehovah as saying, “Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself,” Exod. xix, 4. Scheuchzer has quoted from an ancient poet, the following beautiful paraphrase on this passage:--

Ac velut alituum princeps, fulvusque tonantis
Armiger, implumes, et adhue sine robore natos
Sollicita refovet cura, pinguisque ferinæ
Indulget pastus: mox ut cum viribus alæ
Vesticipes crevere, vocat se blandior aura,
Expansa invitat pluma, dorsoque morantes
Excipit, attollitque humeris, plausuque secundo
Fertur in arva, timens oneri, et tamen impete presso
Remigium tentans alarum, incurvaque pinnis
Vela legens, humiles tranat sub nubibus oras.
Hinc sensim supra alta petit, jam jamque sub astra
Erigitur, cursusque leves citus urget in auras,
Omnia pervolitans late loca, et agmine fœtus
Fertque refertque suos vario, moremque volandi
Addocet: illi autem, longa assuetudine docti,
Paulatim incipiunt pennis se credere cælo
Impavidi: tantum a teneris valet addere curam.

[And as the king of birds, and tawny armour-bearer of the Thunderer, cherishes with anxious care his unfledged, and as yet feeble young, and gratifies their appetite with rich prey: presently when their downy wings have increased in strength, a milder air calls them forth, with expanded plumage he invites them, and receives them hesitating on his back, and sustains them on his shoulders, and with easy 317flight is borne over the fields, fearing for his burden, and yet with a moderated effort trying the rowing of their wings, and furling with his pinions his curved sails, he glides through the low regions beneath the clouds. Hence by degrees he soars aloft, and now he mounts to the starry heaven, and swiftly urges his rapid flight through the air, sweeping widely over space, and in his gyrations bearing his offspring to and fro, teaches them the art of flying:--but they, taught by long practice, gradually begin to trust themselves fearlessly on their wings: So much does it avail to train the young with care.]

2. When Balaam delivered his predictions respecting the fate that awaited the nations which he then particularized, he said of the Kenites, “Strong is thy dwelling, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock,” Num. xxiv, 21; alluding to that princely bird, the eagle, which not only delights in soaring to the loftiest heights, but chooses the highest rocks, and most elevated mountains, as desirable situations for erecting its nest, Hab. ii, 9; Obad. 4. What Job says concerning the eagle, which is to be understood in a literal sense, “Where the slain are, there is he,” our Saviour turns into a fine parable: “Wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together,” Matt. xxiv, 28; that is, Wherever the Jews are, who have corruptly fallen from God, there will be the Romans, who bore the eagle as their standard, to execute vengeance upon them, Luke xvii, 37.

3. The swiftness of the flight of the eagle is alluded to in several passages of Scripture; as, “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth,” Deut. xxviii, 49. In the affecting lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan, their impetuous and rapid career is described in forcible terms: “They were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions,” 2 Sam. i, 23. Jeremiah when he beheld in vision the march of Nebuchadnezzar, cried, “Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind. His horses are swifter than eagles. Wo unto us, for we are spoiled,” Jer. iv, 13. To the wide-expanded wings of the eagle, and the rapidity of his flight, the same prophet beautifully alludes in a subsequent chapter, where he describes the subversion of Moab by the same ruthless conqueror: “Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and spread his wings over Moab,” Jer. xlviii, 40. In the same manner he describes the sudden desolations of Ammon in the next chapter; but, when he turns his eye to the ruins of his own country, he exclaims, in still more energetic language, “Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heavens,” Lament. iv, 19. Under the same comparison the patriarch Job describes the rapid flight of time: “My days are passed away, as the eagle that hasteth to the prey,” Job ix, 26. The surprising rapidity with which the blessings of common providence sometimes vanish from the grasp of the possessor is thus described by Solomon: “Riches certainly make themselves wings: they fly away as an eagle toward heaven,” Prov. xxiii, 5. The flight of this bird is as sublime as it is rapid and impetuous. None of the feathered race soar so high. In his daring excursions he is said to leave the clouds of heaven, and regions of thunder, and lightning, and tempest, far beneath him, and to approach the very limits of ether. There is an allusion to this lofty soaring in the prophecy of Obadiah, concerning the pride of Moab: “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord,” Obad. 4. The prophet Jeremiah pronounces the doom of Edom in similar terms: “O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill; though thou shouldest make thy nest high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord,” Jer. xlix, 16. The eagle lives and retains its vigour to a great age; and, after moulting, renews its vigour so surprisingly, as to be said, hyperbolically, to become young again, Psalm ciii, 5, and Isaiah xl, 31. It is remarkable that Cyrus, compared, in Isaiah xlvi, 11, to an eagle, (so the word translated “ravenous bird” should be rendered,) had an eagle for his ensign according to Xenophon, who uses, without knowing it, the identical word of the prophet, with only a Greek termination to it: so exact is the correspondence between the prophet and the historian, the prediction and the event. Xenophon and other ancient historians inform us that the golden eagle with extended wings was the ensign of the Persian monarchs long before it was adopted by the Romans; and it is very probable that the Persians borrowed the symbol from the ancient Assyrians, in whose banners it waved, till imperial Babylon bowed her head to the yoke of Cyrus. If this conjecture be well founded, it discovers the reason why the sacred writers, in describing the victorious march of the Assyrian armies, allude so frequently to the expanded eagle. Referring to the Babylonian monarch, the prophet Hosea proclaimed in the ears of all Israel, the measure of whose iniquities was nearly full, “He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord,” Hosea viii, 1. Jeremiah predicted a similar calamity: “Thus saith the Lord, Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and spread his wings over Moab,” Jer. xlviii, 40; and the same figure was employed to denote the destruction that overtook the house of Esau: “Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah,” xlix, 22. The words of these prophets received a full accomplishment in the irresistible impetuosity and complete success with which the Babylonian monarchs, and particularly Nebuchadnezzar, pursued their plans of conquest. Ezekiel denominates him, with great propriety, “a great eagle with great wings,” because he was the most powerful monarch of his time, and led into the field more numerous and better appointed armies, (which the prophet calls, by a beautiful figure, “his wings,” the wings of his army,) than perhaps the world had ever 318seen. The Prophet Isaiah, referring to the same monarch, predicted the subjugation of Judea in these terms: “He shall pass through Judah. He shall overflow, and go over. He shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings” (the array of his army) “shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel,” Isaiah viii, 8. The king of Egypt is also styled by Ezekiel, “a great eagle, with great wings, and many feathers;” but he manifestly gives the preference to the king of Babylon, by adding, that he had “long wings, full of feathers, which had divers colours;” that is, greater wealth, and a more numerous army.

EAR, the organ of hearing. The Scripture uses the term figuratively. Uncircumcised ears are ears inattentive to the word of God. To signify God’s regard to the prayers of his people, the Psalmist says, “His ears are open to their cry,” Psalm xxxiv, 15. Among the Jews, the slave, who renounced the privilege of being made free from servitude in the sabbatical year, submitted to have his ear bored through with an awl; which was done in the presence of some judge, or magistrate, that it might appear a voluntary act. The ceremony took place at his master’s door, and was the mark of servitude and bondage. The Psalmist says, in the person of the Messiah, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened.” Heb. “Thou hast digged my ears.” This either means, Thou hast opened them, removed impediments, and made them attentive; or, thou hast pierced them, as those of such servants were pierced, who chose to remain with their masters; and therefore imports the absolute and voluntary submission of Messiah to the will of the Father. “Make the ears of this people heavy,” Isaiah vi, 10; that is, render their minds inattentive and disobedient; the prophets being said often to do that of which they were the innocent occasion.

EAR-RINGS and nose-jewels were favourite ornaments among the eastern females. Both are frequently mentioned in Scripture. Thus the Prophet Ezekiel: “And I put a jewel on thy forehead,” or, as it should have been rendered, on thy nose. This ornament was one of the presents which the servant of Abraham gave to Rebecca, in the name of his master: “I put,” said he, “the ear-ring upon her face;” more literally, I put the ring on her nose. They wore ear-rings beside; for the household of Jacob, at his request, when they were preparing to go up to Bethel, gave him all the ear-rings which were in their ears, and he hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. Sir John Chardin says, “It is the custom in almost all the east for the women to wear rings in their noses, in the left nostril, which is bored low down in the middle. These rings are of gold, and have commonly two pearls and one ruby between them, placed in the ring; I never saw a girl, or young woman in Arabia, or in all Persia, who did not wear a ring after this manner in her nostril.” Some writers contend, that by the nose-jewel, we are to understand rings, which women attached to their forehead, and let them fall down upon their nose; but Chardin, who certainly was a diligent observer of eastern customs, no where saw this frontal ring in the east, but every where the ring in the nose. His testimony is supported by Dr. Russel, who describes the women in some of the villages about Aleppo, and all the Arabs and Chinganas, (a sort of gipsies,) as wearing a large ring of silver or gold, through the external cartilage of their right nostril. It is worn, by the testimony of Egmont, in the same manner by the women of Egypt. Two words are used in the Scriptures to denote these ornamental rings, and . Mr. Harmer seems to think they properly signified ear-rings; but this is a mistake; the sacred writers use them promiscuously for the rings both of the nose and of the ears. That writer, however, is probably right in supposing that nezem is the name of a much smaller ring than agil. Chardin observed two sorts of rings in the east; one so small and close to the ear, that there is no vacuity between them; the other so large, as to admit the fore finger between it and the ear; these last are adorned with a ruby and a pearl on each side, strung on the ring. Some of these ear-rings had figures upon them, and strange characters, which he believed were talismans or charms; but which were probably the names and symbols of their false gods. We know from the testimony of Pliny, that rings with the images of their gods were worn by the Romans. The Indians say, they are preservatives against enchantment; upon which Chardin hazards a very probable conjecture, that the ear-rings of Jacob’s family were perhaps of this kind, which might be the reason of his demanding them, that he might bury them under the oak before they went up to Bethel.

EARTH is used for that gross element which sustains and nourishes us by producing plants and fruits; for the continent as distinguished from the sea, “God called the dry land earth,” Gen. i, 10; for the terraqueous globe, and its contents, men, animals, plants, metals, waters, &c. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof”,thereof”, Psalm xxiv, 1; for the inhabitants of the earth, or continent, “The whole earth was of one language,” Genesis xi, 1; for Judea, or the whole empire of Chaldea and Assyria. Thus Cyrus says, Ezra i, 2, “The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth.” The restriction of the term “earth” to Judea is more common in Scripture than is usually supposed; and this acceptation of it has great effect on several passages, in which it ought to be so understood.

Earth in a moral sense is opposed to heaven, and to what is spiritual. “He that is of the earth is earthy, and speaketh of the earth; he that cometh from above is above all,” John iii, 31. “If ye then be risen with Christ, set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth,” Col. iii, 1, 2.

EARTHQUAKE. The Scripture speaks of several earthquakes. One happened in the twenty-seventh year of Uzziah, king of Judah, in the year of the world 3221. This is mentioned in Amos i, 1, and in Zechariah xiv, 5. 319Josephus says that its violence divided a mountain, which lay west of Jerusalem, and drove one part of it four furlongs. A very memorable earthquake is that which happened at our Saviour’s death, Matt. xxvii, 51. Many have thought that this was perceived throughout the world. Others are of opinion that it was felt only in Judea, or even in the temple at Jerusalem. St. Cyril of Jerusalem says, that the rocks upon mount Calvary were shown in his time, which had been rent asunder by this earthquake. Maundrell and Sandys testify the same, and say that they examined the breaches in the rock, and were convinced that they were the effects of an earthquake. It must have been terrible, since the centurion and those with him were so affected by it, as to acknowledge the innocence of our Saviour, Luke xxiii, 47. Phlegon, Adrian’s freedman, relates that, together with the eclipse, which happened at noon day, in the fourth year of the two hundred and second Olympiad, or A. D. 33, a very great earthquake was also felt, principally in Bythynia. The effects of God’s power, wrath, and vengeance are compared to earthquakes, Psalm xviii, 7; xlvi, 2; cxiv, 4. An earthquake signifies also, in prophetic language, the dissolution of governments and the overthrow of states.

EAST, one of the four cardinal points of the world; namely, that particular point of the horizon in which the sun is seen to rise. The Hebrews express the east, west, north, and south by words which signify before, behind, left, and right, according to the situation of a man who has his face turned toward the east. By the east, they frequently describe, not only Arabia Deserta, and the lands of Moab and Ammon, which lay to the east of Palestine, but also Assyria, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Chaldea, though they are situated rather to the north than to the east of Judea. Balaam, Cyrus, and the wise men who visited Bethlehem at the time Christ was born, are said to come from the east, Num. xxiii, 7; Isaiah xlvi, 11; Matt. ii, 1.

EASTER, the day on which the Christian church commemorates our Saviour’s resurrection. Easter is a word of Saxon origin, and imports a goddess of the east. This goddess was Astarte, in honour of whom sacrifices were annually offered about the passover time of the year, the spring; and hence the Saxon name “æaster” became attached by association of ideas to the Christian festival of the resurrection.

EATING. The ancient Hebrews did not eat indifferently with all persons: they would have esteemed themselves polluted and dishonoured by eating with people of another religion, or of an odious profession. In Joseph’s day they neither ate with the Egyptians, nor the Egyptians with them, Gen. xliii, 32; nor, in our Saviour’s time, with the Samaritans, John iv, 9. The Jews were scandalized at Christ’s eating with publicans and sinners, Matt. ix, 11. As there were several sorts of meats, the use of which was prohibited, they could not conveniently eat with those who partook of them, fearing to receive pollution by touching such food, or if by accident any particles of it should fall on them. The ancient Hebrews, at their meals, had each his separate table. Joseph, entertaining his brethren in Egypt, seated them separately, each at his particular table; and he himself sat down separately from the Egyptians, who ate with him; but he sent to his brethren portions out of the provisions which were before him, Gen. xliii, 31, &c. Elkanah, Samuel’s father, who had two wives, distributed their portions to them separately, 1 Sam. i, 4, 5. In Homer, each guest has his little table apart; and the master of the feast distributes meat to each. We are assured that this is still practised in China; and that many in India never eat out of the same dish, nor on the same table, with another person, believing that they cannot do so without sin; and this, not only in their own country, but when travelling, and in foreign lands.

The ancient manners which we see in Homer we see likewise in Scripture, with regard to eating, drinking, and entertainments: we find great plenty, but little delicacy; and great respect and honour paid to the guests by serving them plentifully. Joseph sent his brother Benjamin a portion five times larger than those of his other brethren. Samuel set a whole quarter of a calf before Saul. The women did not appear at table in entertainments with the men: this would have been an indecency; as it is at this day throughout the east. The present Jews, before they sit down to table, carefully wash their hands: they speak of this ceremony as essential and obligatory. After meals they wash them again. When they sit down to table, the master of the house, or the chief person in the company, taking bread, breaks it, but does not wholly separate it; then, putting his hand on it, he recites this blessing: “Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, who producest the bread of the earth.” Those present answer, “Amen.” Having distributed the bread among the guests, he takes the vessel of wine in his right hand, saying, “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the world, who hast produced the fruit of the vine.” They then repeat the twenty-third Psalm. Buxtorf, and Leo of Modena, who have given particular accounts of the Jewish ceremonies, differ in some circumstances: the reason is, Buxtorf wrote principally the ceremonies of the German Jews, and Leo, those of the Italian Jews. They take care that, after meals, there shall be a piece of bread remaining on the table; the master of the house orders a glass to be washed, fills it with wine, and, elevating it, says, “Let us bless Him of whose benefits we have been partaking:” the rest answer, “Blessed be He who has heaped his favours on us, and by his goodness has now fed us.” Then he recites a pretty long prayer, wherein he thanks God for his many benefits vouchsafed to Israel; beseeches him to pity Jerusalem and his temple, to restore the throne of David, to send Elias and the Messiah, to deliver them out of their long captivity, &c. All present answer, “Amen;” and then recite Psalm xxxiv, 9, 10. Then, giving the glass 320with the little wine in it to be drunk round, he drinks what is left, and the table is cleared. See Banquets.

Partaking of the benefits of Christ’s passion by faith is also called eating, because this is the support of our spiritual life, John vi, 53, 56. Hosea reproaches the priests of his time with eating the sins of the people, Hosea iv, 8; that is, feasting on their sin offerings, rather than reforming their manners. John the Baptist is said to have come “neither eating nor drinking,” Matt. xi, 18; that is, as other men did; for he lived in the wilderness, on locusts, wild honey, and water, Matt. iii, 4; Luke i, 15. This is expressed, in Luke vii, 33, by his neither eating “bread,” nor drinking “wine.” On the other hand, the Son of Man is said, in Matt. xi, 19, to have come “eating and drinking;” that is, as others did; and that too with all sorts of persons, Pharisees, publicans, and sinners.

EBAL, a celebrated mountain in the tribe of Ephraim, near Shechem, over against Mount Gerizim. These two mountains are within two hundred paces of each other, and separated by a deep valley, in which stood the town of Shechem. The two mountains are much alike in magnitude and form, being of a semi-circular figure, about half a league in length, and, on the sides nearest Shechem, nearly perpendicular. One of them is barren; the other, covered with a beautiful verdure. Moses commanded the Israelites, as soon as they should have passed the river Jordan, to go directly to Shechem, and divide the whole multitude into two bodies, each composed of six tribes; one company to be placed on Ebal, and the other on Gerizim. The six tribes that were on Gerizim were to pronounce blessings on those who should faithfully observe the law of the Lord, and the six others on Mount Ebal were to pronounce curses against those who should violate it, Deut. xi, 29, &c; xxvii, and xxviii; Joshua viii, 30, 31.

This consecration of the Hebrew commonwealth is thought to have been performed in the following manner: The heads of the first six tribes went up to the top of Mount Gerizim, and the heads of the other six tribes to the top of Mount Ebal. The priests, with the ark, and Joshua at the head of the elders of Israel, took their station in the middle of the valley which lies between the two mountains. The Levites ranged themselves in a circle about the ark; and the elders, with the people, placed themselves at the foot of the mountain, six tribes on a side. When they were thus disposed in order, the priests turned toward Mount Gerizim, on the top of which were the six heads of the six tribes who were at the foot of the same mountain, and pronounced, for example, these words:--“Blessed be the man that maketh not any graven images.” The six princes who were upon the top of the mountain, and the six tribes who were below at its foot, answered, “Amen.” Afterward, the priests, turning toward Mount Ebal, upon which were the princes of the other six tribes, cried, with a loud voice, “Cursed be the man that maketh any graven image;” and were answered by the princes opposite to them and their tribes, “Amen.” The Scripture, at first view, seems to intimate that there were six tribes upon one mountain, and six on the other; but beside that it is by no means probable that the tribes of the Israelites, who were so numerous, should be able to stand on the summits of these two mountains, it would not have been possible for them to have seen the ceremony, nor to have heard the blessings and curses in order to answer them. Moreover, the Hebrew particle, in the original, signifies, near, over against, as well as at the top, Joshua viii, 33. Accordingly, we may say, that neither Joshua, nor the priests or tribes, went up to the top of the mountains, but the heads only, who in their persons might represent all the tribes.

EBENEZER, the name of that field wherein the Israelites were defeated by the Philistines, when the ark of the Lord was taken, 1 Sam. iv, 1; also a memorial stone set up by Samuel to commemorate a victory over the Philistines. The word signifies the stone of help; and it was erected by the prophet, saying, “Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.”

EBIONITES, a sect of the first two or three centuries; but it is not certain whether they received their name from a leader of the name of Ebion, (whom Dr. Lardner considers as a disciple of Cerinthus,) or from the meaning of the Hebrew word ebion, which implies poverty; and if the latter, whether they assumed the name, as affecting to be poor, like the Founder of Christianity; or whether it was conferred on them by way of reproach, as being of the lower orders. The use of the term, also, according to Dr. Horsley, was various and indefinite. Sometimes it was the peculiar name of those sects that denied both the divinity of our Lord, and his miraculous conception. Then its meaning was extended, to take in another party; who admitted the miraculous conception of Jesus, but still denied his divinity, and questioned his previous existence. At last, it seems, the Nazarites, whose error was rather a superstitious severity in their practice, than any deficiency in their faith, were included by Origen in the infamy of the appellation. Dr. Priestley, claiming the Ebionites as Jewish Unitarians, considers the ancient Nazarenes, that is, the first Jewish converts, as the true Ebionites; these, he thinks, were called Nazarenes, from their attachment to Jesus of Nazareth; and Ebionites, from their poor and mean condition, just as some of the reformers were called Beghards, or beggars. The Doctor cites the authorities of Origen and Epiphanius, to prove that both these denominations related to the same people, differing only, like the Socinians, in receiving or rejecting the fact of the miraculous conception; and neither, as he assures us, were reckoned heretics by any writers of the two first centuries. To this Dr. Horsley replies, that both Jews and Heathens called the first Christians Nazarenes, in allusion to the mean and obscure birthplace of their Master, Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew ii, 23; Acts x, 38; but insists, and answers every pretended proof to the contrary, that the 321term Nazarenes was never applied to any distinct sect of Christians before the final destruction of Jerusalem by Adrian. Dr. Semler, a German writer, gives the following opinion: “Those who more rigidly maintained the Mosaic observances, and who were numerous in Palestine, are usually called Ebionites and Nasaræans. Some believe that they ought not to be reckoned heretics; others think that they were united in doctrine, differing only in name; others place them in the second century. It is of little consequence whether we distinguish or not the Nazarenes, or Nazaræans from the Ebionites. It is certain that both these classes were tenacious of the Mosaic ceremonies, and more inclined to the Jews than to the Gentiles, though they admitted the Messiahship of Jesus in a very low and Judaizing manner. The Ebionites held in execration the doctrine of the Apostle Paul.” Dr. J. Pye Smith, who quotes this passage from Dr. Semler, adds, “Such, it is apprehended, on grounds of reasonable probability, was the origin of Unitarianism; the child of Judaism misunderstood, and of Christianity imperfectly received.”

2. On this controversy great light has, however, been since thrown by Dr. Burton. It is well known to those who have studied the Unitarian controversy, that it has been often asserted that the Cerinthians and Ebionites were the teachers of genuine Christianity, and that the doctrine of Christ’s divinity, and of universal redemption through his blood, were the inventions of those who corrupted the preaching of the Apostles. If this were so, we must convict all the fathers, not merely of ignorance and mistake, but of deliberate and wilful falsehood. To suppose that the fathers of the second century were ignorant of what was genuine and what was false in Christianity, would be a bold hypothesis; but if Irenæus, the disciple of Polycarp, asserted, as a matter of fact, that St. John wrote his Gospel to refute the errors of Cerinthus, it is idle, or something worse, to say that Irenæus did not know for certain if the fact was really so. As far, then, as the testimony of the fathers is concerned, the Cerinthians and Ebionites were decidedly heretics. The Unitarians, on the other hand, maintain that the Ebionites were the true and genuine believers; and it is easy to see that the preference was given to these teachers, because they held that Jesus was born of human parents. Never, I conceive, was there a more unfortunate and fatal alliance formed than that between the Ebionites and modern Unitarians. We find the Ebionites referred to, as if they agreed in every point with the Socinian or Unitarian creed; and yet it may almost be asserted, that in not one single point do their sentiments exactly coincide. If a real Ebionite will declare himself, we are not afraid to meet him. Let him avow his faith; let him believe of Christ as Ebion or Cerinthus taught; let him adopt the ravings of the Gnostics; we shall then know with whom we have to combat; we may gird on the sword of Irenæus, and meet him in the field. But let him not select a few ingredients only from the poison; let him not take a part only of their infatuated system. If he will lean on that broken reed, let him talk no more of Ebion or Cerinthus only; but let him say boldly, either that the Gnostics agreed with the Apostles, or that the Gnostics preached the true Gospel, while the Apostles were in error.

3. We can hardly suppose the Unitarians to be ignorant that the Ebionites and Cerinthians were a branch of the Gnostics. If the fact be denied, the whole of this discussion might as well at once be closed. We know nothing of Cerinthus and Ebion, but from the writings of the fathers. If it had not been for them, we should never have known that these persons believed Jesus to be born of human parents: the same fathers unanimously add, that in this point they differed from the preceding Gnostics, though agreeing with them on other points. If we are to receive the testimony of the fathers in one particular, but to reject it in every other, I need not say that argument is useless. But the fact can never be denied nor evaded. The Cerinthians, to whom some Unitarians have appealed, did not ascribe the creation of the world to God, but to an inferior being. Like the rest of the Gnostics, who engrafted that philosophy on Judaism, the Cerinthians and Ebionites retained some of the Jewish ceremonies, though they rejected some of the Jewish Scriptures. Many of them taught that the restraints of morality were useless; and the Cerinthians, it is well known, promised to their followers a millennium of sensual indulgence. With respect to their notions concerning Christ, it is true that they believed Jesus to be born of human parents; and this fact is referred to, as if it proved the falsehood of what is called the miraculous conception of Jesus. But it is plain that this tenet is mentioned by the fathers, as being opposed to that of the other Gnostics, who held that the body of Jesus was an illusive phantom. Such had hitherto been the belief of all the Gnostics. But Cerinthus and Ebion, who were perhaps more rational in their speculations, and who lived after the publication of the three first Gospels, could not resist the evidence that Jesus was actually born, and that he had a real, substantial body. This is the meaning of the statement, that Cerinthus and Ebion believed Jesus to be born of human parents. It shows that they were not Docetæ. But because there were other Gnostics who were more irrational and visionary than themselves, we are not immediately to infer that their own notion concerning the birth of Christ was the true one. They believed, at least, many of them believed, that Jesus was born in the ordinary way; that Joseph was his parent as well as Mary. But they could hardly help believing so; for they agreed with all the Gnostics in thinking (though it might seem as if this point had been forgotten) that Jesus and Christ were separate persons: they believed, as I have already stated, that Christ descended upon Jesus at his baptism, and quitted him before his crucifixion. They were therefore almost compelled to believe that Jesus, who was wholly distinct 322from Christ, had nothing divine in his nature, and nothing miraculous in his birth; in the same manner that they believed that the death of Jesus, from whom Christ had then departed, was like the death of any ordinary mortal, and that no atonement was made by it. But are we on these grounds to reject the miraculous conception and the atonement of Christ Or are the Unitarians to quote these Gnostics as holding the human nature of Jesus, and to forget that by Jesus they meant a person wholly different from Christ

4. We are told, indeed, that the first part of St. Matthew’s Gospel is spurious, because the Ebionites rejected it. Undoubtedly they did. They read in it that Jesus Christ was born, not Jesus only; and that he was born of a virgin. They therefore rejected this part of St. Matthew’s Gospel; or rather, by mutilating and altering the whole of it, they composed a new gospel of their own to suit their purpose; and yet this is the only authority which is quoted for rejecting the commencement of St. Matthew’s Gospel. The fact, that some even of the Ebionites believed the miraculous conception, speaks infinitely more in favour of the genuineness of that part of the Gospel, and of the truth of the doctrine itself, than can be inferred on the contrary side from those who denied the doctrine, and mutilated the Gospel. Those other Ebionites appear in this respect to have agreed with the first Socinians, and to have held that Jesus was born of a virgin, though they did not believe in his preëxistence or divinity. But the miraculous conception was so entirely contrary to all preconceived opinions, and the more simple doctrine of the other Ebionites and Cerinthians was so much more suited to the Gnostic system, which separated Jesus from Christ, that the evidence must have been almost irresistible, which led one part of the Ebionites to embrace a doctrine contrary to all experience, contrary to the sentiments of their brethren, and hardly reconcilable with other parts of their own creed. The testimony, therefore, of these Ebionites, in favour of the miraculous conception, is stronger, perhaps, than even that of persons who received the whole of the Gospel, and departed in no points from the doctrine of the Apostles. If the Apostles had preached, according to the statement of the Unitarians, that Jesus Christ was a mere human being, born in the ordinary way, what could possibly have led the Gnostics to rank him immediately with their Æons, whom they believed to have been produced by God, and to have dwelt with him from endless ages in the pleroma There literally was not one single heretic in the first century, who did not believe that Christ came down from heaven: they invented, it is true, various absurdities to account for his union with the man Jesus; but the fair and legitimate inference from this fact would be, that the Apostles preached that in some way or other the human nature was united to the divine. So far from the Socinian or Unitarian doctrine being supported by that of the Cerinthians and Ebionites, I have no hesitation in saying, that not one single person is recorded in the whole of the first century who ever imagined that Christ was a mere man. It has been observed, that one branch of the Ebionites resembled the first Socinians, that is, they believed in the miraculous conception of Jesus, though they denied his preëxistence; but this was because they held the common notion of the Gnostics, that Jesus and Christ were two separate persons; and they believed in the preëxistence and divine nature of Christ, which Socinus and his followers uniformly denied.

ECBATANA, a city of Media, which, according to Herodotus, was built by Dejoces, king of the Medes. It was situated on a gentle declivity, distant twelve stadia from Mount Orontes, and was in compass one hundred and fifty stadia, and, next to Nineveh and Babylon, was one of the strongest and most beautiful cities of the east. After the union of Media with Persia, it was the summer residence of the Persian kings. Sir R. K. Porter, in his Travels, says, “Having for a few moments gazed at the venerable mountain, (Orontes, at the foot of which Ecbatana was built,) and at the sad vacuum at its base; what had been Ecbatana, being now shrunk to comparative nothingness; I turned my eye on the still busy scene of life which occupied the adjacent country; the extensive plain of Hamadan, and its widely extending hills. On our right, the receding vale was varied, at short distances, with numberless castellated villages rising from amidst groves of the noblest trees; while the great plain itself stretched northward and eastward to such far remoteness, that its mountain boundaries appeared like clouds upon the horizon. This whole tract seemed one carpet of luxuriant verdure, studded with hamlets, and watered by beautiful rivulets. On the south-west, Orontes, or Elwund, (by whichever name we may designate this most towering division of the mountain,) presents itself, in all the stupendous grandeur of its fame and form. Near to its base, appear the dark coloured dwellings of Hamadan, crowded thickly on each other; while the gardens of the inhabitants with their connecting orchards and woods, fringe the entire slope of that part of the mountain.” “The site of the modern town, like that of the ancient, is on a gradual ascent, terminating near the foot of the eastern side of the mountain; but there all trace of its past appearance would cease, were it not for two or three considerable elevations, and overgrown irregularities on and near them, which may have been the walls of the royal fortress, with those of the palaces, temples, and theatres, seen no more. I passed one of these heights, standing to the south-west, as I entered the city, and observed that it bore many vestiges of having been strongly fortified. The sides and summit are covered with large remnants of ruined walls of a great thickness, and also of towers, the materials of which were sun-dried bricks. It has the name of the Inner Fortress, and certainly holds the most commanding station near the plain.” Of the interior of the city, the same author says, “The mud alleys, which now occupy 323the site of the ancient streets or squares, are narrow, interrupted by large holes or hollows in the way, and heaps of the fallen crumbled walls of deserted dwellings. A miserable bazaar or two are passed through in traversing the town; and large lonely spots are met with, marked by broken low mounds over older ruins; with here and there a few poplars, or willow trees, shadowing the border of a dirty stream, abandoned to the meanest uses; which, probably, flowed pellucid and admired, when these places were gardens, and the grass-grown heap some stately dwelling of Ecbatana. In one or two spots I observed square platforms, composed of large stones; the faces of many of which were chiselled all over into the finest arabesque fretwork, while others had, in addition, long inscriptions in the Arabic character. They had evidently been tomb-stones of the inhabitants, during the caliph rule in Persia. But when we compare relics of the seventh century, with the deep antiquity of the ruins on which they lie, these monumental remains seem but the register of yesterday.” Here is shown the tomb of Mordecai and Esther; as well as that of Avicenna, the celebrated Arabian physician. The sepulchre of the former stands near the centre of the city of Hamadan: the tombs are covered by a dome, on which is the following inscription in Hebrew: “This day, 15th of the month Adar, in the year 4474 from the creation of the world, was finished the building of this temple over the graves of Mordecai and Esther, by the hands of the good-hearted brothers, Elias and Samuel, the sons of the deceased Ismael of Kashan.” This inscription, the date of which proves the dome to have been built eleven hundred years, was sent by Sir Gore Ouseley to Sir John Malcolm, who has given it in his History of Persia; who also says that the tombs, which are of a black coloured wood, are evidently of very great antiquity, but in good preservation, as the wood has not perished, and the inscriptions are still very legible. Sir R. K. Porter has given a more particular description of this tomb. He says, “I accompanied the priest through the town, over much ruin and rubbish, to an enclosed piece of ground, rather more elevated than any in its immediate vicinity. In the centre was the Jewish tomb; a square building of brick, of a mosque-like form, with a rather elongated dome at the top. The whole seems in a very decaying state, falling fast to the mouldering condition of some wall fragments around, which, in former times, had been connected with, and extended the consequence of, the sacred enclosure. The door that admitted us into the tomb, is in the ancient sepulchral fashion of the country, very small; consisting of a small stone of great thickness, and turning on its own pivots from one side. Its key is always in possession of the head of the Jews resident at Hamadan.” “On passing through the little portal, which we did in an almost doubled position, we entered a small arched chamber, in which are seen the graves of several rabbies: probably, one may cover the remains of the pious Ismael; and, not unlikely, the others may contain the bodies of the first rebuilders after the sacrilegious destruction by Timour. Having ‘trod lightly by their graves,’ a second door of such very confined dimensions presented itself at the end of this vestibule, we were constrained to enter it on our hands and knees, and then standing up, we found ourselves in a larger chamber, to which appertained the dome. Immediately under its concave, stand two sarcophagi, made of a very dark wood, carved with great intricacy of pattern, and richness of twisted ornament, with a line of inscription in Hebrew running round the upper ledge of each. Many other inscriptions, in the same language, are cut on the walls; while one of the oldest antiquity, engraved on a slab of white marble, is let into the wall itself.” This inscription is as follows: “Mordecai, beloved and honoured by a king, was great and good. His garments were as those of a sovereign. Ahasuerus covered him with this rich dress, and also placed a golden chain around his neck. The city of Susa rejoiced at his honours, and his high fortune became the glory of the Jews.” The inscription which encompasses the sarcophagus of Mordecai, is to this effect: “It is said by David, Preserve me, O God! I am now in thy presence. I have cried at the gate of heaven, that thou art my God; and what goodness I have received from thee, O Lord! Those whose bodies are now beneath in this earth, when animated by thy mercy were great; and whatever happiness was bestowed upon them in this world, came from thee, O God! Their grief and sufferings were many, at the first; but they became happy, because they always called upon thy holy name in their miseries. Thou liftedst me up, and I became powerful. Thine enemies sought to destroy me, in the early times of my life; but the shadow of thy hand was upon me, and covered me, as a tent, from their wicked purposes!--Mordecai.” The following is the corresponding inscription on the sarcophagus of Esther: “I praise thee, O God, that thou hast created me! I know that my sins merit punishment, yet I hope for mercy at thy hands; for whenever I call upon thee, thou art with me; thy holy presence secures me from all evil. My heart is at ease, and my fear of thee increases. My life became, through thy goodness, at the last, full of peace. O God, do not shut my soul out from thy divine presence! Those whom thou lovest, never feel the torments of hell. Lead me, O merciful Father, to the life of life; that I may be filled with the heavenly fruits of paradise!--Esther.” The Jews at Hamadan have no tradition of the cause of Esther and Mordecai having been interred at that place; but however that might be, there are sufficient reasons for believing the validity of their interment in this spot. The strongest evidence we can have of the truth of any historical fact, is, its commemoration by an annual festival. It is well known, that several important events in Jewish history are thus celebrated; and among the rest, the feast of Purim is kept on the 13th and 14th of the month Adar, to commemorate the deliverance 324obtained by the Jews, at the intercession of Esther, from the general massacre ordered by Ahasuerus, and the slaughter they were permitted to make of their enemies. Now on this same festival, in the same day and month, Jewish pilgrims resort from all quarters to the sepulchre of Mordecai and Esther; and have done so for centuries,--a strong presumptive proof that the tradition of their burial in this place rests on some authentic foundation.

ECCLESIASTES, a canonical book of the Old Testament, of which Solomon was the author, as appears from the first sentence. The design of this book is to show the vanity of all sublunary things; and from a review of the whole, the author draws this pertinent conclusion, “Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man;”--his whole wisdom, interest, and happiness, as well as his whole duty. Ecclesiastes, according to a modern author, is a dialogue, in which a man of piety disputes with a libertine who favoured the opinion of the Sadducees. His reason is, that there are passages in it which seem to contradict each other, and could not, he thinks, proceed from the same person. But this may be accounted for by supposing that it was Solomon’s method to propose the objections of infidels and sensualists, and then to reply to them.

ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY, the rules by which churches are governed, as to their spiritual concerns. The reformers having renounced the pope as antichrist, and having laid it down as their fundamental principle, that Scripture is the only rule of faith, and that it is the privilege of every man to interpret it according to his own judgment, had to consider in what manner the churches which they had formed were to be regulated; and there soon arose among them upon this point diversity of sentiment. Melancthon and the earliest reformers viewed with veneration the hierarchy which had so long subsisted, as also many of the ceremonies which for ages had been observed; and they expressed their readiness to continue that distinction of pastors which their researches into the history of the church had enabled them to trace back to the early ages of Christianity. But while they declared in favour of this form of ecclesiastical polity, they did so, not upon the ground that it was of divine institution, or positively required by the author of Christianity as inseparable from a church; but on the ground, that taking into estimation every thing connected with it, it appeared to them eminently adapted to carry into effect that renovation of piety, and that religious influence, which they were so eager to promote. They thus made ecclesiastical polity a matter of expediency, or of prudential regulation; the one thing in their view, binding upon all Christians, being to strengthen the practical power of religion. That this is a just representation of the state of opinion among the first Protestants, will be placed beyond a doubt by a few quotations from the confession of Augsburg, and from the works of some of the most eminent divines who then flourished. Speaking of this subject, the compilers of the confession declare, “that they were most desirous to preserve the ecclesiastical polity, and those degrees in the church which had been introduced by human authority, knowing that, for wise and good purposes, the discipline, as described in the canons, had been introduced by the fathers.” “We wish,” they add, “to testify that we would willingly preserve the ecclesiastical and canonical polity, if the bishops would cease to act with cruelty against our churches.” And once again they remark, that they had often declared that they venerated not only the ecclesiastical power which was instituted in the Gospel, but that they approved of the ecclesiastical polity which had subsisted, and wished, as much as was in their power, to preserve it. It is quite plain from these passages, that the framers of that confession, and those who adhered to it as the standard of their faith, viewed ecclesiastical polity as a matter of human appointment; and that, although they venerated that form of it which had long existed, they looked upon themselves as at liberty, under peculiar circumstances, to depart from it. The truth, accordingly, is, that a great part of the Lutheran churches, as we shall afterward find, did introduce many deviations from that model for which their founders had expressed respect and admiration; although episcopacy was in several places continued.

2. In consequence, however, of the exertions of Calvin, what were denominated the reformed churches deemed it expedient wholly to change this form of polity, and to introduce again the equality among pastors which had existed in the primitive times. That celebrated theologian, resting upon the undisputed fact, that in the Apostolic age no distinction subsisted between bishops and presbyters, thought himself at liberty to frame a system of polity upon this principle, persuaded that, by doing so, he would most effectually guard against those abuses that had given rise to the Papal tyranny which Protestants had abjured. He accordingly introduced his scheme where he had influence to do so; and he employed all the vigour of his talents in pressing upon distant churches the propriety of regulating, in conformity with his sentiments, their ecclesiastical government. But, while he was firmly persuaded that an equality among pastors was agreeable to the Apostolic practice, he has shown that he did not conceive this equality to be so absolutely required by Scripture, that there could in no case be a departure from it. He was, in fact, convinced that all the purposes of religion might be accomplished under a form of polity in which it was not recognised: “Wherever,” he says, “the preaching of the Gospel is heard with reverence, and the sacraments are not neglected, there at that time there is a church.” Speaking of faithful pastors, he describes them to be “those who by the doctrine of Christ lead men to true piety, who properly administer the sacred mysteries, and who preserve and exercise right discipline.” In tracing the progress of the 325hierarchy, he observes, that “those to whom the office of teaching was assigned were denominated presbyters; that to avoid the dissensions often arising among equals, they chose one of their number to preside, to whom the title of bishop was exclusively given; and that the practice, as the ancients admitted, was introduced by human consent, from the necessity of the times.” That this exaltation of the bishop, and, of course, this departure from parity, did not, in his estimation, render the church unchristian, is apparent from what he says of it after the change was introduced: “Such was the severity of these times, that all the ministers were led to discharge their duty as the Lord required of them.” Even after archbishops and patriarchs had arisen, he merely says, in recording their introduction, “This arrangement was calculated to preserve discipline.”

3. What Calvin thus taught in his “InstitutesInstitutes,” he confirmed in many of the interesting letters which he wrote to various eminent persons. In these letters he speaks with the highest respect of the church of England, where the distinction of clerical orders was preserved. He corresponds with the highest dignitaries of that church in a style which he assuredly would not have adopted, had he considered them as upholding an antichristian polity; and he repeatedly avows the principle, that, in regulating the government of the church, attention must be paid to the circumstances in which its members were placed. Beza, who was warmly attached to presbytery, and who upon every occasion, strenuously defended it, still admits that the human order of episcopacy was useful, as long as the bishops were good; and he professes all reverence for those modern bishops who strive to imitate the primitive ones in the reformation of the church according to the word of God: adding that it was a calumny against him, and those who entertained his sentiments, to affirm, as some had done, that they wished to prescribe their form of government to all other churches. In the excellent letter which he addressed to Grindal, bishop of London, and in which he pleads the cause of those ministers who scrupled to use the ceremonies which their brethren approved, he bears his testimony to the conformity of the church of England in doctrine with his church, expresses himself with the highest respect of the prelate to whom he was writing, and concludes by asking his prayers in his own behalf, and in that of the church of Geneva; all of which is quite inconsistent with the tenet, that presbytery is absolutely prescribed by divine authority.

4. The same general principle was avowed by the most eminent English divines. Cranmer explicitly declared, that bishops and priests were of the same order at the commencement of Christianity; and this was the opinion of several of his distinguished contemporaries. Holding this maxim, their support of episcopacy must have proceeded from views of expediency, or, in some instances, from a conviction which prevailed very generally at this early period, that it belonged to the supreme civil magistrate to regulate the spiritual no less than the political government; an idea involving in it that no one form of ecclesiastical polity is of divine institution. At a later period, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, we find the same conviction, that it was no violation of Christianity to choose different modes of administering the church. Archbishop Whitgift, who distinguished himself by the zeal with which he supported the English hierarchy, frequently maintains, that the form of discipline is not particularly, and by name, set down in Scripture; and he also plainly asserts, “that no form of church government is, by the Scriptures, prescribed or commanded to the church of God.” This principle is admirably illustrated and confirmed by the venerable Hooker, in the third book of his work on ecclesiastical polity; and another divine of the English church, who lived about the same period, has laid down what he conceives to be an unquestionable position, “that all churches have not the same form of discipline; neither is it necessary that they should, because it cannot be proved that any particular form of church government is enjoined by the word of God.” We have, indeed, a succession of testimonies from the introduction of the reformation down through the reign of Elizabeth,--testimonies given by the primates, and bishops, and theologians, who have been venerated as the luminaries of the church of England, that the divine right or institution of episcopacy constituted no part of their faith; and this is confirmed by their correspondence with reformed divines, who did not live under the episcopal model, but who, notwithstanding, were often consulted as to the ecclesiastical arrangements which the convocation should adopt. The same general sentiment is to be traced in those churches which had reverted to the primitive equality among the ministers of Christ. In the second Helvetic confession, which was approved by many churches, it is taught, that bishops and presbyters in the beginning governed the church with equal power, none exalting himself above another; the inequality which soon was introduced originating from the desire of preserving order. Various passages from Cyprian and Jerom are quoted in confirmation of this; and the article thus concludes: “Wherefore no one can be lawfully hindered from returning to the ancient constitution of the church of God, and to adopt it in preference to what custom has introduced.” Had the compilers believed that this ancient constitution was of divine obligation, they would have expressed themselves much more strongly with respect to it; and instead of representing the return to it as what ought not to be hindered, they would have enjoined it, as what it was a violation of the law of God to neglect.

5. The reformation in Scotland, conducted by Knox, who had spent a considerable part of his life at Geneva, and who had imbibed the opinions of Calvin, proceeded upon those views of polity which that reformer had adopted. Still, however, he authorized a modification 326of these opinions, accommodated to the state of his native country; for although the title of bishop was not used, superintendents, with powers little inferior to those committed to prelates in England, were sanctioned by the first Book of Discipline; and these superintendents were classed, in the acts of different general assemblies, among the necessary ministers of the church. The necessity must have arisen out of the circumstances of the period when the book was framed; for the polity which it prescribed was said to be only for a time; and the office of superintendent, as has been strenuously urged by some of the most zealous defenders of presbytery, was not intended to be permanent. The Lutheran church, with the exception of those branches of it established in Denmark and Sweden, has adopted a kind of intermediate constitution between episcopacy and presbytery. While it holds that there is no divine law creating a distinction among ministers, it yet contends that such a distinction is on many accounts expedient; and accordingly a diversity in point of rank and privileges has been universally introduced, approaching in different places, more or less, to the hierarchy which subsisted before the reformation. But, although it has thus regulated its own practice, it unambiguously admits, that as the Gospel is silent as to any particular form of polity, different forms may be chosen, without any breach of Christian union.

6. It appears from the statement which has now been given, that all Protestants immediately after the reformation, while they abjured the papal supremacy, were united in holding that the mode of administering the church might be varied, some of them being attached to episcopacy, others to presbytery; but all founding this attachment upon the judgment which they had formed as to the tendency or utility of either of these modes of government. An idea soon was avowed by some of the reformers, that the whole regulation of the church pertained to the magistrate; this branch of power being vested in him no less than that of administering the civil government; and to this opinion the name of Erastianism, from Erastus, who first defended it, was given. Cranmer, in an official reply which he made to certain questions that had been submitted for his consideration, declared, “that the civil ministers under the king’s majesty be those that shall please his highness for the time to put in authority under him; as, for example, the lord chancellor, lord great master, &c; the ministers of God’s word under his majesty be the bishops, parsons, vicars, and such other priests as be appointed by his highness to that ministration; as, for example, the bishop of Canterbury, &c. All the said officers and ministers, as well of the one sort as the other, be appointed, assigned, and elected in every place by the laws and orders of kings and princes.” By the great majority of Protestants, however, the tenets of Erastus were condemned; for they maintained that the Lord Jesus had conveyed to his church a spiritual power quite distinct from the temporal; and that it belonged to the ministers of religion to exercise it, for promoting the spiritual welfare of the Christian community. But, while they disputed as to this point, they agreed in admitting there was no model prescribed in the New Testament for a Christian church, as there had been in the Mosaical economy for the Jewish church; and that it was a branch of the liberty of the disciples of Christ, or one of their privileges, to choose the polity which seemed to them best adapted for extending the power and influence of religion.

ECLECTICS, a sect of ancient philosophers, who professed to select whatever was good and true from all the other philosophical sects. The Eclectic philosophy was in a flourishing state at Alexandria when our Saviour was upon earth. Its founders formed the design of selecting from the doctrines of all former philosophers such opinions as seemed to approach nearest the truth, and of combining them into one system. They held Plato in the highest esteem; but did not scruple to join with his doctrines whatever they thought conformable to reason in the tenets of other philosophers. Potamon, a Platonist, appears to have been the projector of this plan. The Eclectic system was brought to perfection by Ammonius Saccas, who blended Christianity with his philosophy, and founded the sect of the Ammonians, or New Platonists, in the second century. The moral doctrine of the Alexandrian school was as follows:--The mind of man, originally a portion of the Divine Being, having fallen into a state of darkness and defilement, by its union with the body, is to be gradually emancipated from the chains of matter, and rise by contemplation to the knowledge and vision of God. The end of philosophy, therefore, is the liberation of the soul from its corporeal imprisonment. For this purpose, the Eclectic philosophy recommends abstinence, with other voluntary mortifications, and religious exercises. In the infancy of the Alexandrian school, not a few of the professors of Christianity were led, by the pretensions of the Eclectic sect, to imagine that a coalition might, with great advantage, be formed between its system and that of Christianity. This union appeared the more desirable, when several philosophers of this sect became converts to the Christian faith. The consequence was, that Pagan ideas and opinions were by degrees mixed with the pure and simple doctrines of the Gospel. See Platonism.

ECLIPSE. The word eclipse, e, signifies failure, namely, of light. An eclipse of the sun is caused by the intervention of the moon, at new, or in conjunction with the sun, intercepting his light from the earth, either totally or partially. An eclipse of the moon is caused by the intervention of the earth, intercepting the sun’s light from the moon, when full, or in opposition to the sun, either totally or partially. The reason why the sun is not eclipsed every new moon, nor the moon at every full, is owing to the inclination of the moon’s orbit to the plane of the ecliptic, or 327earth’s orbit, in an angle of about five degrees and a half; in consequence of which, the moon is generally too much elevated above the plane of the ecliptic, or too much depressed below it, for her disk to touch the earth’s shadow at full, or for her shadow, or her penumbra, to touch the earth’s disk at new. An eclipse, therefore, of either luminary can only take place when they are within their proper limits, or distances, from the nodes or intersections of both orbits. And because the limits of solar eclipses are wider than those of lunar, in general there will be more eclipses of the sun than of the moon. In any year, the number of eclipses of both luminaries cannot be less than two, and these will both be of the sun, nor more than seven: the usual number is four; and it is very rare to have more than six. But though solar eclipses happen oftener, lunar are more frequently observed in any particular place. For an eclipse of the moon is visible to the inhabitants of half the globe at the same instant; whereas, an eclipse of the sun is visible only within that part of the earth’s surface, traversed by the moon’s total shadow, and by her penumbra, or partial shadow. But her total shadow, when she is nearest to the earth, cannot cover a space of more than a hundred and fifty-eight geographical miles in diameter, nor at her mean distance more than seventy-nine, and at her greatest distance may not touch the earth at all. In the two former cases, the sun will be eclipsed in the places covered by the shadow totally, or by the penumbra partially: in the last it may be annular, but not total. Without the reach of the shadow, and within the limits of the penumbra, which cannot cover more than four thousand five hundred and fifty-two miles of the earth’s surface, there will be a partial eclipse of the sun, and without these limits no eclipse at all. Hence lunar eclipses are more frequently noticed by historians than solar; and Diogenes Laertius may be credited when he relates, that, during the period in which the Egyptians had observed eight hundred and thirty-two eclipses of the moon, they had only observed three hundred and seventy-three of the sun. In the midst of a total lunar eclipse, the moon’s disk is frequently visible, and of a deep red or copperish colour. This, in the poetic language of sacred prophecy, is expressed by “the moon’s being turned into blood,” Joel ii, 31. This remarkable phenomenon is caused by the sun’s lateral rays in their passage through the dense atmosphere of the earth, being inflected into the shadow by refraction, and falling pretty copiously upon the moon’s disk, are reflected from thence to the eye of the spectator. If the earth had no atmosphere, the moon’s disk would then be as black as in a solar eclipse. A total eclipse of the moon may occasion a privation of her light for an hour and a half, during her total immersion in the shadow; whereas, a total eclipse of the sun can never last in any particular place above four minutes, when the moon is nearest to the earth, and her shadow thickest. Hence it appears, that the darkness which “overspread the whole land of Judea,” at the time of our Lord’s crucifixion, was preternatural, “from the sixth until the ninth hour,” or from noon till three in the afternoon, in its duration, and also in its time, about full moon, when the moon could not possibly eclipse the sun. It was accompanied by an earthquake, which altogether struck the spectators, and among them the centurion and Roman guard, with great fear, and a conviction, that Jesus was the Son of God, Matt, xxvii, 51–54.

Eclipses, says Dr. Hales, are justly reckoned among the surest and most unerring characters of chronology; for they can be calculated with great exactness backward as well as forward; and there is such a variety of distinct circumstances of the time when, and the place where, they were seen; of the duration, or beginning, middle, or end of every eclipse, and of the quantity, or number of digits eclipsed; that there is no danger of confounding any two eclipses together, when the circumstances attending each are noticed with any tolerable degree of precision. Thus, to an eclipse of the moon incidentally noticed by the great Jewish chronologer, Josephus, shortly before the death of Herod the Great, we owe the determination of the true year of our Saviour’s nativity. During Herod’s last illness, and not many days before his death, there happened an eclipse of the moon on the very night that he burned alive Matthias, and the ringleaders of a sedition, in which the golden eagle, which he had consecrated and set up over the gate of the temple, was pulled down and broken to pieces by these zealots. This eclipse happened, by calculation, March 13, U. C. 750, B. C. 4. But it is certain from Scripture, that Christ was born during Herod’s reign; and from the visit of the magi to Jerusalem “from the east,” p at, from the Parthian empire, to inquire for the true “born King of the Jews,” whose star they had seen “at its rising,” t at, and also from the age of the infants massacred at Bethlehem, “from two years old and under,” Matt, ii, 1–16. It is no less certain, that Jesus could not have been born later than B. C. 5, which is the year assigned to the nativity by Chrysostom, Petavius and Prideaux.

EDEN, Garden of, the residence of our first parents in their state of purity and blessedness. The word Eden in the Hebrew denotes “pleasure” or “delight:” whence the name has been given to several places which, from their situation, were pleasant or delightful. Thus the Prophet Amos, i, 5, speaks of an Eden in Syria, which is generally considered to have been in the valley of Damascus, where a town called Eden is mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy, and where the tomb of Abel is pretended to be shown. This has in consequence been selected by some as the site of the garden of Eden. By others, the garden has been placed on the eastern side of mount Libanus; and by others again, in Arabia Felix, where traces of the word Eden are found. But the opinion which has been most generally received on this subject is that which places the garden on the Lower Euphrates; between the junction of 328that river with the Tigris and the gulf of Persia. This is Dr. Well’s opinion; in which he is supported by Huetius, Grotius, Marinus, and Bochart. To this it is replied, that, according to this scheme, the garden was intersected by a great branch of the Euphrates, in the lower and broadest part of its course; which will give it an extent absolutely irreconcilable with the idea of Adam’s “dressing” it by his own manual labour, or even of overlooking it: beside that all communication would be cut off between its different parts by a stream half a mile in width. Its local features, too, if in this situation, must have been of the most uninteresting kind; the whole of that region, as far as the sight can reach, being a dead, monotonous, sandy, or marshy flat, without a single undulation to relieve the eye, or give any of the beauties which the imagination involuntarily paints to itself as attendant on a spot finished by the hand of God as the residence of his creatures in a state of innocence; whose minds may be supposed to be tuned to the full enjoyment of the grand and beautiful in nature. How different will be the aspect and arrangement of this favoured spot, if it be placed where only, according to the words of Moses, it can be placed; namely, at the heads or fountains of the rivers described, instead of their mouths.

The country of Eden, therefore, according to others, was some where in Media, Armenia, or the north of Mesopotamia; all mountainous tracts, and affording, instead of the sickening plains of Babylonia, some of the grandest, as well as the richest scenery in the world. A river or stream rising in some part of this country, entered the garden; where it was parted into four others, in all probability, by first falling into a basin or lake, from which the other streams issued at different points, taking different directions, and growing into mighty rivers; although at their sources in the garden, they would be like all other rivers, mere brooks, and forming no barrier to a free communication between the parts of the garden. Dr. Wells, in order to support his hypothesis of the situation of Eden on the lower parts of the Euphrates and Tigris, after giving these rivers a distribution which has now no existence, makes the Pison and Gihon to be parts of the Tigris and Euphrates themselves: an arrangement at perfect disagreement with the particular description of Moses; beside, that the Gihon thus called, instead of compassing the whole land of Cush, can only be said to skirt an extreme corner of it. It appears, indeed, that in the time of Alexander, the Euphrates pursued a separate course to the sea; or, at least, that a navigable branch of it was carried in that direction: in the mouth of which, at Diridotis, Nearchus anchored with his fleet. But what reliance can be placed on the ever shifting channels of a river flowing through an alluvial soil, and over a perfect level divertible at the pleasure of the people inhabiting its banks Or, what theory can be founded on their distribution, which will not be as unstable as the streams themselves This very channel, so essential to the hypothesis which places Eden in this situation, was annihilated by the Orcheni, a neighbouring people; who directed the stream to water their own land, and thus gave it a shorter course into the Tigris, which it has ever since preserved. But it is only the lower parts of the Euphrates and Tigris, as they creep through the plains of Babylonia, which are thus inconstant: higher up in their courses, they flow over more solid strata, and in deeper valleys, unchanged by time. It is here that their conformity with the Mosaic account is to be sought; and it is here that they may be found, in the exact condition in which they were left by the deluge, and, indeed, according to Moses, in which they existed before that event. It is true, that the heads of the four rivers, above described, cannot now be found sufficiently near, to recognise thence the exact situation of paradise; but they all arise from the same mountainous region; and the springs of the Euphrates and Tigris, as already mentioned, are even now nearly interwoven. Mr. Faber supposes the lake Arsissa to cover the site of Eden; and that the change which carried the heads of the rivers to a greater distance from it, was occasioned by the deluge. But it is far more probable that this change, if we may infer from the account given by Moses that the courses of all the streams remained unaltered by the flood, may have taken place at man’s expulsion from the garden: when God might choose to obliterate this fair portion of his works, unfitted for any thing but the residence of innocence; and to blot at once from the face of the earth, like the guilty cities of the plain, both the site and the memorial of man’s transgression,--an awful event, which would add tenfold horrors to the punishment.

EDOM, a province of Arabia, which derives its name from Edom, or Esau, who there settled in the mountains of Seir, in the land of the Horites, south-east of the Dead Sea. His descendants afterward extended themselves throughout Arabia Petrea, and south of Palestine, between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean. During the Babylonish captivity, and when Judea was almost deserted, they seized the south of Judah, and advanced to Hebron. Hence that tract of Judea, which they inhabited, retained the name of Idumea in the time of our Saviour, Mark iii, 8. Under Moses and Joshua, and even under the kings of Judah, the Idumeans were confined to the east and south of the Dead Sea, in the land of Seir; but afterward they extended their territories more to the south of Judah. The capital of east Edom was Bozrah; and that of south Edom, Petra, or Jectael. The Edomites, or Idumeans, the posterity of Esau, had kings long before the Jews. They were first governed by dukes or princes, and afterward by kings, Gen. xxxvi, 31. They continued independent till the time of David, who subdued them, in completion of Isaac’s prophecy, that Jacob should rule Esau, Gen. xxvii, 29, 30. The Idumeans bore this subjection with great impatience; and at the end of Solomon’s reign, Hadad, the Edomite, who had been carried 329into Egypt during his childhood, returned into his own country, where he procured himself to be acknowledged king, 1 Kings xi, 22. It is probable, however, that he reigned only in east Edom; for Edom south of Judea continued subject to the kings of Judah, till the reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, against whom it rebelled, 2 Chron. xxi, 8. Jehoram attacked Edom, but did not subdue it. Amaziah king of Judah, took Petra, killed a thousand men, and compelled ten thousand more to leap from the rock, upon which stood the city of Petra, 2 Chron. xxv, 11, 12. But these conquests were not permanent. Uzziah took Elath on the Red Sea, 2 Kings xiv, 22; but Rezin, king of Syria, retook it. Some think that Esarhaddon, king of Syria, ravaged this country, Isaiah xxi, 11–17; xxxiv, 6. Holofernes subdued it, as well as other nations around Judea, Judith iii, 14. When Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, the Idumeans joined him, and encouraged him to rase the very foundations of that city. This cruelty did not long continue unpunished. Five years after the taking of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar humbled all the states around Judea, and in particular Idumea. John Hyrcanus entirely conquered the Idumeans, whom he obliged to receive circumcision and the law. They continued subject to the later kings of Judea till the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. They even came to assist that city when besieged, and entered it in order to defend it. However, they did not continue there till it was taken, but returned into Idumea loaded with booty. The prophecies respecting Edom are numerous and striking; and the present state of the country as described by modern travellers has given so remarkable an attestation to the accuracy of their fulfilment, that a few extracts from Mr. Keith’s work, in which this is pointed out, may be fitly introduced:--

2. There are numerous prophecies respecting Idumea, that bear a literal interpretation, however hyperbolical they may appear. “My sword shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. From generation to generation it shall lie waste, none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom; but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof; and it shall be a habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. Seek ye out of the book of the Lord and read; no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate; for my mouth it hath commanded, and his Spirit it hath gathered them. And he hath cast the lot for them, and his hand hath divided it unto them by line; they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein,” Isa. xxxiv, 5, 10–17. “I have sworn by myself, saith the Lord, that Bozrah” (the strong or fortified city) “shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes. Lo, I will make thee small among the Heathen, and despised among men. Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord. Also Edom shall be a desolation; every one that goeth by shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof. As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the Lord, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it,” Jer. xlix, 13–18. “Thus saith the Lord God, I will stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it, and I will make it desolate from Teman.” “I laid the mountains of Esau and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness,” Malachi i, 3, 4.

Is there any country once inhabited and opulent, so utterly desolate There is, and that land is Idumea. The territory of the descendants of Esau affords as miraculous a demonstration of the inspiration of the Scriptures as the fate of the children of Israel. A single extract from the Travels of Volney will be found to be equally illustrative of the prophecy and of the fact: “This country has not been visited by any traveller, but it well merits such an attention; for, from the report of the Arabs of Bakir, and the inhabitants of Gaza, who frequently go to Maan and Karak, on the road of the pilgrims, there are, to the south-east of the lake Asphaltites, (Dead Sea,) within three days’ journey, upward of thirty ruined towns absolutely deserted. Several of them have large edifices, with columns that may have belonged to the ancient temples, or at least to Greek churches. The Arabs sometimes make use of them to fold their cattle in; but in general avoid them on account of the enormous scorpions with which they swarm. We cannot be surprised at these traces of ancient population, when we recollect that this was the country of the Nabatheans, the most powerful of the Arabs, and of the Idumeans, who, at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, were almost as numerous as the Jews, as appears from Josephus, who informs us, that on the first rumour of the march of Titus against Jerusalem, thirty thousand Idumeans instantly assembled, and threw themselves into that city for its defence. It appears that, beside the advantages of being under a tolerably good government, these districts enjoyed a considerable share of the commerce of Arabia and India, which increased their industry and population. We know that as far back as the time of Solomon, the cities of Astioum Gaber (Ezion Geber) and Ailah (Eloth) were highly frequented marts. These towns were situated 330on the adjacent gulf of the Red Sea, where we still find the latter yet retaining its name, and perhaps the former in that of El Akaba, or ‘the end of the sea.’ These two places are in the hands of the Bedouins, who, being destitute of a navy and commerce, do not inhabit them. But the pilgrims report that there is at El Akaba a wretched fort. The Idumeans, from whom the Jews only took their ports at intervals, must have found in them a great source of wealth and population. It even appears that the Idumeans rivalled the Tyrians, who also possessed a town, the name of which is unknown, on the coast of Hedjaz, in the desert of Tih, and the city of Faran, and, without doubt, El-Tor, which served it by way of port. From this place the caravans might reach Palestine and Judea, (through Idumea,) in eight or ten days. This route, which is longer than that from Suez to Cairo, is infinitely shorter than that from Aleppo to Bassorah.” Evidence, which must have been undesigned, which cannot be suspected of partiality, and which no illustration can strengthen, and no ingenuity pervert, is thus borne to the truth of the most wonderful prophecies. That the Idumeans were a populous and powerful nation long posterior to the delivery of the prophecies; that they possessed a tolerably good government, even in the estimation of Volney; that Idumea contained many cities; that these cities are now absolutely deserted; and that their ruins swarm with enormous scorpions; that it was a commercial nation, and possessed highly frequented marts; that it forms a shorter route than the ordinary one to India; and yet that it had not been visited by any traveller; are facts all recorded, and proved by this able but unconscious commentator.

3. A greater contrast cannot be imagined than the ancient and present state of Idumea. It was a kingdom previous to Israel, having been governed first by dukes or princes, afterward by eight successive kings, and again by dukes, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel, Gen. xxxvi, 31, &c. Its fertility and early cultivation are implied not only in the blessings of Esau, whose dwelling was to be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; but also in the condition proposed by Moses to the Edomites, when he solicited a passage for the Israelites through their borders, that “they would not pass through the fields nor through the vineyards;” and also in the great wealth, especially in the multitudes of flocks and herds, recorded as possessed by an individual inhabitant of that country, at a period, in all probability even more remote, Gen. xxvii, 39; Num. xx, 17; Job xlii, 12. The Idumeans were, without doubt, both an opulent and a powerful people. They often contended with the Israelites, and entered into a league with their other enemies against them. In the reign of David they were indeed subdued and greatly oppressed, and many of them even dispersed throughout the neighbouring countries, particularly Phenicia and Egypt. But during the decline of the kingdom of Judah, and for many years previous to its extinction, they encroached upon the territories of the Jews, and extended their dominion over the south-western part of Judea.

4. There is a prediction which, being peculiarly remarkable as applicable to Idumea, and bearing reference to a circumstance explanatory of the difficulty of access to any knowledge respecting it, is entitled, in the first instance, to notice: “None shall pass through it for ever and ever. I will cut off from Mount Seir him that passeth out, and him that returneth,” Isa. xxxiv, 10; Ezek. xxxv, 7. The ancient greatness of Idumea must, in no small degree, have resulted from its commerce. Bordering with Arabia on the east, and Egypt on the southwest, and forming from north to south the most direct and most commodious channel of communication between Jerusalem and her dependencies on the Red Sea, as well as between Syria and India, through the continuous valleys of El Ghor, and El Araba, which terminated on the one extremity at the borders of Judea, and on the other at Elath and Ezion Geber on the Elanitic gulf of the Red Sea, Idumea may be said to have formed the emporium of the commerce of the east. A Roman road passed directly through Idumea, from Jerusalem to Akaba, and another from Akaba to Moab; and when these roads were made, at a time long posterior to the date of the predictions, the conception could not have been formed, or held credible by man, that the period would ever arrive when none would pass through it. Above seven hundred years after the date of the prophecy, Strabo relates that many Romans and other foreigners were found at Petra by his friend Athenodorus, the philosopher, who visited it. The prediction is yet more surprising when viewed in conjunction with another, which implies that travellers would “pass by” Idumea: “Every one that goeth by shall be astonished.” And the Hadj routes (routes of the pilgrims) from Damascus and from Cairo to Mecca, the one on the east and the other toward the south of Idumea, along the whole of its extent, go by it, or touch partially on its borders, without passing through it. The truth of the prophecy, though hemmed in thus by apparent impossibilities and contradictions, and with extreme probability of its fallacy in every view that could have been visible to man, may yet be tried.

5. “Edom shall be a desolation. From generation to generation it shall lie waste,” &c. Judea, Ammon, and Moab, exhibit so abundantly the remains and the means of an exuberant fertility, that the wonder arises in the reflecting mind, how the barbarity of man could have so effectually counteracted for so many generations the prodigality of nature. But such is Edom’s desolation, that the first sentiment of astonishment on the contemplation of it is, how a wide extended region, now diversified by the strongest features of desert wildness, could ever have been adorned with cities, or tenanted for ages by a powerful and opulent people. Its present aspect would belie its ancient history, were not that history corroborated by “the many vestiges of former cultivation,” 331by the remains of walls and paved roads, and by the ruins of cities still existing in this ruined country. The total cessation of its commerce; the artificial irrigation of its valleys wholly neglected; the destruction of all the cities, and the continued spoliation of the country by the Arabs, while aught remained that they could destroy; the permanent exposure, for ages, of the soil unsheltered by its ancient groves, and unprotected by any covering from the scorching rays of the sun; the unobstructed encroachments of the desert, and of the drifted sands from the borders of the Red Sea; the consequent absorption of the water of the springs and streamlets during summer,--are causes which have all combined their baneful operation in rendering Edom “most desolate, the desolation of desolations.” Volney’s account is sufficientlysufficiently descriptive of the desolation which now reigns over Idumea; and the information which Seetzen derived at Jerusalem respecting it is of similar import. He was told, that at the distance of two days’ journey and a half from Hebron, he would find considerable ruins of the ancient city of Abde, and that for all the rest of the journey he would see no place of habitation; he would meet only with a few tribes of wandering Arabs. From the borders of Edom, Captains Irby and Mangles beheld a boundless extent of desert view, which they had hardly ever seen equalled for singularity and grandeur. And the following extract, descriptive of what Burckhardt actually witnessed in the different parts of Edom, cannot be more graphically abbreviated than in the words of the prophet. Of its eastern boundary, and of the adjoining part of Arabia Petrea, strictly so called, Burckhardt writes: “It might, with truth, be called Petrea, not only on account of its rocky mountains, but also of the elevated plain already described, which is so much covered with stones, especially flints, that it may with great propriety be called a stony desert, although susceptible of culture; in many places it is overgrown with wild herbs, and must once have been thickly inhabited; for the traces of many towns and villages are met with on both sides of the Hadj road between Maan and Akaba, as well as between Maan and the plains of the Hauran, in which direction are also many springs. At present all this country is a desert, and Maan (Teman) is the only inhabited place in it: ‘I will stretch out my hand against thee, O Mount Seir, and will make thee most desolate. I will stretch out my hand upon Edom, and will make it desolate from Teman.’” In the interior of Idumea, where the ruins of some of its ancient cities are still visible, and in the extensive valley which reaches from the Red to the Dead Sea, the appearance of which must now be totally and sadly changed from what it was, “the whole plain presented to the view an expanse of shifting sands, whose surface was broken by innumerable undulations and low hills. The sand appears to have been brought from the shores of the Red Sea, by the southern winds; and the Arabs told me that the valleys continue to present the same appearance beyond the latitude of Wady Mousa. In some parts of the valley the sand is very deep, and there is not the slightest appearance of a road, or of any work of human art. A few trees grow among the sand hills, but the depth of sand precludes all vegetation of herbage.” “If grape gatherers come to thee, would not they leave some gleaning grapes If thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough; but I have made Esau bare. Edom shall be a desolate wilderness.” “On ascending the western plain,” continues Mr. Burckhardt, “on a higher level than that of Arabia, we had before us an immense expanse of dreary country, entirely covered with black flints, with here and there some hilly chain rising from the plain.” “I will stretch out upon Idumea the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.” Such is the present desolate aspect of one of the most fertile countries of ancient times! So visibly even now does the withering curse of an offended God rest upon it!

EGG, , Deut. xxii, 6; Job xxxix, 14; Isaiah x, 14; lix, 5; , Luke xi, 12. Eggs are considered as a very great delicacy in the east, and are served up with fish and honey at their entertainments. As a desirable article of food, the egg is mentioned, Luke xi, 12: “If a son ask for an egg, will his father offer him a scorpion” It has been remarked that the body of the scorpion is very like an egg, as its head can scarcely be distinguished, especially if it be of the white kind, which is the first species mentioned by Ælian, Avicenna, and others. Bochart has produced testimonies to prove that the scorpions in Judea were about the bigness of an egg. So the similitude is preserved between the thing asked, and the thing given.

EGLON, a king of Moab, who oppressed the Israelites, and was slain by Ehud, Judges iii, 14, 21. It is thought to have been a common name of the kings of Moab, as Abimelech was of the Philistines.

EGYPT, a country of Africa, called also in the Hebrew Scriptures the land of Mizraim, and the land of Ham; by the Turks and Arabs, Masr and Misr; and by the native Egyptians, Chemi, or the land of Ham. Mr. Faber derives the name from Ai-Capht, or the land of the Caphtorim; from which, also, the modern Egyptians derive their name of Cophts. Egypt was first peopled after the deluge by Mizraim, or Mizr, the son of Ham, who is supposed to be the same with Menes, recorded in Egyptian history as the first king. Every thing relating to the subsequent history and condition of this country, for many ages, is involved in fable. Nor have we any clear information from Heathen writers, until the time of Cyrus, and his son Cambyses, when the line of Egyptian princes ceased in agreement with prophecies to that effect. Manetho, the Egyptian historian, has given a list of thirty dynasties, which, if successive, make a period of five thousand three hundred years to the time of Alexander, or three thousand two hundred and eighty-two years more than the real time, according to the Mosaic chronology. But this is a manifest forgery, which has, nevertheless, been appealed 332to by infidel writers, as authority against the veracity of the Mosaic history. The truth is, that this pretended succession of princes, if all of them can be supposed to have existed at all, constituted several distinct dynasties, ruling in different cities at the same time: thus these were the kingdoms of Thebes, Thin, Memphis, and Tanis. See Writing.

2. In the time of Moses we find Egypt renowned for learning; for he was instructed “in all its wisdom;” and it is one of the commendations of Solomon, at a later period, that he excelled in knowledge “all the wisdom of the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.” Astronomy, which probably, like that of the Chaldeans, comprehended also judicial astrology, physics, agriculture, jurisprudence, medicine, architecture, painting, and sculpture, were the principal sciences and arts; to which were added, and that by their wisest men, the study of divination, magic, and enchantments. They had also their consulters with familiar spirits, and necromancers, those who had, or pretended to have, intercourse with the infernal deities, and the spirits of the dead, and delivered responses to inquirers. Of all this knowledge, good and evil, and of a monstrous system of idolatry, Egypt was the polluted fountain to the surrounding nations; but in that country itself it appears to have degenerated into the most absurd and debased forms. Among nations who are not blessed by divine revelation, the luminaries of heaven are the first objects of worship. Diodorus Siculus, mentioning the Egyptians, informs us, that “the first men, looking up to the world above them, and, struck with admiration at the nature of the universe, supposed the sun and moon to be the principal and eternal gods.” This, which may be called the natural superstition of mankind, we can trace in the annals of the west, as well as of the east; among the inhabitants of the new world, as well as of the old. The sun and moon, under the names of Isis and Osiris, were the chief objects of adoration among the Egyptians. But the earliest times had a purer faith. The following inscription, engraven in hieroglyphics in the temple of Neith, the Egyptian Minerva, conveys the most sublime idea of the Deity which unenlightened reason could form: “I am that which is, was, and shall be: no mortal hath lifted up my veil: the offspring of my power is the sun.” A similar inscription still remains at Capua, on the temple of Isis: “Thou art one, and from thee all things proceed.” Plutarch also informs us, that the inhabitants of Thebais worshipped only the immortal and supreme God, whom they called Eneph. According to the Egyptian cosmogony, all things sprung from athor, or night, by which they denoted the darkness of chaos before the creation. Sanchoniathon relates, that, “from the breath of gods and the void were mortals created.” This theology differs little from that of Moses, who says, “The earth was without form, and void; darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

3. A superstitious reverence for certain animals, as propitious or hurtful to the human race, was not peculiar to the Egyptians. The cow has been venerated in India from the most remote antiquity. The serpent has been the object of religious respect to one half of the nations of the known world. The Romans had sacred animals, which they kept in their temples, and distinguished with peculiar honours. We need not therefore be surprised that a nation so superstitious as the Egyptians should honour, with peculiar marks of respect, the ichneumon, the ibis, the dog, the falcon, the wolf, and the crocodile. These they entertained at great expense, and with much magnificence. Lands were set apart for their maintenance; persons of the highest rank were employed in feeding and attending them; rich carpets were spread in their apartments; and the pomp at their funerals corresponded to the profusion and luxury which attended them while alive. What chiefly tended to favour the progress of animal worship in Egypt, was the language of hieroglyphics. In the hieroglyphic inscriptions on their temples, and public edifices, animals, and even vegetables, were the symbols of the gods whom they worshipped. In the midst of innumerable superstitions, the theology of Egypt contained the two great principles of religion, the existence of a supreme Being, and the immortality of the soul. The first is proved by the inscription on the temple of Minerva; the second, by the care with which dead bodies were embalmed, and the prayer recited at the hour of death, by an Egyptian, expressing his desire to be received to the presence of the deities.

4. The opulence of Egypt was for ages increased by the large share it had in the commerce with the east; by its own favourable position, making it the connecting link of intercourse between the eastern and western nations; and especially by its own remarkable fertility, particularly in corn, so that it was, in times of scarcity, the granary of the world. Its extraordinary fertility was owing to the periodical inundation of the Nile; and sufficient proofs of the ancient accounts which we have of its productiveness are afforded to this day. The Rev. Mr. Jowett has given a striking example of the extraordinary fertility of the soil of Egypt, which is alluded to in Genesis xli, 47: “The earth brought forth by handfuls.” “I picked up at random,” says Mr. Jowett, “a few stalks out of the thick corn fields. We counted the number of stalks which sprouted from single grains of seed; carefully pulling to pieces each root, in order to see that it was but one plant. The first had seven stalks, the next three, the next nine, then eighteen, then fourteen. Each stalk would have been an ear.”

5. The architecture of the early Egyptians, at least that of their cities and dwellings, was rude and simple: they could indeed boast of little in either external elegance or internal comfort, since Herodotus informs us that men and beasts lived together. The materials of their structure were bricks of clay, bound together 333with chopped straw, and baked in the sun. Such were the bricks which the Israelites were employed in making, and of which the cities of Pithom and Rameses were built. Their composition was necessarily perishable, and explains why it is that no remains of the ancient cities of Egypt are to be found. They would indeed last longer in the dry climate of this country than in any other; but even here they must gradually decay and crumble to dust, and the cities so constructed become heaps. Of precisely the same materials are the villages of Egypt built at this day. “Village after village,” says Mr. Jowett, speaking of Tentyra, “built of unburnt brick, crumbling into ruins, and giving place to new habitations, have raised the earth, in some parts, nearly to the level of the summit of the temple. In every part of Egypt, we find the towns built in this manner, upon the ruins, or rather the rubbish, of the former habitations. The expression in Jeremiah xxx, 18, literally applies to Egypt, in the meanest sense: ‘The city shall be builded upon her own heap.’ And the expression in Job xv, 28, might be illustrated by many of these deserted hovels: ‘He dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps.’ Still more touching is the allusion, in Job iv, 19, where the perishing generations of men are fitly compared to habitations of the frailest materials, built upon the heap of similar dwelling-places, now reduced to rubbish: ‘How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust!’”

6. The splendid temples of Egypt were not built, in all probability, till after the time of Solomon; for the recent progress made in the decyphering of hieroglyphics has disappointed the antiquaries as to the antiquity of these stupendous fabrics. It is well observed by Dr. Shuckford, that temples made no great figure in Homer’s time. If they had, he would not have lost such an opportunity of exerting his genius on so grand a subject, as Virgil has done in his description of the temple built by Dido at Carthage. The first Heathen temples were probably nothing more than mean buildings, which served merely as a shelter from the weather: of which kind was, probably, the house of the Philistine god Dagon. But when the fame of Solomon’s temple had reached other countries, it excited them to imitate its splendour; and nation vied with nation in the structures erected to their several deities. All were, however, outdone, at least in massiveness and durability, by the Egyptians; the architectural design of whose temples, as well as that of the Grecian edifices, was borrowed from the stems and branches of the grove temples.

7. It appears to be an unfounded notion, that the pyramids were built by the Israelites: they were, probably, Mr. Faber thinks, the work of the “Shepherds,” or Cushite invaders, who, at an early period, held possession of Egypt for two hundred and sixty years, and reduced the Egyptians to bondage, so that “a shepherd was an abomination to the Egyptians” in Joseph’s time. The Israelites laboured in making bricks, not in forming stones such as the pyramids are constructed with; and a passage in Mr. Jowett’s “Researches,” before referred to, will throw light upon this part of their history. Mr. Jowett saw at one place the people making bricks, with straw cut into small pieces, and mingled with the clay, to bind it. Hence it is, that when villages built of these bricks fall into rubbish, which is often the case, the roads are full of small particles of straws, extremely offensive to the eyes in a high wind. They were, in fact, engaged exactly as the Israelites used to be, making bricks with straw; and for a similar purpose, to build extensive granaries for the bashaw; “treasure-cities for Pharaoh.” The same intelligent missionary also observes: “The mollems transact business between the bashaw and the peasants. He punishes them if the peasants prove that they oppress; and yet he requires from them that the work of those who are under them shall be fulfilled. They strikingly illustrate the case of the officers placed by the EgyptianEgyptian task-masters over the children of Israel; and, like theirs, the mollems often find their case is evil, Exodus v.”

8. It is not necessary to go over those parts of the Egyptian history which occur in the Old Testament. The prophecies respecting this haughty and idolatrous kingdom, uttered by Jeremiah and Ezekiel when it was in the height of its splendour and prosperity, were fulfilled in the terrible invasions of Nebuchadnezzar, Cambyses, and the Persian monarchs. It comes, however, again into an interesting connection with the Jewish history under Alexander the Great, who invaded it as a Persian dependence. So great, indeed, was the hatred of the Egyptians toward their oppressors, that they hailed the approach of the Macedonians, and threw open their cities to receive them. Alexander, merciless as he was to those who opposed his progress or authority, knew how to requite those who were devoted to his interests; and the Egyptians, for many centuries afterward, had reason to recollect with gratitude his protection and foresight. It was he who discerned the local advantages of the spot on which the city bearing his name afterward stood, who projected the plan of the town, superintended its erection, endowed it with many privileges, and peopled it with colonies drawn from other places for the purpose, chiefly Greeks. But, together with these, and the most favoured of all, were the Jews, who enjoyed the free exercise of their religion, and the same civil rights and liberties as the Macedonians themselves. Kindness shown to the people of Israel has never, in the providence of God, brought evil on any country; and there can be no doubt but that the encouragement given to this enterprising and commercial people, assisted very much to promote the interests of the new city, which soon became the capital of the kingdom, the centre of commerce, of science, and the arts, and one of the most flourishing and considerable cities in the world. Egypt, indeed, was about to see 334better days; and, during the reigns of the Ptolemies, enjoyed again, for nearly three hundred years, something of its former renown for learning and power. It formed, during this period, and before the rapid extension of the Roman empire toward the termination of these years, one of the only two ancient kingdoms which had survived the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Macedonian empires: the other was the Syrian, where the Seleucidæ, another family of one of the successors of Alexander, reigned; who, having subdued Macedonia and Thrace, annexed them to the kingdom of Syria, and there remained out of the four kingdoms into which the empire of Alexander was divided these two only; distinguished, in the prophetic writings of Daniel, by the titles of the kings or kingdoms of the north and the south.

9. Under the reign of the three first Ptolemies, the state of the Jews was exceedingly prosperous. They were in high favour, and continued to enjoy all the advantages conferred upon them by Alexander. Judea was, in fact, at this time, a privileged province of Egypt; the Jews being governed by their own high priest, on paying a tribute to the kings of Egypt. But in the reign of Ptolemy Epiphanes, the fifth of the race, it was taken by Antiochus, king of Syria; which was the beginning of fresh sufferings and persecutions; for although this Antiochus, who was the one surnamed the Great, was a mild and generous prince, and behaved favourably toward them, their troubles began at his death; his successor, Seleucus, oppressing them with taxes; and the next was the monster, Antiochus Epiphanes, whose impieties and cruelties are recorded in the two books of Maccabees. But still, in Egypt, the Jews continued in the enjoyment of their privileges, so late as the reign of the sixth Ptolemy, called Philometor, who committed the charge of his affairs to two Jews, Onias and Dositheus; the former of whom obtained permission to build a temple at Heliopolis. The introduction of Christianity into Egypt is mentioned under the article Alexandria.

10. The prophecies respecting Egypt in the Old Testament have had a wonderful fulfilment. The knowledge of all its greatness and glory deterred not the Jewish prophets from declaring, that Egypt would become “a base kingdom, and never exalt itself any more among the nations.” And the literal fulfilment of every prophecy affords as clear a demonstration as can possibly be given, that each and all of them are the dictates of inspiration. Egypt was the theme of many prophecies, which were fulfilled in ancient times; and it bears to the present day, as it has borne throughout many ages, every mark with which prophecy had stamped its destiny: “They shall be a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of kingdoms. Neither shall it exalt itself any more among the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. The pride of her power shall come down; and they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate; and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. I will make the land of Egypt desolate, and the country shall be desolate of that whereof it was full. I will sell the land into the hand of the wicked. I will make the land waste and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers. I the Lord have spoken it. And there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt,” Ezek. xxx, 5, 7, 12, 13. “The sceptre of Egypt shall depart away,” Zech. x, 11.

11. Egypt became entirely subject to the Persians about three hundred and fifty years previous to the Christian æra. It was afterward subdued by the Macedonians, and was governed by the Ptolemies for the space of two hundred and ninety-four years; until, about B. C. 30, it became a province of the Roman empire. It continued long in subjection to the Romans,--tributary first to Rome, and afterward to Constantinople. It was transferred, A. D. 641, to the dominion of the Saracens. In 1250 the Mamelukes deposed their rulers, and usurped the command of Egypt. A mode of government, the most singular and surprising that ever existed on earth, was established and maintained. Each successive ruler was raised to supreme authority, from being a stranger and a slave. No son of the former ruler, no native of Egypt, succeeded to the sovereignty; but a chief was chosen from among a new race of imported slaves. When Egypt became tributary to the Turks in 1517, the Mamelukes retained much of their power; and every pasha was an oppressor and a stranger. During all these ages, every attempt to emancipate the country, or to create a prince of the land of Egypt, has proved abortive, and has often been fatal to the aspirant. Though the facts relative to Egypt form too prominent a feature in the history of the world to admit of contradiction or doubt, yet the description of the fate of that country, and of the form of its government, may be left, says Keith, to the testimony of those whose authority no infidel will question, and whom no man can accuse of adapting their descriptions to the predictions of the event. Volney and Gibbon are our witnesses of the facts: “Such is the state of Egypt. Deprived, twenty-three centuries ago, of her natural proprietors, she has seen her fertile fields successively a prey to the Persians, the Macedonians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Arabs, the Georgians, and, at length, the race of Tartars distinguished by the name of Ottoman Turks. The Mamelukes, purchased as slaves, and introduced as soldiers, soon usurped the power and elected a leader. If their first establishment was a singular event, their continuance is not less extraordinary. They are replaced by slaves brought from their original country. The system of oppression is methodical. Every thing the traveller sees or hears reminds him he is in the country of slavery and tyranny.” “A more unjust and absurd constitution cannot be devised than that which condemns the natives of a country to perpetual servitude, under the arbitrary dominion of strangers and slaves. 335Yet such has been the state of Egypt above five hundred years. The most illustrious sultans of the Baharite and Borgite dynasties were themselves promoted from the Tartar and Circassian bands; and the four-and-twenty beys, or military chiefs, have ever been succeeded, not by their sons, but by their servants.” These are the words of Volney and of Gibbon; and what did the ancient prophets foretel--“I will lay the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hands of strangers. I the Lord have spoken it. And there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt. The sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.” The prophecy adds: “They shall be a base kingdom: it shall be the basest of kingdoms.” After the lapse of two thousand and four hundred years from the date of this prophecy, a scoffer at religion, but an eye witness of the facts, thus describes the self-same spot: “In Egypt,” says Volney, “there is no middle class, neither nobility, clergy, merchants, landholders. A universal air of misery, manifest in all the traveller meets, points out to him the rapacity of oppression, and the distrust attendant upon slavery. The profound ignorance of the inhabitants equally prevents them from perceiving the causes of their evils, or applying the necessary remedies. Ignorance, diffused through every class, extends its effects to every species of moral and physical knowledge. Nothing is talked of but intestine troubles, the public misery, pecuniary extortions, bastinadoes, and murders. Justice herself puts to death without formality.” Other travellers describe the most execrable vices as common, and represent the moral character of the people as corrupted to the core. As a token of the desolation of the country, mud-walled cottages are now the only habitations where the ruins of temples and palaces abound. Egypt is surrounded by the dominions of the Turks and of the Arabs; and the prophecy is literally true which marked it in the midst of desolation: “They shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted.” The systematic oppression, extortion, and plunder, which have so long prevailed, and the price paid for his authority and power by every Turkish pasha, have rendered the country “desolate of that whereof it was full,” and still show both how it has been “wasted by the hands of strangers,” and how it has been “sold into the hand of the wicked.”

12. Egypt has, indeed, lately somewhat risen, under its present spirited but despotic pasha, to a degree of importance and commerce. But this pasha is still a stranger, and the dominion is foreign. Nor is there any thing like a general advancement of the people to order, intelligence and happiness. Yet this fact, instead of militating against the truth of prophecy, may, possibly at no distant period, serve to illustrate other predictions. “The Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it; and they shall return to the Lord, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land,” &c, Isaiah xix, 22–25.

ELAM, the eldest son of Shem, who settled in a country to which he gave his name, Gen. x, 22. It is frequently mentioned in Scripture, as lying to the south-east of Shinar. Susiana, in later times, seems to have been a part of this country, Daniel viii, 2; and before the captivity the Jews seem always to have intended Persia by the name of Elam. Stephanus takes it to be a part of Assyria, but Pliny and Josephus, more properly, of Persia, whose inhabitants, this latter tells us, sprung from the Elamites.

ELATH, or ELOTH, a part of Idumea, situate upon the Red Sea, the emporium of Syria in Asia. It was taken by David, 2 Sam. viii, 14, who there established an extensive trade. There Solomon built ships, 2 Chron. viii, 17, 18. The Israelites held possession of Elath one hundred and fifty years, when the Edomites, in the reign of Joram, recovered it, 2 Kings viii, 20. It was again taken from them by Azariah, and by him left to his son, 2 Kings xiv, 22. The king of Syria took it from his grandson, 2 Kings xvi, 6. In process of time it fell to the Ptolemies, and lastly to the Romans. The branch of the Red Sea on which this city stood, obtained among Heathen writers the name of Sinus Elaniticus or Elanitic Gulf, from a town built on its site called Elana, and subsequently Ala; which, as we are informed by Eusebius and Jerom, was used as a port in their time. The modern Arabian town of Akaba stands upon or near the site either of Elath or Ezion-Geber; which of the two it is impossible to determine, as both ports, standing at the head of the gulf, were probably separated from each other by a creek or small bay only.

ELDAD and Medad were appointed by Moses among the seventy elders of Israel who were to assist in the government. Though not present in the general assembly, they were, notwithstanding, filled with the Spirit of God, equally with those who were in that assembly, and they began to prophesy in the camp. Joshua would have had Moses forbid them, but Moses replied, “Enviest thou for my sake Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that God would pour forth his Spirit upon them!” Numbers xi, 24–29.

ELDERS, a name given to certain laymen in the Presbyterian discipline, who are ecclesiastical officers, and in conjunction with the ministers and deacons compose the kirk sessions in Scotland. The number of elders is proportioned to the extent and population of the parish, and is seldom less than two or three, but sometimes exceeds fifty. They are laymen in this respect, that they have no right to teach, or to dispense the sacraments; and on this account they form an office in the Presbyterian church inferior in rank and power to that of pastors. They generally discharge the office which originally belonged to the deacons, of attending to the interests of the poor. But their peculiar business is expressed by the name ruling elders; for in every jurisdiction 336within the parish they are the spiritual court, of which the minister is officially moderator; and in the presbytery, of which the pastors of all the parishes within its bounds are officially members, lay elders sit as the representatives of the several sessions or consistories.

Elders of Israel. By this name we understand the heads of tribes, or rather of the great families in Israel, who, before the settlement of the Hebrew commonwealth, had a government and authority over their own families, and the people. When Moses was sent into Egypt to deliver Israel, he assembled the elders of Israel, and told them that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had appeared to him, Exod. iii, 15; iv, 29, &c. Moses and Aaron treat the elders of Israel as the representatives of the nation. When God gave the law to Moses, he said, “Take Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, his sons, and the seventy elders of Israel, and worship ye afar off,” Exod. xxiv, 1, 9, 10. They advanced only to the foot of the mountain. On all occasions afterward, we find this number of seventy elders. But it is credible, that as there were twelve tribes, there were seventy-two elders, six from each tribe, and that seventy is set down, instead of seventy-two; or rather, that Moses and Aaron should be added to the number seventy, and that, exclusive of them, there were but four elders from the tribe of Levi. After Jethro’s arrival in the camp of Israel, Moses made a considerable change in the governors of the people. He established over Israel heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, that justice might be readily administered to applicants; only difficult cases were referred to himself, Exod. xviii, 24, 25, &c. But this constitution did not continue long; for on the murmuring of the people at the encampment called the Graves of Lust, Num. xi, 24–35, Moses appointed seventy elders of Israel, to whom God communicated part of that legislator’s spirit; they began to prophesy, and ceased not afterward. This, according to the generality of interpreters, was the beginning of the sanhedrim; but, to support this opinion, many things must be supposed, whereby to infer, that this court of justice was constantly in being during the Scripture history. It seems that the establishment of the seventy elders by Moses continued, not only during his life, but under Joshua likewise, and under the judges. The elders of the people and Joshua swore to the treaty with the Gibeonites, Josh, ix, 15. A little before his death, Joshua renewed the covenant with the Lord, in company with the elders, the princes, the heads, and officers of Israel, Joshua xxiii; xxiv, 1, 28. After the death of Joshua, and the elders who survived him, the people were several times brought into bondage, and were delivered by their judges. We do not see distinctly what authority the elders had during this time, and still less under the kings who succeeded the judges.

ELEAZAR, the third son of Aaron, and his successor in the dignity of high priest, Exod. vi, 23. He entered into the land of Canaan with Joshua, and is supposed to have lived there upward of twenty years. The high priesthood continued in his family till the time of Eli. He was buried in a hill that belonged to the son of Phineas, Joshua xxiv.

2. Eleazar, the son of Aminadab, to whose care the ark was committed when it was sent back by the Philistines, 1 Samuel vii. He is thought to have been a priest, or at least a Levite, though he is not mentioned in the catalogue of the sons of Levi.

ELECTION. Of a divine election, a choosing and separating from others, we have three kinds mentioned in the Scriptures. The first is the election of individuals to perform some particular and special service. Cyrus was “elected” to rebuild the temple; the twelve Apostles were “chosen,” elected, to their office by Christ; St. Paul was a “chosen,” or elected “vessel,” to be the Apostle of the Gentiles. The second kind of election which we find in Scripture, is the election of nations, or bodies of people, to eminent religious privileges, and in order to accomplish, by their superior illumination, the merciful purposes of God, in benefiting other nations or bodies of people. Thus the descendants of Abraham, the Jews, were chosen to receive special revelations of truth; and to be “the people of God,” that is, his visible church, publicly to observe and uphold his worship. “The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” “The Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you, above all people.” It was especially on account of the application of the terms elect, chosen, and peculiar, to the Jewish people, that they were so familiarly used by the Apostles in their epistles addressed to the believing Jews and Gentiles, then constituting the church of Christ in various places. For Christians were the subjects, also, of this second kind of election; the election of bodies of men to be the visible people and church of God in the world, and to be endowed with peculiar privileges. Thus they became, though in a more special and exalted sense, the chosen people, the elect of God. We say “in a more special sense,” because as the entrance into the Jewish church was by natural birth, and the entrance into the Christian church, properly so called, is by faith and a spiritual birth, these terms, although many became Christians by mere profession, and enjoyed various privileges in consequence of their people or nation being chosen to receive the Gospel, have generally respect, in the New Testament, to bodies of true believers, or to the whole body of true believers as such. They are not, therefore, to be interpreted according to the scheme of Dr. Taylor of Norwich, by the constitution of the Jewish, but by the constitution of the Christian, church.

2. To understand the nature of this “election,” as applied sometimes to particular bodies of Christians, as when St. Peter says, “The church which is at Babylon, elected together with you,” and sometimes to the whole body of believers every where; and also the reason 337of the frequent use of the term election, and of the occurrence of allusions to the fact; it is to be remembered, that a great religious revolution, so to speak, had occurred in the age of the Apostles; with the full import of which we cannot, without calling in the aid of a little reflection, be adequately impressed. This change was no other than the abrogation of the church state of the Jews, which had continued for so many ages. They had been the only visibly acknowledged people of God in all the nations of the earth; for whatever pious people might have existed in other nations, they were not, in the sight of men, and collectively, acknowledged as “the people of Jehovah.” They had no written revelations, no appointed ministry, no forms of authorized initiation into his church and covenant, no appointed holy days, or sanctioned ritual. All these were peculiar to the Jews, who were, therefore, an elected and peculiar people. This distinguished honour they were about to lose. They might have retained it as Christians, had they been willing to admit the believing Gentiles of all nations to share it with them; but the great reason of their peculiarity and election, as a nation, was terminated by the coming of the Messiah, who was to be “a light to lighten the Gentiles,” as well as “the glory of his people Israel.” Their pride and consequent unbelief resented this, which will explain their enmity to the believing part of the Gentiles, who, when that which St. Paul calls “the fellowship of the mystery” was fully explained, chiefly by the glorious ministry of that Apostle himself, were called into that church relation and visible acknowledgment as the people of God, which the Jews had formerly enjoyed, and that with even a higher degree of glory, in proportion to the superior spirituality of the new dispensation. It was this doctrine which excited that strong irritation in the minds of the unbelieving Jews, and in some partially Christianized ones, to which so many references are made in the New Testament. They were “provoked,” were made “jealous;” and were often roused to the madness of persecuting opposition by it. There was then a new election of a new people of God, to be composed of Jews, not by virtue of their natural descent, but through their faith in Christ, and of Gentiles of all nations, also believing, and put as believers, on an equal ground with the believing Jews: and there was also a rejection, a reprobation, but not an absolute one; for the election was offered to the Jews first, in every place, by offering them the Gospel. Some embraced it, and submitted to be the elect people of God, on the new ground of faith, instead of the old one of natural descent; and therefore the Apostle, Rom. xi, 7, calls the believing part of the Jews, “the election,” in opposition to those who opposed this “election of grace,” and still clung to their former and now repealed election as Jews and the descendants of Abraham: “But the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” The offer had been made to the whole nation; all might have joined the one body of believing Jews and believing Gentiles; but the major part of them refused: they would not “come into the supper;” they made “light of it;” light of an election founded on faith, and which placed the relation of “the people of God” upon spiritual attainments, and offered to them only spiritual blessings. They were, therefore, deprived of election and church relationship of every kind: their temple was burned; their political state abolished; their genealogies confounded; their worship annihilated and all visible acknowledgmentacknowledgment of them; by God as a church withdrawn, and transferred to a church henceforward to be composed chiefly of Gentiles: and thus, says St. Paul, “were fulfilled the words of Moses, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish,” ignorant and idolatrous, “people I will anger you.” It is easy, therefore, to see what is the import of the “calling” and “election” of the Christian church, as spoken of in the New Testament. It was not the calling and the electing of one nation in particular to succeed the Jews; but it was the calling and the electing of believers in all nations, wherever the Gospel should be preached, to be in reality what the Jews typically, and therefore in an inferior degree, had been,--the visible church of God, “his people,” under Christ “the Head;” with an authenticated revelation; with an appointed ministry, never to be lost; with authorized worship; with holy days and festivals; with instituted forms of initiation; and with special protection and favour.

3. The third kind of election is personal election; or the election of individuals to be the children of God, and the heirs of eternal life. This is not a choosing to particular offices and service, which is the first kind of election we have mentioned; nor is it that collective election to religious privileges and a visible church state, of which we have spoken. For although “the elect” have an individual interest in such an election as parts of the collective body, thus placed in possession of the ordinances of Christianity; yet many others have the same advantages, who still remain under the guilt and condemnation of sin and practical unbelief. The individuals properly called “the elect,” are they who have been made partakers of the grace and saving efficacy of the Gospel. “Many,” says our Lord, “are called, but few chosen.” What true personal election is, we shall find explained in two clear passages of Scripture. It is explained by our Lord, where he says to his disciples, “I have chosen you out of the world:” and by St. Peter, when he addresses his First Epistle to the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.” To be elected, therefore, is to be separated from “the world,” and to be sanctified by the Spirit, and by the blood of Christ. It follows, then, not only that election is an act of God done in time, but also that it is subsequent to the administration of the means of salvation. The “calling” goes before the “election;” the publication of the doctrine of “the Spirit,” and the atonement, 338called by Peter “the sprinkling of the blood of Christ,” before that “sanctification” through which they become “the elect” of God. In a word, “the elect” are the body of true believers; and personal election into the family of God is through personal faith. All who truly believe are elected; and all to whom the Gospel is sent have, through the grace that accompanies it, the power to believe placed within their reach; and all such might, therefore, attain to the grace of personal election.

ELEMENTS, ea, the elements or first principles of any art, whence the subsequent parts proceed. The elements or first principles of the Christian doctrine, Heb, v, 12. St. Paul calls the ceremonial ordinances of the Mosaic law, “worldly elements,” Gal. iv, 3; Col. ii, 8, 20; “weak and beggarly elements,” Gal. iv, 9. Elements, as containing the rudiments of the knowledge of Christ, to which knowledge the law, as a pedagogue, Gal. iii, 24, was intended, by means of those ordinances, to bring the Jews; worldly, as consisting in outward worldlyworldly institutions, Heb. ix, 1; weak and beggarly, when considered in themselves, and set up in opposition to the great realities to which they were designed to lead. But, in Col. ii, 8, the elements or rudiments of the world are so closely connected with philosophy and vain deceit, or an empty and deceitful philosophy, that they must be understood there to include the dogmas of Pagan philosophy; to which, no doubt, many of the Colossians were in their unconverted state attached, and of which the Judaizing teachers, who also were probably themselves infected with them, took advantage to withdraw the Colossian converts from the purity of the Gospel, and from Christ their living head. And from the general tenor of this chapter, and particularly from verses 18–23, it appears, that these philosophical dogmas, against which the Apostle cautioned his converts, were partly Platonic, and partly Pythagorean; the former teaching the worship of angels, or demons, as mediators between God and man; the latter enjoining such abstinence from particular kinds of meats and drinks, and such severe mortifications of the body, as God had not commanded.

ELI, a high priest of the Hebrews, of the race of Ithamar, who succeeded Abdon, and governed the Hebrews, both as priest and judge, during forty years. How Eli came to the high priesthood, and how this dignity was transferred from Eleazar’s family to that of Ithamar, who was Aaron’s youngest son, we know not. This much, however, is certain, that it was not done without an express declaration of God’s will, 1 Sam. ii, 27, &c. In the reign of Solomon, the predictions in relation to Eli’s family were fulfilled; for the high priesthood was taken from Abiathar, a descendant of Eli, and given to Zadok, who was of the race of Eleazar, 1 Kings ii, 26. Eli appears to have been a pious, but indolent man, blinded by paternal affection, who suffered his sons to gain the ascendancy over him; and for want either of personal courage, or zeal for the glory of God sufficient to restrain their licentious conduct, he permitted them to go on to their own and his ruin. Thus he carried his indulgence to cruelty; while a more dignified and austere conduct on his part might have rendered them wise and virtuous, and thereby have preserved himself and family. A striking lesson for parents! God admonished him by Samuel, then a child; and Eli received those awful admonitions with a mind fully resigned to the divine will. “It is the Lord,” said he, “let him do what seemeth him good.” God deferred the execution of his vengeance many years. At length, however, Hophni and Phineas, the sons of Eli, were slain by the Philistines, the ark of the Lord was taken, and Eli himself, hearing this melancholy news, fell backward from his chair and broke his neck, in the ninety-eighth year of his age, 1 Sam. iv, 12, 18.

ELIEZER, a native of Damascus, and the steward of Abraham’s house. It seems that Abraham, before the birth of Isaac, intended to make him his heir:--“One born in my house,” a domestic slave, “is mine heir,” Gen. xv, 1–3. He was afterward sent into Mesopotamia, to procure a wife for Isaac, Gen. xxiv, 2, 3, &c; which business he accomplished with fidelity and expedition. “It is still the custom in India,” says Forbes, “especially among the Mohammedans, that in default of children, and sometimes where there are lineal descendants, the master of a family adopts a slave, frequently a Haffshee Abyssinian, of the darkest hue, for his heir. He educates him agreeably to his wishes, and marries him to one of his daughters. As the reward of superior merit, or to suit the caprice of an arbitrary despot, this honour is also conferred on a slave recently purchased, or already grown up in the family; and to him he bequeaths his wealth, in preference to his nephews, or any collateral branches. This is a custom of great antiquity in the east, and prevalent among the most refined and civilized nations. In the earliest period of the patriarchal history, we find Abraham complaining for want of children; and declaring that either Eliezer of Damascus, or probably one born from him in his house, was his heir, to the exclusion of Lot, his favourite nephew, and all the other collateral branches of his family.”

ELIHU, one of Job’s friends, a descendant of Nahor, Job xxxii, 2. See Job.

ELIJAH. Elijah or Elias, a prophet, was a native of Tishbe beyond Jordan in Gilead. Some think that he was a priest descended from Aaron, and say that one Sabaca was his father; but this has no authority. He was raised up by God, to be set like a wall of brass, in opposition to idolatry, and particularly to the worship of Baal, which Jezebel and Ahab supported in Israel. The Scripture introduces Elijah saying to Ahab, 1 Kings xvii, 1, 2, A. M. 3092, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” It is remarkable, that the number of years is not here specified; but in the New Testament we are informed that it was three years and six 339months. By the prohibition of dew as well as rain, the whole vegetable kingdom was deprived of that moisture, without which neither the more hardy, nor more delicate kinds of plants could shoot into herbage, or bring that herbage to maturity. The Lord commanded Elijah to conceal himself beyond Jordan, near the brook Cherith. He obeyed, and God sent ravens to him morning and evening, which brought him flesh and bread. Scheuzer observes, that he cannot think that the orebim of the Hebrew, rendered “ravens,” means, as some have thought, the inhabitants of a town called Oreb, nor a troop of Arabs called orbhim; and contends that the bird called the raven, or one of the same genus is intended. Suppose that Elijah was concealed from Ahab in some rocky or mountainous spot, where travellers never came; and that here a number of voracious birds had built their nests upon the trees which grew around it, or upon a projecting rock, &c. These flying every day to procure food for their young, the prophet availed himself of a part of what they brought; and while they, obeying the dictates of nature, designed only to provide for their offspring, Divine providence directed them to provide at the same time for the wants of Elijah. What, therefore, he collected, whether from their nests, from what they dropped, or under a supernatural influence, brought to him, or occasionally from all these means, was enough for his daily support. “And the orebim furnished him bread or flesh in the morning, and bread or flesh in the evening.” But as there were probably several of them, some might furnish bread and others flesh, as it happened; so that a little from each formed his solitary but satisfactory meal. To such straits was the exiled prophet driven! perhaps these orebim were not strictly ravens, but rooks. The word rendered raven, includes the whole genus, among which are some less impure than the raven, as the rook. Rooks living in numerous societies are supposed by some to be the kind of birds employed on this occasion rather than ravens, which fly only in pairs. But upon all these explanations we may observe, that when an event is evidently miraculous, it is quite superfluous, and often absurd, to invent hypotheses to make it appear more easy. After a time the brook dried up, and God sent Elijah to Zarephath, a city of the Sidonians. At the city gate he met with a widow woman gathering sticks, from whom he desired a little water, adding, “Bring me, I pray thee, also a morsel of bread.” She answered, “As the Lord liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal, and a little oil in a cruse; and I am gathering some sticks, that I may dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Elijah said, “Make first a little cake, and bring it me, and afterward make for thee and thy son: for thus saith the Lord, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” His prediction was fully accomplished, and he dwelt at the house of this widow. Some time after, the son of this woman fell sick, and died. The mother, overwhelmed with grief, intreated the assistance and interposition of Elijah, who taking the child in his arms laid him on his own bed, and cried to the Lord for the restoration of the child’s life. The Lord heard the prophet’s petition, and restored the child.

2. After three years of drought the Lord commanded Elijah to show himself to Ahab. The famine being great in Samaria, Ahab sent the people throughout the country, to inquire after places where they might find forage for the cattle. Obadiah, an officer of the king’s household, being thus employed, Elijah presented himself, and directed him to tell Ahab, “Behold, Elijah is here!” Ahab came to meet the prophet, and reproached him as the cause of the famine. Elijah retorted the charge upon the king, and his iniquities, and challenged Ahab to gather the people together, and the prophets of Baal, that it might be determined by a sign from heaven, the falling of fire upon the sacrifice, who was the true God. In this the prophet obeyed the impulse of the Spirit of God; and Ahab, either under an influence of which he was not conscious, or blindly confident in the cause of idolatry, followed Elijah’s direction, and convened the people of Israel, and four hundred prophets of Baal. The prophets of Baal prepared their altar, sacrificed their bullock, placed it on the altar, and called upon their gods. They leaped upon the altar, and cut themselves after their manner, crying with all their might. Elijah ridiculed them, and said, “Cry aloud, for he is god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.” When midday was past, Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord; and with twelve stones, in allusion to the twelve tribes of Israel, he built a new altar. He then laid his bullock upon the wood, poured a great quantity of water three times upon the sacrifice and the wood, so that the water filled the trench which was dug round the altar. After this he prayed, and, in answer to his prayer, the Lord sent fire from heaven, and consumed the wood, the burnt sacrifice, the stones, and dust of the place, and even dried up the water in the trench. Upon this, all the people fell on their faces, and exclaimed, “The Lord, he is the God.” Elijah then, having excited the people to slay the false prophets of Baal, said to Ahab, “Go home, eat and drink, for I hear the sound of abundance of rain;” which long-expected blessing descended from heaven according to his prediction, and gave additional proof to the truth of his mission from the only living and true God.

3. Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, threatened Elijah for having slain her prophets. He therefore fled to Beersheba, in the south of Judah, and thence into Arabia Petrea. In the evening, being exhausted with fatigue, he laid himself down under a juniper tree, and prayed God to take him out of the world. An angel touched him, and he arose, and saw a cake baked on the coals, and a cruse of water; and he ate and drank, and slept again. The angel again awakened him, and said, “Rise and eat, for the 340journey is too great for thee;” and he ate and drank, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights, unto Horeb, the mount of God. Here he had visions of the glory and majesty of God, and conversed with him; and was commanded to return to the wilderness of Damascus, to anoint Hazael king over Syria, and Jehu king over Israel, and to appoint Elisha his successor in the prophetic office. Some years after, Ahab having seized Naboth’s vineyard, the Lord commanded Elijah to reprove Ahab for the crime he had committed. Elijah met him going to Naboth’s vineyard to take possession of it, and said, “In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall they lick thy blood, even thine. And the dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.” Both of which predictions were fulfilled in the presence of the people. Ahaziah, king of Israel, being hurt by a fall from the platform of his house, sent to consult Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, whether he should recover. Elijah met the messengers, and said to them, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that ye go to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron Now, therefore, saith the Lord, Thou shalt surely die.” The messengers of Ahaziah returned, and informed the king, that a stranger had told them he should certainly die; and Ahaziah knew that this was the Prophet Elijah. The king, therefore, sent a captain with his company of fifty men, to apprehend him; and when the officer was come to Elijah, who was sitting upon a hill, he said, “Thou man of God, the king commands thee to come down.” Elijah answered, “If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.” The prophet’s words were followed with the effect predicted. The king sent another captain, who was also consumed; but a third captain going to Elijah intreated him to save him and his people’s lives, and Elijah accompanied him to the king. By these fearful miracles he was accredited to this successor of Ahab as a prophet of the true God, and the destruction of these companies of armed men was a demonstration of God’s anger against the people at large. Elijah could not in this case act from any other impulse than that of the Spirit of God.

4. Elijah, understanding by revelation that God would soon translate him out of this world, was desirous of concealing this fact from Elisha, his inseparable companion. He therefore said to Elisha, “Tarry thou here, for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha answered, “I will not leave thee.” At Bethel, Elijah said, “Tarry thou here, the Lord hath sent me to Jericho;” but Elisha replied, he would not forsake him. At Jericho Elijah desired him to stay; but Elisha would not leave him. They went therefore together to Jordan, and fifty of the sons of the prophets followed them at a distance. When they were come to the Jordan, Elijah took his mantle, and with it struck the waters, which divided, and they went over on dry ground. Elijah then said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for thee before I be taken away from thee.” “I pray thee,” said Elisha, “let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me;” that is, obtain the gift of prophecy from God for me, in the same measure that thou possessest it. Double may signify like; or the gift of prophecy, and of miracles, in a degree double to what thou dost possess, or to what I now possess. Elijah answered, “Thou hast asked me a very hard thing; yet, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.” As they journeyed, a fiery chariot, with horses of fire, suddenly separated them, and Elijah was carried in a whirlwind to heaven; while Elisha exclaimed, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof!”

5. Elijah was one of the most eminent of that illustrious and singular race of men, the Jewish prophets. Every part of his character is marked by a moral grandeur, which is heightened by the obscurity thrown around his connections, and his private history. He often wears the air of a supernatural messenger suddenly issuing from another world, to declare the commands of heaven, and to awe the proudest mortals by the menace of fearful judgments. His boldness in reproof; his lofty zeal for the honour of God; his superiority to softness, ease, and suffering, are the characters of a man filled with the Holy Spirit; and he was admitted to great intimacy with God, and enabled to work miracles of a very extraordinary and unequivocal character. These were called for by the stupid idolatry of the age, and were in some instances equally calculated to demonstrate the being and power of Jehovah, and to punish those who had forsaken him for idols. The author of Ecclesiasticus has an encomium to his memory, and justly describes him as a prophet “who stood up as fire, and whose word burned as a lamp.” In the sternness and power of his reproofs he was a striking type of John the Baptist, and the latter is therefore prophesied of, under his name. Malachi, iv, 5, 6, has this passage: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Our Saviour also declares that Elijah had already come in spirit, in the person of John the Baptist. At the transfiguration of our Saviour, Elijah and Moses both appeared and conversed with him respecting his future passion, Matt. xvii, 3, 4; Mark ix, 4; Luke ix, 30. Many of the Jews in our Lord’s time believed him to be Elijah, or that the soul of Elijah had passed into his body, Matt. xvi, 14; Mark vi, 15; Luke ix, 8. In conclusion, we may observe, that to assure the world of the future existence of good men in a state of glory and felicity, and that in bodies changed from mortality to immortality, each of the three grand dispensations of religion had its instance of translation into heaven; the patriarchal in the person of Enoch, the Jewish in the person of Elijah, and the Christian in the person of Christ.

ELISHA, the son of Shaphat, Elijah’s disciple and successor in the prophetic office, was of the city of Abelmeholah, 1 Kings xix, 34116, &c. Elijah having received God’s command to anoint Elisha as a prophet, came to Abelmeholah; and finding him ploughing with oxen, he threw his mantle over the shoulders of Elisha, who left the oxen, and accompanied him. Under the article Elijah, it has been observed that Elisha was following his master, when he was taken up to heaven; and that he inherited Elijah’s mantle, with a double portion of his spirit. Elisha smote the waters of Jordan, and divided them; and he rendered wholesome the waters of a rivulet near Jericho. The kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom, having taken the field against the king of Moab, who had revolted from Israel, were in danger of perishing for want of water. Elisha was at that time in the camp; and seeing Jehoram, the king of Israel, he said, “What have I to do with thee get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. As the Lord liveth, were it not out of respect to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, who is here present, I would not so much as look on thee. But now send for a minstrel; and while this man played, the Spirit of the Lord fell upon Elisha, and he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make several ditches along this valley; for ye shall see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley shall be filled with water, and you and your cattle shall drink of it.” The widow of one of the prophets having told Elisha, that her husband’s creditor was determined to take her two sons and sell them for slaves, Elisha multiplied the oil in the widow’s house, in such quantity that she was enabled to sell it and to discharge the debt. Elisha went frequently to Shunem, a city of Manasseh, on this side Jordan, and was entertained by a certain matron at her house. As she had no children, Elisha promised her a son; and his prediction was accomplished. Some years after, the child died. Elisha, who was then at Mount Carmel, was solicited by the mother to come to her house. The prophet went, and restored the child. At Gilgal, during a great famine, one of the sons of the prophets gathered wild gourds, which he put into the pot, and they were served up to Elisha and the other prophets. It was soon found that they were mortal poison; but Elisha ordering meal to be thrown into the pot, corrected the quality of the pottage. Naaman, general of the king of Syria’s forces, having a leprosy, was advised to visit Elisha in order to be cured. Elisha appointed him to wash himself seven times in the Jordan; and by this means Naaman was perfectly healed. He returned to Elisha, and offered him large presents, which the man of God resolutely refused. But Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, did not imitate the disinterestedness of his master. He ran after Naaman, and in Elisha’s name begged a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. Naaman gave him two talents. Elisha, to whom God had discovered Gehazi’s action, reproached him with it, and declared, that the leprosy of Naaman should cleave to him and his family for ever. This is a striking instance of the disinterestedness of the Jewish prophets. Elisha, like his master Elijah, had learned to contemn the world. The king of Syria being at war with the king of Israel, could not imagine how all his designs were discovered by the enemy. He was told, that Elisha revealed them to the king of Israel. He therefore sent troops to seize the prophet at Dothan; but Elisha struck them with blindness, and led them in that condition into Samaria. When they were in the city, he prayed to God to open their eyes; and after he had made them eat and drink, he sent them back unhurt to their master. Some time after, Benhadad, king of Syria, having besieged Samaria, the famine became so extreme, that a certain woman ate her own child. Jehoram, king of Israel, imputing to Elisha these calamities, sent a messenger to cut off his head. Elisha, who was informed of this design against his life, ordered the door to be shut. The messenger was scarcely arrived, when the king himself followed, and made great complaints of the condition to which the town was reduced. Elisha answered, “To-morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.” Upon this, one of the king’s officers said, “Were the Lord to open windows in heaven, might this thing be.” This unbelief was punished; for the prophet answered, “Thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof,” which happened according to Elisha’s prediction, for he was trodden to death by the crowd in the gate. At the end of the seven years’ famine, which the prophet had foretold, he went to Damascus, to execute the command which God had given to Elijah many years before, of declaring Hazael king of Syria. Benhadad being at that time indisposed, and hearing that Elisha was come into his territories, sent Hazael, one of his principal officers, to the prophet to consult him, and inquire of him whether it were possible for him to recover. The prophet told Hazael, that he might recover, but that he was very well assured that he should not; and then looking steadfastly upon him, he broke out into tears upon the prospect, as he told him, of the many barbarous calamities which he would bring upon Israel, when once he was advanced to power, as he would soon be, because he was assured by divine revelation that he was to be king of Syria. Hazael, though offended at the time at being thought capable of such atrocities, did but too clearly verify these predictions; for at his return, having murdered Benhadad, and procured himself to be declared king, he inflicted the greatest miseries upon the Israelites.

2. Elisha sent one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, and grandson of Nimshi, to be king, in pursuance of an order given to Elijah some years before; and Jehu having received the royal unction, executed every thing that had been foretold by Elijah against Ahab’s family, and against Jezebel. Elisha falling sick, Joash, king of Israel, came to visit him, and said, “O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.” Elisha desired the 342king to bring him a bow and arrows. Joash having brought them, Elisha requested him to put his hands on the bow, and at the same time the prophet put his own hand upon the king’s, and said, Open the window which looks east, and let fly an arrow. The king having done this, Elisha said, This is the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance: thou shalt be successful against Syria at Aphek. Elisha desired him again to shoot, which he did three times, and then stopped. But Elisha with vehemence said, “If thou hadst smitten five or six times, then thou hadst smitten Syria until thou hadst consumed it; whereas now thou shalt smite Syria only thrice.” This is the last prediction of Elisha of which we read in Scripture, for soon after he died; but it was not his last miracle: for, some time after his interment, a company of Israelites, as they were going to bury a dead person, perceiving a band of Moabites making toward them, put the corpse for haste into Elisha’s tomb, and, as soon as it had touched the prophet’s body, it immediately revived; so that the man stood upon his feet: a striking emblem of the life-giving effect of the labours of the servants of God, after they themselves are gathered to their fathers.

ELUL, the sixth month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical year, and the twelfth of the civil year, answering to our August and part of September, containing twenty-nine days.

EMBALMING, the art of preserving dead bodies from putrefaction. It was much practised by the Egyptians of ancient times, and from them seems to have been borrowed by the Hebrews. It consisted in opening the body, taking out the intestines, and filling the place with odoriferous drugs and spices of a desiccative quality. Joseph gave orders for the embalming of the body of his father Jacob, Gen. l, 1, 2; and Moses informs us that the process took up forty days. Joseph himself also was embalmed, Gen. l, 26. Asa, king of Israel, seems to have been embalmed, 2 Chron. xvi, 13, 14. See Burial.

EMERALD, , Exod. xxviii, 19; Ezek. xxvii, 16; xxviii, 13; sµad, Rev. xxi, 19; Eccles. xxxii, 6; Tobit xiii, 16; Judith x, 21. This is generally supposed to be the same with the ancient smaragdus. It is one of the most beautiful of all the gems, and is of a bright green colour, without the admixture of any other. Pliny thus speaks of it: “The sight of no colour is more pleasant than green; for we love to view green fields and green leaves; and are still more fond of looking at the emerald, because all other greens are dull in comparison with this. Beside, these stones seem larger at a distance, by tinging the circumambient air. Their lustre is not changed by the sun, by the shade, nor by the light of lamps; but they have always a sensible moderate brilliancy.” From the passage in Ezekiel we learn that the Tyrians traded in these jewels in the marts of Syria. They probably had them from India, or the south of Persia. The true oriental emerald is very scarce, and is only found at present in the kingdom of Cambay.

EMERODS. The disease of the Philistines, which is mentioned in 1 Sam. v, 6, 12; vi, 17, is denominated, in the Hebrew, . This word occurs, likewise, in Deut. xxviii, 27; and it is worthy of remark, that it is every where explained in the keri, or marginal readings, by the Aramæan word, ; an expression which, in the Syriac dialect, where it occurs under the forms, and , means the fundament, and likewise the effort which is made in an evacuation of the system. The authors, therefore, of the reading in the keri appear to have assented to the opinion of Josephus, and to have understood by this word the dysentery. The corresponding Arabic words mean a swelling, answering somewhat in its nature to the hernia in men: a disease, consequently, very different from the hemorrhoids, which some persons understand to be meant by the word . Among other objections, it may also be observed, that the mice, which are mentioned, not only in the Hebrew text, 1 Sam. vi, 5, 12; xvi, 18, but also in the Alexandrine and Vulgate versions, 1 Sam. v, 6; vi, 5, 11, 18, are an objection to understanding the hemorrhoids by the word under consideration, since if that were in fact the disease, we see no reason why mice should have been presented as an offering to avert the anger of the God of Israel. Lichtenstein has given this solution: The word, , which is rendered mice, he supposes to mean venomous solpugas, which belong to the spider class, and yet are so large, and so similar in their form to mice, as to admit of their being denominated by the same word. These venomous animals destroy and live upon scorpions. They also bite men, whenever they can have an opportunity, particularly in the fundament and the verenda. Their bite causes swellings, which are fatal in their consequences, called, in Hebrew, . The probable supposition, then, is, that solpugas were at this time multiplied among the Philistines by the special providence of God; and that, being very venomous, they were the means of destroying many individuals.

EMIMS, ancient inhabitants of the land of Canaan, beyond Jordan, who were defeated by Chedorlaomer and his allies, Gen. xiv, 5. Moses tells us that they were beaten at Shaveh-Kirjathaim, which was in the country of Sihon, conquered from the Moabites, Josh. xiii, 19–21. The Emims were a warlike people, of a gigantic stature, great and numerous, tall as the Anakims, and were accounted giants as well as they, Deut. ii, 10, 11.

EMMANUEL, or IMMANUEL, “God with us.” It answers both in the LXX, and Matt. i, 23, to the Hebrew , from , with, , us, and , God, Isa. vii, 14; viii, 8.

EMMAUS, a village about eight miles north-west of Jerusalem; on the road to which, two of the disciples were travelling in sorrow and disappointment after the resurrection, when our Lord appeared to them, and held that memorable conversation with them which is recorded by St. Luke, xxiv.

ENDOR, a city in the tribe of Manasseh, where the witch resided whom Saul consulted a little before the battle of Gilboa, Joshua xvii, 34311; 1 Sam. xxviii, 13. Mr. Bryant derives Endor from En-Ador, signifying fons pythonis, “the fountain of light,” or oracle of the god Ador: which oracle was probably founded by the Canaanites, and had never been totally suppressed. The ancient world had many such oracles: the most famous of which were that of Jupiter-Ammon in Lybia, and that of Delphi in Greece: and in all of them, the answers to those who consulted them were given from the mouth of a female; who, from the priestess of Apollo at Delphi, has generally received the name of Pythia. That many such oracles existed in Canaan, is evident from the number which Saul himself is said to have suppressed; and such a one, with its Pythia, was this at Endor. At these shrines, either as mock oracles, contrived by a crafty and avaricious priesthood, to impose on the credulity and superstition of its followers; or, otherwise, as is more generally supposed, as the real instruments of infernal power, mankind, having altogether departed from the true God, were permitted to be deluded. That, in this case, the real Samuel appeared is plain both from the affright of the woman herself, and from the fulfilment of his prophecy. It was an instance of God’s overruling the wickedness of men, to manifest his own supremacy and justice.

ENGEDI. It is also called Hazazon-Tamar, or city of palm trees, 2 Chron. xx, 2, because there was a great quantity of palm trees in the territory belonging to it. It abounded with Cyprus vines, and trees that produced balm. Solomon speaks of the “vineyards of Engedi,” Cant. i, 14. This city, according to Josephus, stood near the lake of Sodom, three hundred furlongs from Jerusalem, not far from Jericho, and the mouth of the river Jordan, through which it discharged itself into the Dead Sea. There is frequent mention of Engedi in the Scriptures. It was in the cave of Engedi that David had it in his power to kill Saul, 1 Sam. xxiv. The spot where this transaction took place, was a cavern in the rock, sufficiently large to contain in its recesses the whole of David’s men, six hundred in number, unperceived by Saul when he entered. Many similar caves existed in the Holy Land. Such were those at Adullam and Makkedah, and that in which Lot and his daughters dwelt after the destruction of Sodom. Such also is that described by Mr. Maundrell, near Sidon, which contained two hundred smaller caverns. Many of these were natural cavities in the limestone rock, similar to those in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, and in the Mendip hills in Somersetshire; and others, excavations made by the primeval inhabitants, for defence, or for shelter from the sun; and which subsequently served as retreats for robbers, as they are at this day. Josephus has given an interesting account of these caves, and the manner in which the robbers were taken by Herod. And Dr. E. D. Clarke has described similar retreats in the rocks near Bethlehem; others, between Jerusalem and Jericho, are mentioned by Mr. Wilson. Into such caves the Israelites frequently retired for shelter from their enemies, Judg. vi, 2; 1 Sam. xiii, 6; xiv, 11; a circumstance which has afforded some striking and terrific images to the prophets, Isaiah ii, 19; Hosea x, 8; Rev. vi, 15, 16.

ENOCH, the son of Cain, Gen. iv, 17, in honour of whom the first city noticed in Scripture was called Enoch, by his father Cain, who was the builder. It was situated on the east of the province of Eden.

2. Enoch, the son of Jared, and father of Methuselah. He was born A. M. 622, and being contemporary with Adam, he had every opportunity of learning from him the story of the creation, the circumstance of the fall, the terms of the promise, and other important truths. An ancient author affirms, that he was the father of astronomy; and Eusebius hence infers, that he is the same with the Atlas of the Grecian mythology. Enoch’s fame rests upon a better basis than his skill in science. The encomium of Enoch is, that he “walked with God.” While mankind were living in open rebellion against Heaven, and provoking the divine vengeance daily by their ungodly deeds, he obtained the exalted testimony, “that he pleased God.” This he did, not only by the exemplary tenor of his life, and by the attention which he paid to the outward duties of religion, but by the soundness of his faith, and the purity of his heart and life: see Heb. xi, 5, 6. The intent of the Apostle, in the discourse containing this passage, is, to show that there has been but one way of obtaining the divine favour ever since the fall, and that is, by faith, or a firm persuasion and confidence in the atonement to be made for human transgressions by the obedience, sufferings, death, and resurrection of the promised Messiah. The cloud of witnesses which the Apostle has produced of Old Testament worthies, all bore, in their respective generations, their testimony to this great doctrine, in opposition to the atheism or theism, and gross idolatry, which prevailed around them. All the patriarchs are celebrated for their faith in this great truth, and for preserving this principle of religion in the midst of a corrupt generation. Enoch, therefore, is said, by another evangelical writer, to have spoken of the coming of Christ to judgment unto the antediluvian sinners. See Jude 14, 15. This prophecy is a clear, and it is also an awful, description of the day of judgment, when the Messiah shall sit upon his throne of justice, to determine the final condition of mankind, according to their works; and it indicates that the different offices of Messiah both to save and to judge, or as Prophet, Priest, and King, were known to the holy patriarchs. On what the Apostle founded this prediction has been matter of much speculation and inquiry. Some, indeed, have produced a treatise, called “The Book of Enoch,” which, as they pretend, contains the cited passage; but its authority is not proved, and internal evidence sufficiently marks its spurious origin. It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose that the prophecy cited by St. Jude was either traditionally handed down, or had been specially communicated to 344that Apostle. In the departure of Enoch from this world of sin and sorrow, the Almighty altered the ordinary course of things, and gave him a dismissal as glorious to himself, as it was instructive to mankind. To convince them how acceptable holiness is to him, and to show that he had prepared for those that love him a heavenly inheritance, he caused Enoch to be taken from the earth without passing through death. See Elijah.

ENOS, or ENOSH, the son of Seth, and father of Cainan. He was born A. M. 235. Moses tells us that then “men began to call upon the name of the Lord,” Gen iv, 26; that is, such as abhorred the impiety and immorality which prevailed among the progeny of Cain, began to worship God in public, and to assemble together at stated times for that purpose. Good men, to distinguish themselves from the wicked, began to take the name of sons or servants of God; for which reason Moses, Gen. vi, 1, 2, says that “the sons of God,” or the descendants of Enos, “seeing the daughters of men,” &c. The eastern people make the following additions to his history:--that Seth, his father, declared him sovereign prince and high priest of mankind, next after himself; that Enos was the first who ordained public alms for the poor, established public tribunals for the administration of justice, and planted, or rather cultivated, the palm tree.

EPHAH, the eldest son of Midian, who gave his name to a city and small extent of land in the country of Midian, situated on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, Genesis xxv, 4. This country abounded with camels and dromedaries, Isaiah lx, 6, &c.

2. Ephah, a measure both for things dry and liquid, in use among the Hebrews. The ephah for the former contained three pecks and three pints. In liquid measure it was of the same capacity as the bath.

EPHESUS, a much celebrated city of Ionia, in Asia Minor, situated upon the river Cayster, and on the side of a hill. It was the metropolis of the Proconsular Asia, and formerly in great renown among Heathen authors on account of its famous temple of Diana. This temple was seven times set on fire: one of the principal conflagrations happened on the very day that Socrates was poisoned, four hundred years before Christ; the other, on the same night in which Alexander the Great was born, when a person of the name of Erostratus set it on fire, according to his own confession, to get himself a name! It was, however, rebuilt and beautified by the Ephesians, toward which the female inhabitants of the city contributed liberally. In the times of the Apostles it retained much of its former grandeur; but, so addicted were the inhabitants of the city to idolatry and the arts of magic, that the prince of darkness would seem to have, at that time, fixed his throne in it. Ephesus is supposed to have first invented those obscure mystical spells and charms by means of which the people pretended to heal diseases and drive away evil spirits; whence originated the fsa µµata, or Ephesian letters, so often mentioned by the ancients.

2. The Apostle Paul first visited this city, A. D. 54; but being then on his way to Jerusalem, he abode there only a few weeks, Acts xviii, 19–21. During his short stay, he found a synagogue of the Jews, into which he went, and reasoned with them upon the interesting topics of his ministry, with which they were so pleased that they wished him to prolong his visit. He however declined that, for he had determined, God willing, to be at Jerusalem at an approaching festival; but he promised to return, which he did a few months afterward, and continued there three years, Acts xix, 10; xx, 31. While the Apostle abode in Ephesus and its neighbourhood, he gathered a numerous Christian church, to which, at a subsequent period, he wrote that epistle, which forms so important a part of the Apostolic writings. He was then a prisoner at Rome, and the year in which he wrote it must have been 60 or 61 of the Christian æra. It appears to have been transmitted to them by the hands of Tychicus, one of his companions in travel, Ephesians vi, 21. The critics have remarked that the style of the Epistle to the Ephesians is exceedingly elevated; and that it corresponds to the state of the Apostle’s mind at the time of writing. Overjoyed with the account which their messenger brought him of the steadfastness of their faith, and the ardency of their love to all the saints, Eph. i, 15; and, transported with the consideration of the unsearchable wisdom of God displayed in the work of man’s redemption, and of his amazing love toward the Gentiles, in introducing them, as fellow-heirs with the Jews, into the kingdom of Christ, he soars into the most exalted contemplation of those sublime topics, and gives utterance to his thoughts in language at once rich and varied. The epistle, says Macknight, is written as it were in a rapture. Grotius remarks that it expresses the sublime matters contained in it in terms more sublime than are to be found in any human language; to which Macknight subjoins this singular but striking observation, that no real Christian can read the doctrinal part of the Epistle to the Ephesians, without being impressed and roused by it, as by the sound of a trumpet.

3. Ephesus was one of the seven churches to which special messages were addressed in the book of Revelation. After a commendation of their first works, to which they were commanded to return, they were accused of having left their first love, and threatened with the removal of their candlestick out of its place, except they should repent, Rev. ii, 5. The contrast which its present state presents to its former glory, is a striking fulfilment of this prophecy. Ephesus was the metropolis of Lydia, a great and opulent city, and, according to Strabo, the greatest emporium of Asia Minor. Its temple of Diana, “whom all Asia worshipped,” was adorned with one hundred and twenty-seven columns of Parian marble, each of a single shaft, and sixty feet high, and which formed one of the seven wonders of the world. The remains of its magnificent theatre, in which it is said that twenty thousand people 345could easily have been seated, are yet to be seen. But a few heaps of stones, and some miserable mud cottages, occasionally tenanted by Turks, without one Christian residing there, are all the remains of ancient Ephesus. It is, as described by different travellers, a solemn and most forlorn spot. The Epistle to the Ephesians is read throughout the world; but there is none in Ephesus to read it now. They left their first love, they returned not to their first works. Their “candlestick has been removed out of its place;” and the great city of Ephesus is no more. Dr. Chandler says, “The inhabitants are a few Greek peasants, living in extreme wretchedness, dependence, and insensibility; the representatives of an illustrious people, and inhabiting the wreck of their greatness; some, in the substructions of the glorious edifices which they raised; some, beneath the vaults of the stadium, once the crowded scene of their diversions; and some, by the abrupt precipice, in the sepulchres which received their ashes. Its streets are obscured and overgrown. A herd of goats was driven to it for shelter from the sun at noon; and a noisy flight of crows from the quarries seemed to insult its silence. We heard the partridge call in the area of the theatre and the stadium. The glorious pomp of its Heathen worship is no longer remembered; and Christianity, which was here nursed by Apostles, and fostered by general councils, until it increased to fulness of stature, barely lingers on in an existence hardly visible.” “I was at Ephesus,” says Mr. Arundell, “in January, 1824; the desolation was then complete: a Turk, whose shed we occupied, his Arab servant, and a single Greek, composed the entire population; some Turcomans excepted, whose black tents were pitched among the ruins. The Greek revolution, and the predatory excursions of the Samiotes, in great measure accounted for this total desertion. There is still, however, a village near, probably the same which Chishull and Van Egmont mention, having four hundred Greek houses.”

St. John passed the latter part of his life in Asia Minor, and principally at Ephesus, where he died.

EPHOD, . This article of dress was worn by laymen as well as by the high priest. The sacred ephod, the one made for the high priest, differed from the others, in being fabricated of cotton, which was coloured with crimson, purple, and blue, and in being ornamented with gold. In the time of Josephus, it was a cubit of the larger size in length, and was furnished with sleeves. The high priest’s ephod had a very rich button upon each shoulder, made of a large onyx stone set in gold. This stone was so large, that the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were engraven, six on each stone, Exod. xxviii, 9–12. The word shoham, which we render onyx, is translated, by the Septuagint smaragdos, an emerald; but as we have no certain knowledge either of this, or of any of the twelve stones of the breastplate, we may as well be satisfied with our translation as with any other. To the ephod belonged a curious girdle, of the same rich fabric as the ephod itself. This girdle is said to be upon the ephod, Exod. xxviii, 8; that is, woven with the ephod, as Maimonides understands; and, coming out from the ephod on each side, it was brought under the arms like a sash, and tied upon the breast. Samuel, though a Levite only, and a child, wore a linen ephod, 1 Sam. ii, 18. And David, in the ceremony of removing the ark from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem, was girt with a linen ephod, 2 Sam. vi, 14. The Levites were not generally allowed to wear the ephod; but in the time of Agrippa, as we are told by Josephus, a little before the taking of Jerusalem by the Romans, they obtained of that prince permission to wear the linen stole as well as the priests. Spencer and Cunæus are of opinion, that the Jewish kings had a right to wear the ephod, because David, coming to Ziklag, and finding that the Amalekites had plundered the city, and carried away his and the people’s wives, ordered Abiathar, the high priest, to bring him the ephod, which being done, David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue after this troop” 1 Sam. xxx, 8. Whence they infer, that David consulted God by urim and thummim, and consequently put on the ephod. But it is probable the text only means that he ordered the priest to do what he is himself said to have done. The ephod of Gideon is remarkable for having become the occasion of a new kind of idolatry to the Israelites, Judges viii, 27. What this consisted in, is matter of dispute among the learned. Some authors are of opinion that this ephod, as it is called, was an idol; others, that it was only a trophy in memory of the signal victory obtained by Gideon, and that the Israelites paid a kind of divine worship to it; so that Gideon was the innocent cause of their idolatry, in like manner as Moses had been in making the brazen serpent, which was afterward worshipped.

EPHRAIM was the name of Joseph’s second son, by Asenath, Potiphar’s daughter. He was born in Egypt, A. M. 2294. Ephraim, with his brother Manasseh, was presented by his father Joseph to Jacob on his death bed, Gen. xlviii, 8, &c. Jacob laid his right hand on Ephraim the younger, and his left on Manasseh the elder. Joseph was desirous to change his hands, but Jacob answered, “I know it, my son; Manasseh shall be multiplied, but Ephraim shall be greater.” The sons of Ephraim having made an inroad into Palestine, the inhabitants of Gath killed them. Ephraim their father mourned many days for them, and his brethren came to comfort him, 1 Chron. vii, 20, 21. Afterward, he had a son named Beriah, and a daughter Sherah. He had also other sons, Rephah, Resheph, Tela, &c. His posterity multiplied in Egypt to the number of forty thousand five hundred men capable of bearing arms. In the land of promise, Joshua, who was of this tribe, gave them their portion between the Mediterranean west, and the river Jordan east. The ark and tabernacle remained long in this tribe at Shiloh; 346and after the separation of the ten tribes, the seat of the kingdom was in Ephraim, and hence Ephraim is frequently used to denote the whole kingdom. The district belonging to this tribe is called Ephratah, Psalm cxxxii, 6. Ephraim was led captive beyond the Euphrates, with all Israel, by Salmaneser, king of Assyria, A. M. 3283.

2. Ephraim was also the name of a city, into which Christ retired with his disciples a little before his passion, John xi, 54. It was situated in the tribe of Ephraim near the river Jordan. There was also the wood or forest of Ephraim, situated on the other side Jordan, in which Absalom’s army was routed and himself killed, 2 Sam. xviii, 6.

EPHRATH, Caleb’s second wife, who was the mother of Hur, 1 Chron. ii, 19. From her, it is believed that the city of Ephratah, otherwise called Bethlehem, where our Lord was born, had its name; and this city is more than once known in Scripture by the name of Ephrath, Gen. xxxv, 16.

EPICUREANS, a sect of philosophers in Greece and Rome. Epicurus was their founder, who lived about B. C. 300. The physical doctrine of Epicurus was as follows: Nothing can ever spring from nothing, nor can any thing ever return to nothing. The universe always existed, and will always remain; for there is nothing into which it can be changed. There is nothing in nature, nor can any thing be conceived, beside body and space. Body is that which possesses the properties of bulk, figure, resistance, and gravity; it is this alone which can touch and be touched. Space, or vacuum, destitute of the properties of body, incapable of action or passion, is the region which is or may be occupied by body, and which affords it an opportunity of moving freely. The existence of bodies is attested by the senses. Space must also exist, in order to allow bodies place in which to move and exist; and of their existence and motion we have the certain proof of perception. Beside body and space, no third nature can be conceived. But the existence of qualities is not precluded, because these have no subsistence except in the body to which they belong. The universe, consisting of body and space, is infinite. Bodies are infinite in multitude; space is infinite in magnitude. The universe is immovable, because there is no place beyond it into which it can move. It is also eternal and immutable, since it is liable to neither increase nor decrease, to production nor decay. Nevertheless, the parts of the universe are in motion, and are subject to change. All bodies consist of parts which are either themselves simple principles, or may be resolved into such. These first principles, or simple atoms, are divisible by no force, and therefore must be immutable.

2. The formation of the world he conceived to have happened in the following manner: A finite number of that infinite multitude of atoms, which, with infinite space, constitute the universe, falling fortuitously into the region of the world, were, in consequence of their innate motion, collected into one rude and indigested mass. In this chaos, the heaviest and largest atoms, or collections of atoms, first subsided, while the smaller, and those which from their form would move most freely, were driven upwards. These latter, after several reverberations, rose into the outer region of the world, and formed the heavens. Those atoms which, by their size and figure, were suited to form fiery bodies, collected themselves into stars; those which were not capable of rising so high in the sphere of the world, being disturbed by the fiery particles, formed themselves into air. At length, from those which subsided, was produced the earth. By the action of air, agitated by heat from the heavenly bodies, upon the mixed mass of the earth, its smoother and lighter particles were separated from the rest, and water was produced, which naturally flowed into the lowest places. In the first combination of atoms, which formed the chaos, various seeds arose, which, being preserved and nourished by moisture and heat, afterward sprung forth in organized bodies of different kinds. The soul is a subtle corporeal substance, composed of the finest atoms, which, by the extreme tenuity of its particles, is able to penetrate the whole body, and to adhere to all its parts. It is composed of four distinct parts: fire, which causes animal heat; an ethereal principle which is moist vapour; air; and a fourth principle, which is the cause of sensation. These four parts are so perfectly combined as to form one subtle substance, which, while it remains in the body, is the cause of all its faculties, motions, and passions, and which cannot be separated from it, without producing the entire dissolution of the animal system.

3. In the universe there are, according to Epicurus, without contradiction, divine natures; because nature itself has impressed the idea of divinity upon the minds of men. The notion is universal; nor is it established by custom, law, or any human institution; but it is the effect of an innate principle, producing universal consent, and therefore it must be true. This universal notion has probably arisen from images of the gods, which have casually made their way into the minds of men in sleep, and have afterward been recollected. But it is inconsistent with our natural notions of the gods, as happy and immortal beings, to suppose that they encumber themselves with the management of the world, or are subject to the cares and passions which must attend so great a charge. Hence it is inferred, that the gods have no intercourse with mankind, nor any concern with the affairs of the world. Nevertheless, on account of their excellent nature, they are objects of reverence and worship. In their external shape the gods resemble men; and though the place of their residence is unknown to mortals; it is without doubt the mansion of perfect purity, tranquillity, and happiness. Thus he attempted to account for all the appearances of nature, even those which respect animated and intelligent beings, upon the simple principles of matter and motion, without introducing the agency of a supreme 347intelligence, or admitting any other idea of fate, than that of blind necessity inherent in every atom, by which it moves in a certain direction.

4. The ethics of Epicurus are much less exceptionable than his physics; of which we may judge from the following summary: The end of living, or the ultimate good, which is to be sought for its own sake, according to the universal opinion of mankind, is happiness; which men generally fail of attaining, because they form wrong notions of the nature of happiness, or do not use proper means for attaining it. The happiness which belongs to man, is that state in which he enjoys as many of the good things, and suffers as few of the evils incident to human nature as possible, passing his days in a smooth course of permanent tranquillity. Perfect happiness cannot possibly be possessed without the pleasure that attends freedom from pain, and the enjoyment of the good things of life. Pleasure is in its nature good, and ought to be pursued; and pain is in its nature evil, and should be avoided. Beside, pleasure or pain is the measure of what is good or evil in every object of desire or aversion. However, pleasure ought not in every instance to be pursued, nor pain to be avoided; but reason is to distinguish and compare the nature and degrees of each, that the result may be a wise choice of that which shall appear to be, upon the whole, good. That pleasure is the first good, appears from the inclination which every animal, from its first birth, discovers to pursue pleasure and avoid pain; and is confirmed by the universal experience of mankind, who are incited to action by no other principle, than the desire of avoiding pain, or obtaining pleasure. Of pleasures there are two kinds; one consisting in a state of rest, in which both body and mind are free from pain; the other arising from an agreeable agitation of the senses, producing a correspondent emotion in the soul. Upon the former of these, the enjoyment of life chiefly depends. Happiness may, therefore, be said to consist in bodily ease and mental tranquillity. It is the office of reason to confine the pursuit of pleasure within the limits of nature, so as to attain this happy state; which neither resembles a rapid torrent, nor a standing pool, but is like a gentle stream, that glides smoothly and silently along. This happy state can only be attained by a prudent care of the body, and a steady government of the mind. The diseases of the body are to be prevented by temperance, or cured by medicine, or endured tolerably by patience. Against the diseases of the mind philosophy provides sufficient antidotes; the virtues are its instruments for this purpose; the radical spring of which is prudence, or wisdom, and this instructs men to free their understanding from the clouds of prejudice; to exercise temperance and fortitude in the government of themselves; and to practise justice toward all others. In a happy life, pleasure can never be separated from virtue. The followers of Epicurus, however, degenerated into mere sensualists,--an effect which could only result from a system which denied a supreme God, and excluded from all concern with the affairs of men even those divine natures which it allowed to exist. This sect is mentioned Acts xvii, 18.

EPISCOPACY, Diocesan. The number of Christians in most of the primitive churches was at first small: they could easily, when not prevented by persecution, assemble together; and they thus formed one church or congregation; for, in Scripture, the term church is never used in the more modern acceptation of the word, but is employed to denote either the whole church of Christ, or a number of disciples meeting for the celebration of divine worship. The converts, however, rapidly increased; and when they could no longer meet in one place, other places would be prepared for them. But, connected as they still were with the parent church, they would choose from its presbyters their own pastors, and view themselves as under the inspection of the president and the presbytery, by whom the affairs of the church had been previously conducted. The pastors would thus remain members of the presbytery, as they had formerly been, and would look up to that one of their number who had been accustomed to preside among them. They were, in fact, for a considerable time, considered as one with the original church: the bishop sent to them the elements of the Lord’s Supper as the pledge of unity; and we find it asserted by ancient writers, that there was one altar and one bishop. There were in this way gradually established, first in the towns or cities in which the Apostles had called men to the truth, and then in the contiguous district of country, several congregations: in these pastors officiated, who were authorized by the bishop and presbytery, whose superintendence was extended, so that parochial episcopacy was insensibly but naturally changed into diocesan episcopacy; many of the presbyters sent out by the bishop residing at their churches, but nevertheless composing part of his council, and being summoned to meet with him upon important occasions. This enlargement of the field of inspection rendered the particular superintendence of the bishop more requisite; and was the means both of adding to his influence, and of his being regarded as permanently raised above his brethren.

2. The ministers who were sent to the recently erected churches had probably different powers, according to the numbers to whom they were to officiate, the situation of the churches in respect of the original church, and the tranquillity or persecution which was their lot. In the immediate neighbourhood of the bishop, and where one person was sufficient, he would merely perform the duties that had been assigned to him previous to his mission; but the same reasons that led the Apostles to plant several presbyters in the churches which they founded might render it expedient that more than one, sometimes that a considerable number, should be attached to the newly-formed congregations; more particularly when the number attending was large, and 348when there was the prospect of their still farther increasing. In such cases, it appears that the bishop gave to one of the presbyters sent, and did so for the same reasons that had at first created inequality among the pastors, more extensive powers than were entrusted to the rest, and made him his representative authorizing him to preside over the others, and to discharge those parts of the ministerial office which, in his own church, he reserved for himself. When this happened, the person so distinguished was termed choro-episcopus: he was more than a presbyter, but he was inferior to the bishop, acted by his directions, and could be controlled by him in the exercise of the privileges which had been granted. Such subordinate bishops continued for a considerable time; but it might, from the beginning, have been foreseen that they would soon aspire to an equality with the original bishops; and they were at length suppressed, under the pretence that, by multiplying the higher order in places of little consequence, the church would detract from the respectability of that order, and lessen the reverence with which it should be regarded.

3. The different congregations or churches which were established in various cities and the adjoining districts were in so far independent of each other, that the bishops and presbyters of each had the rule of their particular church, and of the churches which had sprung from it, and were entitled, by their own authority, to make such regulations as appeared to them to be requisite; and this species of independence continued for a considerable time, every bishop presiding in his congregation, and afterward in his diocess. There was, however, always a common tie by which they were united. Neighbouring churches, actuated by ardent zeal for the interests of divine truth, consulted together upon the best mode of promoting it. We know that the Apostolic churches were enjoined to communicate to other bodies the epistles which they had received; and while persecution continued, it was natural for all who were exposed to it to consider by what means its fury could be avoided.

4. After the bishops were established as superior to presbyters, when any meeting was held respecting religion, or the administration of the church, it was chiefly composed of this higher order, and the president of the synod or council was elected from their number. These meetings were generally assembled in the metropolis, or principal city of the district; and hence the bishop of this city, being frequently called to preside, came, at length, to be regarded as entitled to do so: thus acquiring a superiority over the other bishops, just as they had acquired superiority over the inferior clergy. He was, in consequence, distinguished by a particular name, being denominated, from the city in which he presided, a metropolitan.

EPISCOPALIANS, those who maintain that bishops, presbyters, or priests, and deacons, are three distinct orders in the church; and that the bishops have a superiority over both the others. The episcopal form of church government professes to find in the days of the Apostles the model upon which it is framed. While our Lord remained upon earth, he acted as the immediate governor of his church. Having himself called the Apostles, he kept them constantly about his person, except at one time, when he sent them forth upon a short progress through the cities of Judea, and gave them particular directions how they should conduct themselves. The seventy disciples, whom he sent forth at another time, are never mentioned again in the New Testament. But the Apostles received from him many intimations that their office was to continue after his departure; and as one great object of his ministry was to qualify them for the execution of this office, so, in the interval between his resurrection and his ascension, he explained to them the duties of it, and he invested them with the authority which the discharge of those duties implied. “Go,” said he, “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, teaching them; and lo, I am with you alwaysalways, even unto the end of the world. As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” Matt. xxviii, 19, 20; John xx, 21, 22. Soon after the ascension of Jesus, his Apostles received those extraordinary gifts of which his promise had given them assurance; and immediately they began to execute their commission, not only as the witnesses of his resurrection, and the teachers of his religion, but as the rulers of that society which was gathered by their preaching. In Acts vi, we find the Apostles ordering the Christians at Jerusalem to “look out seven men of honest report,” who might take charge of the daily ministrations to the poor, and to bring the men so chosen to them, that “we,” said the Apostles, “may appoint them over this business.” The men accordingly were “set before the Apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.” Here are the Apostles ordaining deacons. Afterward, we find St. Paul, in his progress through Asia Minor, ordaining in every church elders, est; the name properly expressive of age being transferred, after the practice of the Jews, as a mark of respect, to ecclesiastical rulers, Acts xiv, 23. The men thus ordained by St. Paul appear, from the book of Acts and the Epistles, to have been teachers, pastors, overseers, of the flock of Christ; and to Timothy, who was a minister of the word, the Apostle speaks of “the gift which is in thee by the putting on of my hands,” 2 Tim. i, 6. Over the persons to whom he thus conveyed the office of teaching, he exercised jurisdiction; for he sent to Ephesus, to the elders of the church to meet him at Miletus; and there, in a long discourse, gave them a solemn charge, Acts xx, 17–35; and to Timothy and Titus he writes epistles in the style of a superior.

2. As St. Paul unquestionably conceived that there belonged to him, as an Apostle, an authority over other office-bearers of the church, so his epistles contain two examples 349of a delegation of that authority. He not only directs Timothy, whom he had besought to abide at Ephesus, how to behave himself in the house of God as a minister, but he sets him over other ministers. He empowers him to ordain men to the work of the ministry: “The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also,” 2 Tim. ii, 2. He gives him directions about the ordination of bishops and deacons; he places both these kinds of office-bearers in Ephesus under his inspection, instructing him in what manner to receive an accusation against an elder who laboured in word and doctrine; and he commands him to charge some that they teach no other doctrine but the form of sound words. In like manner he says to Titus, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee,” Titus i, 5. He describes to Titus the qualifications of a bishop or elder, making him the judge how far any person in Crete was possessed of these qualifications; he gives him authority over all orders of Christians there; and he empowers him to reject heretics. Here, then, is that Apostle, with whose actions we are best acquainted, seemingly aware that there would be continual occasion in the Christian church for the exercise of that authority over pastors and teachers, which the Apostles had derived from the Lord Jesus; and by these two examples of a delegation, given during his life time, preparing the world for beholding that authority exercised by the successors of the Apostles in all ages. Accordingly, the earliest Christian writers tell us that the Apostles, to prevent contention, appointed bishops and deacons; giving orders, too, that, upon their death, other approved men should succeed in their ministry. We are told that the other Apostles constituted their first-fruits, that is, their first disciples, after they had proved them by the Spirit, bishops and deacons of those who were to believe; and that the Apostle John, who survived the rest, after returning from Patmos, the place of his banishment, went about the neighbouring nations, ordaining bishops, establishing whole churches, and setting apart particular persons for the ministry, as they were pointed out to him by the Spirit.

3. As bishops are mentioned in the earliest times, so ecclesiastical history records the succession of bishops through many ages; and even during the first three centuries, before Christianity was incorporated with the state, every city, where the multitude of Christians required a number of pastors to perform the stated offices, presents to us, as far as we can gather from contemporary writers, an appearance very much the same with that of the church of Jerusalem in the days of the Apostles. The Apostle James seems to have resided in that city. But there is also mention of the elders of the church, who, according to the Scripture representation of elders, must have discharged the ministerial office, but over whom the Apostle James presided. So, in Carthage, where Cyprian was bishop, and in every other Christian city of which we have particular accounts, there was a college of presbyters; and there was one person who had not only presidency, but jurisdiction and authority, over the rest. They were his council in matters relating to the church, and they were qualified to preach, to baptize, and to administer the Lord’s Supper; but they could do nothing without his permission and authority. It is a principle in Christian antiquity, e psp, µa sa, “one bishop, and one church.” The one bishop had the care of all the Christians, who, although they met in separate congregations, constituted one church; and he had the inspection of the pastors, who, having received ordination from the bishop, officiated in the separate congregations, performed the several parts of duty which he prescribed to them, and were accountable to him for their conduct. In continuation of this primitive institution, we find episcopacy in all corners of the church of Christ. Until the time of the reformation, there were, in every Christian state, persons with the name, the rank, and the authority of bishops; and the existence of such persons was not considered as an innovation, but as an establishment, which, by means of catalogues preserved in ecclesiastical writers, may be traced back to the days of the Apostles.

4. Upon the principles which have now been stated, it is understood, according to the episcopal form of government, that there is in the church a superior order of office-bearers, the successors of the Apostles, who possess in their own persons the right of ordination and jurisdiction, and who are called psp, as being the overseers not only of the people, but also of the clergy; and an inferior order of ministers, called presbyters, the literal translation of the word est, which is rendered in our English Bibles elders, persons who receive, from the ordination of the bishop, power to preach and to administer the sacraments, who are set over the people, but are themselves under the government of the bishop, and have no right to convey to others the sacred office, which he gives them authority to exercise under him. According to a phrase used by Charles I, who was by no means an unlearned defender of that form of government to which he was a martyr, the presbyters are episcopi gregis; [bishops of the flock;] but the bishops are episcopi gregis et pastorum, [bishops of the flock and of the pastors.]

5. The liberal writers on that side, however, do not contend that this form of government is made so binding in the church as not to be departed from, and varied according to circumstances. It cannot be proved, says Dr. Paley, that any form of church government was laid down in the Christian, as it had been in the Jewish, Scriptures, with a view of fixing a constitution for succeeding ages. The truth seems to have been, that such offices were at first erected in the Christian church as the good order, the instruction, and the exigencies of the society at that time required; without any 350intention, at least without any declared design, of regulating the appointment, authority, or the distinction, of Christian ministers under future circumstances. To the same effect, also, Bishop Tomline says, “It is not contended that the bishops, priests, and deacons of England are at present precisely the same that bishops, presbyters, and deacons were in Asia Minor, seventeen hundred years ago. We only maintain that there have always been bishops, priests, and deacons, in the Christian church, since the days of the Apostles, with different powers and functions, it is allowed, in different countries and at different periods; but the general principles and duties which have respectively characterized these clerical orders have been essentially the same at all times, and in all places; and the variations which they have undergone have only been such as have ever belonged to all persons in public situations, whether civil or ecclesiastical, and which are indeed inseparable from every thing in which mankind are concerned in this transitory and fluctuating world. I have thought it right to take this general view of the ministerial office, and to make these observations upon the clerical orders subsisting in this kingdom, for the purpose of pointing out the foundation and principles of church authority, and of showing that our ecclesiastical establishment is as nearly conformable, as change of circumstances will permit, to the practice of the primitive church. But, though I flatter myself that I have proved episcopacy to be an Apostolical institution, yet I readily acknowledge that there is no precept in the New Testament which commands that every church should be governed by bishops. No church can exist without some government; but though there must be rules and orders for the proper discharge of the offices of public worship, though there must be fixed regulations concerning the appointment of ministers, and though a subordination among them is expedient in the highest degree, yet it does not follow that all these things must be precisely the same in every Christian country; they may vary with the other varying circumstances of human society, with the extent of a country, the manners of its inhabitants, the nature of its civil government, and many other peculiarities which might be specified. As it has not pleased our almighty Father to prescribe any particular form of civil government for the security of temporal comforts to his rational creatures, so neither has he prescribed any particular form of ecclesiastical polity as absolutely necessary to the attainment of eternal happiness. But he has, in the most explicit terms, enjoined obedience to all governors, whether civil or ecclesiastical, and whatever may be their denomination, as essential to the character of a true Christian. Thus the Gospel only lays down general principles, and leaves the application of them to men as free agents.” Bishop Tomline, however, and the high Episcopalians of the church of England, contend for an original distinction in the office and order of bishops and presbyters; which notion is controverted by the Presbyterians, and is, indeed, contradicted by one who may be truly called the founder of the church of England, Archbishop Cranmer, who says, “The bishops and priests were at one time, and were not two things; but both one office in the beginning of Christ’s religion.” The more rigid Episcopalians admit of no ordination as valid in the church but by the hands of bishops, and those derived in a right line from the Apostles. See Presbyterians.

6. The churches of Rome and of England are the principal Episcopalian churches in the west of Europe; and those of the Greeks and Arminians in the east; but, beside these, there are Episcopalians in Scotland, and in other countries, where, Presbyterianism being the establishment, they are, of course, Dissenters. Thus a Presbyterian is a Dissenter in England, and an Episcopalian a Dissenter in Scotland. There is also an Episcopalian church in the United States of America; but there being no established religion, there are, of course, no Dissenters. The Episcopal church in America is organized very differently from that in England. The following particulars are from the best authorities:--The general convention was formed in 1789, by a delegation from the different states, and meets triennially. They have eleven diocesesdioceses, two of which are without bishops, and are at liberty to form more in other states. The above convention consists of an upper and lower house; the former consisting of bishops, in which the senior bishop presides: they have no archbishop: and the lower, of the other clergy, and laymen mingled with them. There are also diocesan conventions annually, in which the bishop presides. The bishops have no salaries as such, but are allowed to hold parishes as other ministers; but it has lately been found more convenient in many states to raise a fund for the support of the bishop, that his time may be more at liberty for visiting the clergy. They have neither patronage nor palaces, and some of their incomes are extremely small. The English Common Prayer Book is adopted, with the omission of the Athanasian Creed, and some other slight alterations. Subscription to the articles is not required by candidates for holy orders. The Methodists in America, also, form an episcopal church; but founded upon the primitive principle that bishops and presbyters are of the same order, although the oversight of presbyters may be committed to those who are, by virtue of their office, also called bishops.

[The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in December, 1784. The fundamental principle on which the episcopacy of this church rests, is here correctly stated. It is proper to add to Mr. Watson’s enumeration, that the Roman and Moravian churches in the United States are also episcopal; and that the statement that the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church receive no salaries as bishops, is not at present (1832) without exception. Their incomes, too, though doubtless extremely small compared with those of the bishops of the establishment in England, are not so, compared with those of other ministers generally in the United States.

351EPISTLES, which occur under the same Hebrew word with books, namely, , are mentioned the more rarely, the farther we go back into antiquity. An epistle is first mentioned, 2 Sam. xi, 14, &c. Afterward, there is more frequent mention of them; and sometimes an epistle is meant, when literally a messenger is spoken of, as in Ezra iv, 15–17. In the east, letters are commonly sent unsealed. In case, however, they are sent to persons of distinction, they are placed in a valuable purse, which is tied, closed over with wax or clay, and then stamped with a signet, Isaiah xxix, 11; Job xxxviii, 14. The most ancient epistles begin and end without either salutation or farewell; but under the Persian monarchy the salutation was very prolix. It is given in an abridged form in Ezra iv, 7–10; v, 7. The Apostles, in their epistles, used the salutation customary among the Greeks; but they omitted the usual farewell at the close, namely, ae, and adopted a benediction more conformable to the spirit of the Christian religion. St. Paul, when he dictated his letters, wrote the benediction at the close with his own hand, 2 Thess. iii, 17. He was more accustomed to dictate his letters than to write them himself.

The name Epistles is given, by way of eminence, to the letters written by the Apostles, or first preachers of Christianity, to particular churches or persons, on particular occasions or subjects. Of these the Apostle Paul wrote fourteen. St. James wrote one general epistle; St. Peter two; St. John three; and St. Jude one.

An epistle has its Hebrew name from its being rolled or folded together. The modern Arabs roll up their letters, and then flatten them to the breadth of an inch, and paste up the end of them, instead of sealing them. The Persians make up their letters in a roll about six inches long, and a bit of paper is fastened round it with gum, and sealed with an impression of ink, which resembles our printers’ ink, but is not so thick. Letters, as stated above, were generally sent to persons of distinction in a bag or purse; but to inferiors, or those who were held in contempt, they were sent open, that is, unenclosed. Lady M. W. Montagu says, the bassa of Belgrade’s answer to the English ambassador going to Constantinople was brought to him in a purse of scarlet satin. But, in the case of Nehemiah, an insult was designed to be offered to him by Sanballat, in refusing him the mark of respect usually paid to persons of his station, and treating him contemptuously, by sending the letter open, that is, without the customary appendages when presented to persons of respectability. “Futty Sihng,” says Mr. Forbes, “sent a chopdar to me at Dhuboy, with a letter of invitation to the wedding, then celebrating at Brodera at a great expense, and of long continuance. The letter, as usual, from oriental princes, was written on silver paper, flowered with gold, with an additional sprinkling of saffron, enclosed under a cover of gold brocade. The letter was accompanied with a bag of crimson and gold keem-caub, filled with sweet-scented seeds, as a mark of favour and good omen.”

EPOCH, a term in chronology signifying a fixed point of time, from which the succeeding years are numbered. Scaliger says it means “a stop,” because “in epochs stop and terminate the measures of times.” It now usually denotes a remarkable date; as, the epoch of the destruction of Troy, B. C. 1183, &c. The first epoch is the creation of the world, which, according to the Vulgate Bible, Archbishop Usher fixes in the year 710 of the Julian period, and 4004 years before Jesus Christ. The second is the deluge, which, according to the Hebrew text, happened in the year of the world 1656. Six other epochs are commonly reckoned in sacred history: the building of the tower of Babel, which was, according to Dr. Hales, B. C. 2554; the calling of Abraham, B. C. 2153; the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt, B. C. 1648; the dedication of the temple, B. C. 1027; the end of the Babylonish captivity, B. C. 536; and the birth of Jesus Christ, A. D. 1. In profane history are reckoned five epochs: the founding of the Assyrian empire, B. C. 1267; the era of Nabonassar, or death of Sardanapalus, B. C. 747; the reign of Cyrus at Babylon, B. C. 556; the reign of Alexander the Great over the Persians, B. C. 330; and the beginning of the reign of Augustus, in which our Saviour was born, B. C. 44.

ERA. The term era (not æra, as incorrectly written) is Spanish, signifying time, as in the phrase, de era en era, “from time to time.” It was first used in the Era Hispanica, instituted B. C. 38, in honour of Augustus, when Spain was allotted to him in the distribution of the provinces among the second triumvirate, Augustus, Anthony, and Lepidus. It now usually denotes an indefinite series of years, beginning from some known epoch; and so differs from a period which is a definite series: as the era of the foundation of Rome, the era of the Olympiads, the era of Nabonassar, &c. See Epoch.

ESAR-HADDON, son of Sennacherib, and his successor in the kingdom of Assyria: called Sargon, or Saragon, Isa. xx, 1. He reigned twenty-nine years. He made war with the Philistines, and took Azoth, by Tartan, his general: he attacked Egypt, Cush, and Edom, Isa. xx, xxxiv; designing, probably, to avenge the affront Sennacherib his father had received from Tirhakah, king of Cush, and the king of Egypt, who had been Hezekiah’s confederates. He sent priests to the Cuthæans, whom Salmaneser, king of Assyria, had planted in Samaria, instead of the Israelites: he took Jerusalem, and carried King Manasseh to Babylon, of which he had become master, perhaps, because there was no heir to Belesis, king of Bayblon. He is said to have reigned twenty-nine or thirty years at Nineveh, and thirteen years at Babylon; in all forty-two years. He died A. M. 3336.

ESAU, son of Isaac and Rebekah, born A. M. 2168, B. C. 1836. When the time of Rebekah’s delivery came, she had twins, Gen. xxv, 24–26: the first-born was hairy, therefore 352called Esau; that is, a man full grown or of perfect age; but some derive Esau from the Arabic gescha or gencheva, which signifies a hair cloth. Esau delighted in hunting, and his father Isaac had a particular affection for him. On one occasion, Esau, returning from the fields greatly fatigued, desired Jacob to give him some red pottage, which he was then preparing. Jacob consented, provided Esau would sell him his birthright. Esau complied, and by oath resigned it to him, Gen. xxv, 29–34. Esau, when aged forty, married two Canaanitish women, Judith, daughter of Beeri, the Hittite; and Bashemath, daughter of Elon, Gen. xxvi, 34. These marriages were very displeasing to Isaac and Rebekah, because they intermingled the blood of Abraham with that of Canaanite aliens. Isaac being old, and his sight decayed, directed Esau to procure him delicate venison by hunting, that he might give him his chief blessing, Gen. xxvii. The artifice of his mother, however, counteracted his purpose; and she contrived to impose upon Isaac, and to obtain the father’s principal blessing for her son Jacob. Esau was indignant on account of this treachery and determined to kill Jacob as soon as their father should die. Rebekah again interposed, and sent Jacob away to her brother Laban, with whom he might be secure. During the period of separation, which lasted several years, Esau married a wife of the family of Ishmael; and, removing to Mount Seir, acquired great power and wealth. When Jacob returned, after long absence, to his father’s country, with a numerous family, and large flocks and herds, he dreaded his brother’s displeasure; but they had an amicable and affectionate interview. After their father’s death, they lived in peace and amity; but, as their possessions enlarged, and there was not sufficient room for them in the land in which they were strangers, Esau returned to Mount Seir, where his posterity multiplied under the denomination of Edomites. (See Edom.) The time of his death is not mentioned; but Bishop Cumberland thinks it probable that he died about the same time with his brother Jacob, at the age of about one hundred and forty-seven years, Gen. xxv-xxxvi.

2. On the most important part of this history, the selling of the birthright, we may observe, (1.) That although it was always the design of God that the blessing connected with primogeniture in the family of Abraham should be enjoyed by Jacob, and to exercise his sovereignty in changing the succession in which the promises of the Abrahamic covenant might descend; yet the conduct of Rebekah and Jacob was reprehensible in endeavouring to bring about the divine design by the unworthy means of contrivance and deceit; and they were punishedpunished for their presumption by their sufferings. (2.) That the conduct of Esau in selling his birthright was both wanton and profane. It was wanton, because he, though faint, could be in no danger of not obtaining a supply of food in his father’s house; and was therefore wholly influenced by his appetite, excited by the delicacy of Jacob’s pottage. It was profane, because the blessings of the birthright were spiritual as well as civil. The church of God was to be established in the line of the first-born; and in that line the Messiah was to appear. These high privileges were despised by Esau, who is therefore made by St. Paul a type of all apostates from Christ, who, like him, profanely despise their birthright as the sons of God. See Birthright.

ESDRAELON, Plain of, in the tribe of Issachar, extends east and west from Scythopolis to Mount Carmel; called, likewise, the Great Plain, the Valley of Jezreel, the Plain of Esdrela. Dr. E. D. Clarke observes, it is by far the largest plain in the Holy Land; extending quite across the country from Mount Carmel and the Mediterranean Sea to the southern extremity of the Sea of Galilee; about thirty miles in length, and twenty in breadth. It is also a very fertile district, abounding in pasture; on which account it has been selected for the purposes of encampment by almost every army that has traversed the Holy Land. Here Barak, descending with his ten thousand men from Mount Tabor, which rises like a cone in the centre of the plain, defeated Sisera, with his “nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, gathered from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon; and pursued after the chariots and after the host unto Harosheth of the Gentiles; and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left,” Judges iv. Here Josiah, king of Judah, fell, fighting against Necho, king of Egypt, 2 Kings xxiii, 29. And here the Midianites and the Amalekites, who were “like grasshoppers for multitude, and their camels without number as the sand of the sea,” encamped, when they were defeated by Gideon, Judges vi. This plain has likewise been used for the same purpose by the armies of every conqueror or invader, from Nabuchodonosor, king of Assyria, to his imitator, Napoleon Buonaparte, who, in the spring of 1799, with a small body of French, defeated an army of several thousand Turks and Mamelukes. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Christians, crusaders, and antichristian Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors out of every nation which is under heaven, have pitched their tents in the Plain of Esdraelon; and have beheld the various banners of their nations wet with the dews of Tabor and of Hermon. And it is to this day generally found to be the place of encampment of large parties of Arabs.

ESDRAS, the name of two apocryphal books which were always excluded the Jewish canon, and are too absurd to be admitted as canonical by the Papists themselves. They are supposed to have been originally written in Greek by some Hellenistical Jews; though some imagine that they were first written in Chaldee, and afterward translated into Greek. It is uncertain when they were composed, though it is generally agreed that the author wrote before Josephus.

ESHBAAL, or ISHBOSHETH, the fourth 353son of Saul. The Hebrews, to avoid pronouncing the word baal, “lord,” used bosheth, “confusion.” Instead of Mephi-baal, they said Mephi-bosheth; and, instead of Esh-baal, they said Ish-bosheth, 2 Sam. ii, 8.

ESHCOL, one of Abraham’s allies, who dwelt with him in the valley of Mamre, and accompanied him in the pursuit of Chedorlaomer, and the other confederated kings, who pillaged Sodom and Gomorrah, and carried away Lot, Abraham’s nephew, Gen. xiv, 24. Also the valley or brook of Eshcol was that in which the Hebrew messengers, who went to spy the land of Canaan, cut a bunch of grapes so large that it was as much as two men could carry. It was situated in the south part of Judah, Num. xiii, 24; xxxii, 9.

ESSENES, or ESSENIANS, one of the three ancient sects of the Jews. They appear to have been an enthusiastic sect, never numerous, and but little known; directly opposite to the Pharisees with respect to their reliance upon tradition, and their scrupulous regard to the ceremonial law, but pretending, like them, to superior sanctity of manners. They existed in the time of our Saviour; and though they are not mentioned in the New Testament, they are supposed to be alluded to by St. Paul in his Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, and in his first Epistle to Timothy. From the account given of the doctrines and institutions of this sect by Philo and Josephus, we learn that they believed in the immortality of the soul; that they were absolute predestinarians; that they observed the seventh day with peculiar strictness; that they held the Scriptures in the highest reverence, but considered them as mystic writings, and expounded them allegorically; that they sent gifts to the temple, but offered no sacrifices; that they admitted no one into their society till after a probation of three years; that they lived in a state of perfect equality, except that they paid respect to the aged, and to their priests; that they considered all secular employment as unlawful, except that of agriculture; that they had all things in common, and were industrious, quiet, and free from every species of vice; that they held celibacy and solitude in high esteem; that they allowed no change of raiment till necessity required it; that they abstained from wine; that they were not permitted to eat but with their own sect; and that a certain portion of food was allotted to each person, of which they partook together, after solemn ablutions. The austere and retired life of the Essenes is supposed to have given rise to monkish superstition.

The Therapeutæ were a distinct branch of the Essenes. Jahn has thus described the difference between them: The principal ground of difference between the Essenes or Essaëi, and Therapeutæ consisted in this; the former were Jews, who spoke the Aramean; the latter were Greek Jews, as the names themselves intimate, namely, and Teapeta. The Essenes lived chiefly in Palestine; the Therapeutæ, in Egypt. The Therapeutæ were more rigid than the Essenes, since the latter, although they made it a practice to keep at a distance from large cities, lived, nevertheless, in towns and villages, and practised agriculture and the arts, with the exception of those arts which were made more directly subservient to the purposes of war. The Therapeutæ, on the contrary, fled from all inhabited places, dwelt in fields and deserts and gardens, and gave themselves up to contemplation. Both the Essenes and the Therapeutæ held their property in common, and those things which they stood in need of for the support and the comforts of life, were distributed to them from the common stock. The candidates for admission among the Essenes gave their property to the society; but those who were destined for a membership with the Therapeutæ, left theirs to their friends; and both, after a number of years of probation, made a profession which bound them to the exercise of the strictest uprightness. The Romanists pretend, as Dr. Prideaux observes, without any foundation, that the Essenes were Christian monks, formed into a society by St. Mark, who founded the first church at Alexandria. But it is evident, from the accounts of Josephus and Philo, that the Essenes were not Christians, but Jews.

Dr. Neander’s account of the Essenes is as follows:--A company of pious men, much experienced in the trials of the outward and of the inward life, had withdrawn themselves out of the strife of theological and political parties, at first apparently (according to Pliny the elder) to the western side of the Dead Sea; where they lived together in intimate connection, partly in the same sort of society as the monks of later days, and partly as mystical orders in all periods have done. From this society, other smaller ones afterward proceeded, and spread themselves over all Palestine. They were called Essenes, ss or ssa. They employed themselves in the arts of peace, agriculture, pasture, handicraft works, and especially in the art of healing, while they took great delight in investigating the healing powers of nature. It is probable, also, that they imagined themselves under the guidance of a supernatural illumination in their search into nature, and their use of her powers. Their natural knowledge, and their art of healing, appear also to have had a religious, theosophic character, as they professed also to have peculiar prophetical gifts. The Essenes were, no doubt, distinguished from the mass of ordinary Jews by this, that they knew and loved something higher than the outward ceremonial and a dead faith, that they did really strive after holiness of heart, and inward communion with God. Their quiet, pious habits also rendered them remarkable, and by means of these they remained quiet amidst all the political changes, respected by all parties, even by the Heathens; and by their laborious habits and kindness, their obedience toward the higher powers, as ordained of God, their fidelity and love of truth, they were enabled to extend themselves in all directions. In their society every yea and nay had the force of an oath; for every oath, said they, pre-supposes a mutual distrust, which 354ought not to be the case among a society of honest men. Only in one case was an oath suffered among them, namely, as a pledge for those who after a three years’ noviciate were to be received into the number of the initiated. According to the portraiture of them, given by Philo, the Alexandrian, in his separate treatise concerning the “True Freedom of the Virtuous,” we should take the Essenes for men of an entirely practical religious turn, far removed from all theosophy and all idle speculation; and we should ascribe to them an inward religious habit of mind, free from all mixture of superstition and reliance on outward things. But the account of Philo does not at all accord with that of Josephus; and the more historical Josephus deserves in general more credit than Philo, who was too apt to indulge in philosophizing and idealism. Beside, Josephus had more opportunity of knowing this sect thoroughly, than Philo; for Philo lived in Egypt, and the Essenes did not extend beyond Palestine. Josephus had here passed the greater part of his life, and had certainly taken all necessary pains to inform himself accurately of the nature of the different sects, among which he was determined, as a youth of sixteen years of age, to make choice, although he can hardly have completely passed through a noviciate in the sect of the Essenes, because he made the round of all the three Jewish sects, in a period of from three to four years. Josephus, also, shows himself completely unprejudiced in this description; while Philo, on the contrary, wished to represent the Essenes to the more cultivated Greeks as models of practical wisdom, and, therefore, he allowed himself to represent much, not as it really was, but as it suited his purpose. We must conclude that the Essenes did also busy themselves with theosophy, and pretended to impart to those of their order disclosures relating to the supernatural world of spirits, because those who were about to be initiated, were obliged to swear that they would never make known to any one the names of the angels then to be communicated to them. The manner in which they kept secret the ancient books of their sect is also a proof of this. And, indeed, Philo himself makes it probable, when he says, that they employed themselves with a fsfa d sµß, a philosophy which was supported by an allegorical interpretation of Scripture, for this kind of allegorizing interpretation was usually the accompaniment of a certain speculative system. According to Philo, they rejected the sacrifice of victims, because they considered, that to consecrate and offer up themselves wholly to God, was the only true sacrifice, the only sacrifice worthy of God. But according to Josephus they certainly considered sacrifice as something peculiarly holy, but they thought that from its peculiar holiness it must have been desecrated by the profane Jews in the temple of Jerusalem, and that it could be worthily celebrated only in their holy community, just as mystic sects of this nature are constantly accustomed to make the objective acts of religion dependent on the subjective condition of those who perform or take part in them. In the troublesome and superstitious observance of the rest of the Sabbath, according to the letter, and not according to the spirit, they went even farther than the other Jews, only with this difference, that they were in good earnest in the matter, while the Pharisees by their casuistry relaxed their rules, or drew them tighter, just as it suited their purpose. The Essenes, not only strenuously abhorred, like the other Jews, contact with the uncircumcised, but, having divided themselves into four classes, the Essenes of a higher grade were averse from contact with those of a lower, as if they were rendered unclean by it, and when any thing of this kind did happen, they purified themselves after it. Like many other Jews, they attributed great value, in general, to lustration by bathing in cold water. To their ascetic notions, the constant and healthy practice in the east of anointing with oil seemed unholy, and if it befel any one of them, he was obliged to purify himself. It was also a great abomination to them to eat any food except such as had been prepared by persons of their own sect. They would die rather than eat of any other. This is a sufficient proof that although the Essenes might possess a certain inward religious life, and a certain practical piety, yet that these qualities with them, as well as with many other mystical sects, as for example, those of the middle ages, were connected with a theosophy, which desired to know things hidden from human reason, µßatee e t µ ae, and therefore lost itself in idle imaginations and dreams, and were also mixed up with an outward asceticism, a proud spirit of separation from the rest of mankind, and superstitious observances and demeanours totally at variance with the true spirit of inward religion.

ESTHER. The book of Esther is so called, because it contains the history of Esther a Jewish captive, who by her remarkable accomplishments gained the affection of King Ahasuerus, and by marriage with him was raised to the throne of Persia; and it relates the origin and ceremonies of the feast of Purim, instituted in commemoration of the great deliverance, which she, by her interest, procured for the Jews, whose general destruction had been concerted by the offended pride of Haman. There is great diversity of opinion concerning the author of this book; it has been ascribed to Ezra, to Mordecai, to Joachim, and to the joint labours of the great synagogue; and it is impossible to decide which of these opinions is the most probable. We are told, that the facts here recorded happened in the reign of Ahasuerus king of Persia, “who reigned from India even unto Ethiopia, over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces,” Esther i, 1; and this extent of dominion plainly proves that he was one of the successors of Cyrus. That point is indeed allowed by all; but learned men differ concerning the person meant by Ahasuerus, whose name does not occur in profane history; and consequently they are not agreed concerning the precise period to which we are to assign 355this history. Archbishop Usher supposed, that by Ahasuerus was meant Darius Hystaspes, and Joseph Scaliger contended that Xerxes was meant; but Dean Prideaux has very satisfactorily shown, that by Ahasuerus we are to understand Artaxerxes Longimanus. Josephus also considered Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes as the same person; and we may observe, that Ahasuerus is always translated Artaxerxes in the Septuagint version; and he is called by that name in the apocryphal part of the book of Esther. See Ecbatana, and Ahasuerus.

ETERNITY is an attribute of God. (See God.) The self-existent being, says the learned Dr. Clarke, must of necessity be eternal. The ideas of eternity and self-existence are so closely connected, that because something must of necessity be eternal, independently and without any outward cause of its being, therefore it must necessarily be self-existent; and because it is impossible but something must be self-existent, therefore it is necessary that it must likewise be eternal. To be self-existent, is to exist by an absolute necessity in the nature of the thing itself. Now this necessity being absolute, and not depending upon any thing external, must be always unalterably the same; nothing being alterable but what is capable of being affected by somewhat without itself. That being therefore which has no other cause of its existence but the absolute necessity of its own nature, must of necessity have existed from everlasting, without beginning; and must of necessity exist to everlasting, without end.

On the eternal duration of the divine Being, many have held a metaphysical refinement. “The eternal existence of God,” it is said, “is not to be considered as successive; the ideas we gain from time are not to be allowed in our conceptions of his duration. As he fills all space with his immensity, he fills all duration with his eternity; and with him eternity is nunc stans, a permanent now, incapable of the relations of past, present, and future.” Such, certainly, is not the view given us of this mysterious subject in the Scriptures; and if it should be said that they speak popularly, and are accommodated to the infirmity of the reason of the body of mankind, we may reply, that philosophy has not, with all its boasting of superior light, carried our views on this attribute of the divine nature at all beyond revelation; and, in attempting it, has only obscured the conceptions of its admirers. “Filling duration with his eternity,” is a phrase without any meaning: for how can any man conceive a permanent instant, which coëxists with a perpetually flowing duration One might as well apprehend a mathematical point coëxtended with a line, a surface, and all dimensions. As this notion has, however, been made the basis of some theological opinions, it may be proper to examine it.

2. Whether we get our idea of time from the motion of bodies without us, or from the consciousness of the succession of our own ideas, or both, is not important to this inquiry. Time, in our conceptions, is divisible. The artificial divisions are years, months, days, minutes, seconds, &c. We can conceive of yet smaller portions of duration; and, whether we have given to them artificial names or not, we can conceive no otherwise of duration, than continuance of being, estimated as to degree, by this artificial admeasurement, and therefore as substantially answering to it. It is not denied but that duration is something distinct from these its artificial measures; yet of this every man’s consciousness will assure him, that we can form no idea of duration except in this successive manner. But we are told that the eternity of God is a fixed eternal now, from which all ideas of succession, of past and future, are to be excluded; and we are called upon to conceive of eternal duration without reference to past or future, and to the exclusion of the idea of that flow under which we conceive of time. The proper abstract idea of duration is, however, simple continuance of being, without any reference to the exact degree or extent of it, because in no other way can it be equally applicable to all the substances of which it is the attribute. It may be finite or infinite, momentary or eternal; but that depends upon the substance of which it is the quality, and not upon its own nature. Our own observation and experience teach us how to apply it to ourselves. As to us, duration is dependent and finite; as to God, it is infinite; but in both cases the originality or dependence, the finiteness or infinity of it, arises, not out of the nature of duration itself, but out of other qualities of the subjects respectively.

3. Duration, then, as applied to God, is no more than an extension of the idea as applied to ourselves; and to exhort us to conceive of it as something essentially different, is to require us to conceive what is inconceivable. It is to demand of us to think without ideas. Duration is continuance of existence; continuance of existence is capable of being longer or shorter; and hence necessarily arises the idea of the succession of the minutest points of duration into which we can conceive it divided. Beyond this the mind cannot go, it forms the idea of duration no other way: and if what we call duration be any thing different from this in God, it is not duration, properly so called, according to human ideas; it is something else, for which there is no name among men, because there is no idea, and therefore it is impossible to reason about it. As long as meta-physicians use the term, they must take the idea: if they spurn the idea, they have no right to the term, and ought at once to confess that they can go no farther. Dr. Cudworth defines infinity of duration to be nothing else but perfection, as including in it necessary existence and immutability. This, it is true, is as much a definition of the moon, as of infinity of duration; but it is valuable, as it shows that, in the view of this great man, though an advocate of the nunc stans, “the standing now,” of eternity, we must abandon the term duration, if we give up the only idea under which it can be conceived.

4. It follows from this, therefore, that either 356we must apply the term duration to the divine Being in the same sense in which we apply it to creatures, with the extension of the idea to a duration which has no bounds and limits; or blot it out of our creeds, as a word to which our minds, with all the aid they may derive from the labours of metaphysicians, can attach no meaning. The only objection to successive duration as applied to God, which has any plausibility, is, that it seems to imply change; but this wholly arises from confounding two very distinct things; succession in the duration, and change in the substance. Dr. Cudworth appears to have fallen into this error. He speaks of the duration of an imperfect nature, as sliding from the present to the future, expecting something of itself which is not yet in being; and of a perfect nature being essentially immutable, having a permanent and unchanging duration, never losing any thing of itself once present, nor yet running forward to meet something of itself which is not yet in being. Now, though this is a good description of a perfect and immutable nature, it is no description at all of an eternally-enduring nature. Duration implies no loss in the substance of any being, nor addition to it. A perfect nature never loses any thing of itself, nor expects more of itself than is possessed; but this does not arise from the attribute of its duration, however that attribute may be conceived of, but from its perfection and consequent immutability. These attributes do not flow from the duration, but the continuance of the duration from them. The argument is clearly good for nothing, unless it could be proved that successive duration necessarily implies a change in the nature; but that is contradicted by the experience of finite beings,--their natures are not at all determined by their duration, but their duration by their natures; and they exist for a moment, or for ages, according to the nature which their Maker has impressed upon them. If it be said that, at least, successive duration imports that a being loses past duration, and expects the arrival of future existence, we reply, that this is no imperfection at all. Even finite creatures do not feel it to be an imperfection to have existed, and to look for continued and interminable being. It is true, with the past we lose knowledge and pleasure; and expecting in all future periods increase of knowledge and happiness, we are reminded by that of our present imperfection; but this imperfection does not arise from our successive and flowing duration, and we never refer it to that. It is not the past which takes away our knowledge and pleasure; nor future duration, simply considered, which will confer the increase of both. Our imperfections arise out of the essential nature of our being, not out of the manner in which our being is continued. It is not the flow of our duration, but the flow of our nature, which produces these effects. On the contrary, we think that the idea of our successive duration, that is of continuance, is an advantage, and not a defect. Let all ideas of continuance be banished from the mind, let there be to us a nunc semper stans, during the whole of our being, and we appear to gain nothing,--our pleasures surely are not diminished by the idea of successive duration being added to present enjoyment: that they have been, and still remain, and will continue, on the contrary, greatly heightens them. Without the idea of a flowing duration, we could have no such measure of the continuance of our pleasures; and this we should consider an abatement of our happiness. What is so obvious an excellency in the spirit of man, and in angelic natures, can never be thought an imperfection in God, when joined with a nature essentially perfect and immutable.

5. But it may be said, that “eternal duration, considered as successive, is only an artificial manner of measuring and conceiving of duration; and is no more eternal duration itself than minutes and moments, the artificial measures of time, are time itself.” Were this granted, the question would still be, whether there is any thing in duration considered generally, or in time considered specially, which corresponds to these artificial methods of measuring and conceiving of them. The ocean is measured by leagues; and the extension of the ocean, and the measure of it, are distinct; they, nevertheless, answer to each other. Leagues are the nominal divisions of an extended surface; but there is a real extension, which answers to the artificialartificial conception and admeasurement of it. In like manner, days, and hours, and moments, are the measures of time: but there is either something in time which answers to these measures; or not only the measure, but the thing itself, is artificial--an imaginary creation. If any man will contend, that the period of duration which we call time is nothing, no farther dispute can be held with him; and he may be left to deny also the existence of matter, and to enjoy his philosophic revel in an ideal world. We apply the same argument to duration generally, whether finite or infinite. Minutes and moments, or smaller portions, for which we have no name, may be artificial things, adopted to aid our conceptions; but conceptions of what Not of any thing standing still, but of something going on. Of duration we have no other conception; and if there be nothing in nature which answers to this conception, then is duration itself imaginary, and we discourse about nothing. If the duration of the divine Being admits not of past, present, and future, one of these two consequences must follow,--that no such attribute as that of eternity belongs to him,--or that there is no power in the human mind to conceive of it. In either case, the Scriptures are greatly impugned; for “He who was, and is, and is to come,” is a revelation of the eternity of God, which is then in no sense true. It is not true, if used literally: and it is as little so, if the language be figurative; for the figure rests on no basis, it illustrates nothing, it misleads. It is, however, to be remembered, that the eternal, supreme cause, must of necessity have such a perfect, independent, unchangeable comprehension of all things, that there can be no one point or instant of his eternal duration, 357wherein all things that are past, present, and to come, will not be as entirely known and represented to him in one single thought or view, and all things present and future be equally entirely in his power and direction; as if there was really no succession at all, but all things were actually present at once.

6. The Hebrew word for eternity is . This is its proper sense; but, as Gesenius observes, as with us in common life, it is often used in an inaccurate or loose manner to express a very long space of time. So it is applied to the Jewish priesthood; to the Mosaic ordinances; to the possession of the land of Canaan; to the hills and mountains; to the earth, &c. These must, however, be considered as exceptions to predominant and certain usage.

ETHAN, the Ezrahite, one of the wisest men of his time; nevertheless, Solomon was wiser than he, 1 Kings iv, 31. The eighty-ninth psalm bears the name of Ethan the Ezrahite. This Ethan, and Ethan son of Kishi, of the tribe of Levi, and of the family of Merari, are the same person, 1 Chron. vi, 44. He was called likewise Idithun, and appears under this name in the titles to several psalms. He was a principal master of the temple music, 1 Chron. xv, 17, &c.

ETHANIM, one of the Hebrew months, 1 Kings viii, 2. In this month the temple of Solomon was dedicated. After the Jews returned from the captivity, the month Ethanim was called Tisri, which answers to our September.


EUCHARIST, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The word, in its original Greek, eaa, properly signifies giving thanks; from the hymns and thanksgivings which accompanied that holy service in the primitive church. See Lord’s Supper.

EUNICE, the mother of Timothy, who was a Jewess by birth, but married to a Greek, Timothy’s father, 2 Tim. i, 5. Eunice had been converted to Christianity by some other preacher, Acts xvi, 1, 2, and not by St. Paul; for when that Apostle came to Lystra, he found there Eunice and Timothy, already far advanced in grace and virtue.

EUNUCH. The word signifies, one who guards the bed. In the courts of eastern kings, the care of the beds and apartments belonging to princes and princesses, was generally committed to eunuchs; but they had the charge chiefly of the princesses, who lived secluded. The Hebrew saris signifies a real eunuch, whether naturally born such, or rendered such. But in Scripture this word often denotes an officer belonging to a prince, attending his court, and employed in the interior of his palace, as a name of office and dignity. In the Persian and Turkish courts, the principal employments are at this day possessed by real eunuchs. Our Saviour speaks of men who “made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven,” Matt. xix, 12; that is, who, from a religious motive, renounced marriage or carnal pleasures.

EUPHRATES, a river of Asiatic Turkey, which rises from the mountains of Armenia, as some have said, in two streams, a few miles to the north-east of Erzeron, the streams uniting to the south-west near that city; and chiefly pursuing a south-west direction to Semisat, where it would fall into the Mediterranean, if not prevented by a high range of mountains. In this part of its course the Euphrates is joined by the Morad, a stream almost doubling in length that of the Euphrates, so that the latter river might more justly be said to spring from Mount Ararat, about one hundred and sixty British miles to the east of the imputed source. At Semisat, the ancient Samosata, this noble river assumes a southerly direction, then runs an extensive course to the south-east, and after receiving the Tigris, falls by two or three mouths into the gulf of Persia, about fifty miles south-east of Bassora; north latitude 29° 50´; east longitude 66° 55´. The comparative course of the Euphrates may be estimated at about one thousand four hundred British miles. This river is navigable for a considerable distance from the sea. In its course it separates Aladulia from Armenia, Syria from Diarbekir, and Diarbekir from Arabia, and passing through the Arabian Irak, joins the Tigris. The Euphrates and Tigris, the most considerable as well as the most renowned rivers of western Asia, are remarkable for their rising within a few miles of each other, running the same course, never being more than one hundred and fifty miles asunder, and sometimes, before their final junction, approaching within fifteen miles of each other, as in the latitude of Bagdad. The space included between the two is the ancient country of Mesopotamia. But the Euphrates is by far the more noble river of the two. Sir R. K. Porter, describing this river in its course through the ruins of Babylon, observes, “The whole view was particularly solemn. The majestic stream of the Euphrates wandering in solitude, like a pilgrim monarch through the silent ruins of his devastated kingdom, still appeared a noble river, even under all the disadvantages of its desert-tracked course. Its banks were hoary with reeds; and the grey osier willows were yet there, on which the captives of Israel hung up their harps, and, while Jerusalem was not, refused to be comforted.” The Scripture calls it “the great river,” and assigns it for the eastern boundary of that land which God promised to the Israelites, Deut. i, 7; Joshua i, 4.

EUROCLYDON, the Greek name for the north-east wind, very dangerous at sea, of the nature of a whirlwind, which falls of a sudden upon ships, Acts xxvii, 14. The same wind is now called a Levanter.

EUTYCHIANS, a denomination which arose in the fifth century, and were so called from Eutyches, abbot of a certain convent of monks at Constantinople. The Nestorians having explained the two natures in Christ in such a manner as, in the opinion of many, to make them equivalent to two persons, which was an evident absurdity, Eutyches, to avoid this error, 358fell into the opposite extreme, and maintained that there was only one nature in Jesus Christ, the divine nature, which, according to him, had so entirely swallowed up the human, that the latter could not be distinguished. Hence it was inferred that according to this system our Lord had nothing of humanity but the appearance.

EVANGELISTS, the inspired authors of the Gospels. The word is derived from the Greek, eate, formed of e, bene, “well,” and te, angel, messenger. The name of evangelists is said by some to have been given in the ancient church to such as preached the Gospel without being attached to any particular church, being either commissioned by the Apostles to instruct the nations, or, of their own accord, abandoning every worldly attachment, consecrated themselves to the sacred office of preaching the Gospel. In which sense these interpreters think it is that St. Philip, who was one of the seven deacons, is called “the evangelist” in Acts xxi, 8; and that St. Paul, writing to Timothy, bids him do the work of an evangelist, 2 Tim. iv, 5. It is, however, to be remarked, that the office in which the evangelists chiefly present themselves to our notice in the New Testament, is that of assistants to the Apostles; or, as they might be termed vice apostles, who acted under their authority and direction. As they were directed to ordain pastors or bishops in the churches, but had no authority given them to ordain successors to themselves in their particular office as evangelists, whatever it might be, they must be considered as but temporary officers in the church, like the Apostles and prophets. The term evangelist is, at present, confined to the writers of the four Gospels.

EVE, the first woman. She was called , Gen. iii, 20, a word that signifies life, because she was to be the mother of all that live. Our translators, therefore, might have called her Life, as the Septuagint, who render the Hebrew word by . Soon after the expulsion of the first pair from paradise, Eve conceived and bare a son; and imagining, as is probable, that she had given birth to the promised seed, she called his name Cain, which signifies possession, saying, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” She afterward had Abel, and some daughters, and then Seth. The Scriptures name only these three sons of Adam and Eve, but sufficiently inform us, Gen. v, 4, that they had many more, saying, that “Adam lived, after he had begotten Seth, eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.” See Adam.

EVIL is distinguished into natural and moral. Natural evil is whatever destroys or any way disturbs the perfection of natural beings, such as blindness, diseases, death, &c. Moral evil is the disagreement between the actions of a moral agent, and the rule of those actions, whatever it be. Applied to choice, or acting contrary to the moral or revealed laws of the Deity, it is termed wickedness, or sin. Applied to an act contrary to a mere rule of fitness, it is called a fault. The question concerning the origin of evil has very much perplexed philosophers and divines, both ancient and modern. Plato, for the solution of this question, maintained, that matter, from its nature, possesses a blind and refractory force, from which arises in it a propensity to disorder and deformity; and that this is the cause of all the imperfection which appears in the works of God, and the origin of evil. Matter, he conceives, resists the will of the supreme Artificer, so that he cannot possibly execute his designs; and this is the cause of the mixture of good and evil, which is found in the material world. “It cannot be,” says he, “that evil should be destroyed, for there must always be something contrary to good;” and again, “God wills, as far as it is possible, every thing good, and nothing evil.” What that property of matter is which opposes the wise and benevolent intentions of the first Intelligence, Plato has not clearly explained; but he speaks of it as µft pµa, an innate propensity to disorder, and says, that before nature was adorned with its present beautiful forms, it was inclined to confusion and deformity, and that from this habitude arises all the evil which happens in the world. Plutarch supposes the Platonic notion to be, that there is in matter an unconscious, irrational soul; and this supposition has been adopted by several modern writers. But the writings of Plato afford no evidence that he conceived the imperfection of matter to arise from any cause distinct from its nature. Such a notion is incongruous with Plato’s general system, and is contrary to the doctrine of the Pythagorean school, to which he was probably indebted for his notions on this subject; for the philosophers of that sect held that motion is the effect of a power essential to matter. Some of the Stoics adopted the notion of the Platonists concerning the origin of evil, and ascribed it to the defective nature of matter, which it is not in the power of the great Artificer to change; asserting, that imperfections appear in the world, not through any defect of skill in its author, but because matter will not admit of the accomplishment of his designs. But it was perceived by others, that this hypothesis was inconsistent with the fundamental doctrine of the Stoics concerning nature. For since, according to their system, matter itself receives all its qualities from God, if its defects be the cause of evil, these defects must be ultimately ascribed to him. No other way of relieving this difficulty remained, than to have recourse to fate, and say, that evil was the necessary consequence of that eternal necessity to which the great whole, comprehending both God and matter, is subject. Thus, when Chrysippus was asked whether diseases were to be ascribed to Divine providence, he replied that it was not the intention of nature that these things should happen; nor were they conformable to the will of the Author of nature and Parent of all good things; but that, in framing the world, some inconveniences had adhered by necessary consequence, to his wise and useful plan. To others the question concerning the origin of evil appeared so intricate 359and difficult, that, finding themselves unequal to the solution of it, they denied either that there is any God at all, or, at least, any author or governor of the world. The Epicureans belonged to this class; nor does Lucretius allege any other reason for denying the system of the world to be the production of a Deity beside its being so very faulty. Others again judged it to be more rational to assign a double cause of visible effects, than to assign no cause at all; as nothing, indeed, can be more absurd than to admit actions and effects without any agent and cause. These persons perceiving a mixture of good and evil, and being persuaded that so many inconsistencies and disorders could not proceed from a good being, supposed the existence of a malevolent principle, or god, directly contrary to the good one; hence they derived corruption and death, diseases, griefs, mischiefs, frauds, and villanies, while from the good being they deduced nothing but good. This opinion was held by many of the ancients; by the Persian magi, Manicheans, Paulicians, &c.

2. Dr. Samuel Clarke, in his “Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God,” deduces from the possibility and real existence of human liberty an answer to the question, What is the cause and original of evil For liberty, he says, implying a natural power of doing evil, as well as good; and the imperfect nature of finite beings making it possible for them to abuse this their liberty to an actual commission of evil; and it being necessary to the order and beauty of the whole, and for displaying the infinite wisdom of the Creator, that there should be different and various degrees of creatures, whereof, consequently, some must be less perfect than others; hence there necessarily arises a possibility of evil, notwithstanding that the Creator is infinitely good. In short thus: all that we call evil is either an evil of imperfection, as the want of certain faculties and excellencies which other creatures have; or natural evil, as pain, death, and the like; or moral evil, as all kinds of vice. The first of these is not properly an evil: for every power, faculty, or perfection, which any creature enjoys, being the free gift of God, which he was no more obliged to bestow, than he was to confer being or existence itself, it is plain the want of any certain faculty or perfection in any kind of creatures which never belonged to their nature, is no more an evil to them than their never having been created, or brought into being at all, could properly have been called an evil. The second kind of evil, which we call natural evil, is either a necessary consequence of the former; as death, to a creature on whose nature immortality was never conferred; and then it is no more properly an evil than the former; or else it is counterpoised, in the whole, with as great or greater good, as the afflictions and sufferings of good men, and then also it is not properly an evil; or else, lastly, it is a punishment; and then it is a necessary consequent of the third and last sort of evil, namely, moral evil. And this arises wholly from the abuse of liberty, which God gave to his creatures for other purposes, and which it was reasonable and fit to give them for the perfection and order of the whole creation; only they, contrary to God’s intention and command, have abused what was necessary for the perfection of the whole, to the corruption and depravation of themselves. And thus all sorts of evils have entered into the world, without any diminution to the infinite goodness of its Creator and Governor.

3. This is obviously all the answer which the question respecting the origin of evil is capable of receiving. It brings us to the point to which the Scriptures themselves lead us. And though many questions may yet be asked, respecting a subject so mysterious as the permission of evil by the Supreme Being, this is a part of his counsels of which we can have no cognizance, unless he is pleased to reveal them; and as revelation is silent upon this subject, except generally, that all his acts, his permissive ones as well as others, are “wise, and just, and good,” we may rest assured, that beyond what is revealed, human wisdom in the present state can never penetrate.

EXCOMMUNICATION, is the judicial exclusion of offenders from the religious rites and other privileges of the particular community to which they belong. Founded in the natural right which every society possesses to guard its laws and privileges from violation and abuse by the infliction of salutary discipline, proportioned to the nature of the offences committed against them, it has found a place, in one form or another, under every system of religion, whether human or divine. That it has been made an engine for the gratification of private malice and revenge, and been perverted to purposes the most unjustifiable and even diabolical, the history of the world but too lamentably proves; yet this, though unquestionably a consideration which ought to inculcate the necessity of prudence, as well as impartiality and temperance in the use of it, affords no valid argument against its legitimate exercise. From St. Paul’s writings we learn that the early excommunication was effected by the offender not being allowed to “eat” with the church, that is, to partake of the Lord’s Supper, the sign of communion. In the early ages of the primitive church also, this branch of discipline was exercised with moderation, which, however, gradually gave place to an undue severity. From Tertullian’s “Apology” we learn, that the crimes which in his time subjected to exclusion from Christian privileges, were murder, idolatry, theft, fraud, lying, blasphemy, adultery, fornication, and the like: and in Origen’s treatise against Celsus, we are informed that such persons were expelled from the communion of the church, and lamented as lost and dead unto God; [ut perditos Deoque mortuos;] but that on making confession and giving evidence of penitence, they were received back as restored to life. It was at the same time specially ordained, that no such delinquent, however suitably qualified in other respects, could be afterward admitted 360to any ecclesiastical office. But it does not appear that the infliction of this discipline was accompanied with any of those forms of excommunication, of delivering over to Satan, or of solemn execration, which were usual among the Jews, and subsequently introduced into them by the Romish church. The authors and followers of heretical opinions which had been condemned, were also subject to this penalty; and it was sometimes inflicted on whole congregations when they were judged to have departed from the faith. In this latter case, however, the sentence seldom went farther than the interdiction of correspondence with these churches, or of spiritual communication between their respective pastors. To the same exclusion from religious privileges, those unhappy persons were doomed, who, whether from choice or from compulsion, had polluted themselves, after their baptism, by any act of idolatrous worship; and the penance enjoined on such persons, before they could be restored to communion, was often peculiarly severe. The consequences of excommunication, even then, were of a temporal as well as a spiritual nature. The person against whom it was pronounced, was denied all share in the oblations of his brethren; the ties both of religious and of private friendship were dissolved; he found himself an object of abhorrence to those whom he most esteemed, and by whom he had been most tenderly beloved; and, as far as expulsion from a society held in universal veneration could imprint on his character a mark of disgrace, he was shunned or suspected by the generality of mankind.

2. It was not, however, till churchmen began to unite temporal with spiritual power, that any penal effects of a civil kind became consequent on their sentences of excommunication; and that this ghostly artillery was not less frequently employed for the purposes of lawless ambition and ecclesiastical domination, than for the just punishment of impenitent delinquents, and the general edification of the faithful. But as soon as this union took place, and in exact proportion to the degree in which the papal system rose to its predominance over the civil rights as well as the consciences of men, the list of offences which subjected their perpetrators to excommunication, was multiplied; and the severity of its inflictions, with their penal effects, increased in the same ratio. The slightest injury, or even insult, sustained by an ecclesiastic, was deemed a sufficient cause for the promulgation of an anathema. Whole families, and even provinces, were prohibited from engaging in any religious exercise, and cursed with the most tremendous denunciations of divine vengeance. Nor were kings and emperors secure against these thunders of the church; their subjects were, on many occasions, declared, by a papal bull, to be absolved from allegiance to them; and all who should dare to support them, menaced with a similar judgment. These terrors have passed away; the true Scriptural excommunication ought to be maintained in every church; which is the prohibition of immoral and apostate persons from the use of those religious rites which indicate “the communion of saints,” but without any temporal penalty.

EXODUS, from , out, and d, a way, the name of the second book of Moses, and is so called in the Greek version because it relates to the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt. It comprehends the history of about a hundred and forty-five years; and the principal events contained in it are, the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt, and their miraculous deliverance by the hand of Moses; their entrance into the wilderness of Sinai; the promulgation of the law, and the building of the tabernacle. See Pentateuch.

EXPIATION, a religious act, by which satisfaction or atonement is made for the commission of some crime, the guilt done away, and the obligation to punishment cancelled. The chief methods of expiation among the Jews were by sacrifices; and it is important always to recollect that the Levitical sacrifices were of an expiatory character; because as among the Jews sacrifices were unquestionably of divine original, and as the terms taken from them are found applied so frequently to Christ and to his sufferings in the New Testament, they serve to explain that peculiarity under which the Apostles regarded the death of Christ, and afford additional proof that it was considered by them as a sacrifice of expiation, as the grand universal sin-offering for the whole world. For our Lord is announced by John as “the Lamb of God;” and that not with reference to meekness or any other moral virtue; but with an accompanying phrase, which would communicate to a Jew the full sacrificial sense of the term employed, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He is called “our Passover, sacrificed for us.” He is said to have given “himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour.” As a priest, it was necessary “he should have somewhat to offer;” and he offered “himself,” “his own blood,” to which is ascribed the washing away of sin, and our eternal redemption. He is declared to have “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself,” to have “by himself purged our sins,” to have “sanctified the people by his own blood,” to have “offered to God one sacrifice for sins.” Add to these, and to innumerable other similar expressions and allusions, the argument of the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which, by proving at length, that the sacrifice of Christ was superior in efficacy to the sacrifices of the law, he most unequivocally assumes, that the death of Christ was a sacrifice and sin-offering; for without that it would no more have been capable of comparison with the sacrifices of the law, than the death of John the Baptist, St. Stephen, or St. James, all martyrs and sufferers for the truth, who had recently sealed their testimony with their blood. This very comparison, we may affirm, is utterly unaccountable and absurd on any hypothesis which denies the sacrifice of Christ; for what relation could his death 361have to the Levitical immolations and offerings, if it had no sacrificial character Nothing could, in fact, be more misleading, and even absurd, than to apply those terms which, both among Jews and Gentiles, were in use to express the various processes and means of atonement and piacular propitiation, if the Apostles and Christ himself did not intend to represent his death strictly as an expiation for sin:--misleading, because such would be the natural and necessary inference from the terms themselves, which had acquired this as their established meaning:--and absurd, because if, as Socinians say, they used them metaphorically, there was not even an ideal resemblance between the figure and that which it was intended to illustrate. So totally irrelevant, indeed, will those terms appear to any notion entertained of the death of Christ which excludes its expiatory character, that to assume that our Lord and his Apostles used them as metaphors, is profanely to assume them to be such writers as would not in any other case be tolerated; writers wholly unacquainted with the commonest rules of language, and therefore wholly unfit to be teachers of others, and that not only in religion but in things of inferior importance.

2. The use of such terms, we have said, would not only be wholly absurd, but criminally misleading to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews, who were first converted to Christianity. To them the notion of propitiatory offerings, offerings to avert the displeasure of the gods, and which expiated the crimes of offenders, was most familiar, and terms corresponding to it were in constant use. The bold denial of this by Dr. Priestley might well bring upon him the reproof of Archbishop Magee, who, after establishing this point from the Greek and Latin writers, observes, “So clearly does their language announce the notion of a propitiatory atonement, that if we would avoid an imputation on Dr. Priestley’s fairness, we are driven, of necessity, to question the extent of his acquaintance with those writers.” The reader may consult the instances given by this writer, in No. 5 of his “Illustrations,” appended to his “Discourses on the Atonement;” and also the tenth chapter of Grotius “De Satisfactione,” whose learning has most amply illustrated and firmly settled this view of the Heathen sacrifices. The use to be made of this in the argument is, that as the Apostles found the very terms they used with reference to the nature and efficacy of the death of Christ, fixed in an expiatory signification among the Greeks, they could not, in honesty, use them in a distant figurative sense, much less in a contrary one, without giving their readers due notice of their having invested them with a new import. From , a pollution, an impurity, which was to be expiated by sacrifice, are derived and , which denote the act of expiation; aa, too, to purify, cleanse, is applied to the effect of expiation; and sµa denotes the method of propitiating the gods by sacrifice. These, and other words of similar import, are used by the authors of the Septuagint, and by the Evangelists and Apostles; but they give no premonition of using them in any strange and altered sense; and when they apply them to the death of Christ, they must, therefore, be understood to use them in their received meaning. In like manner the Jews had their expiatory sacrifices, and the terms and phrases used in them are, in like manner, employed by the Apostles to characterize the death of their Lord; and they would have been as guilty of misleading their Jewish as their Gentile readers, had they employed them in a new sense, and without warning, which, unquestionably, they never gave.

3. As to the expiatory nature of the sacrifices of the law, it is not required by the argument to show that all the Levitical offerings were of this character. There were also offerings for persons and for things prescribed for purification, which were incidental; but even they grew out of the leading notion of expiatory sacrifice, and that legal purification which resulted from the forgiveness of sins. It is enough to prove, that the grand and eminent sacrifices of the Jews were strictly expiatory, and that by them the offerers were released from punishment and death, for which ends they were appointed by the Lawgiver. When we speak, too, of vicarious sacrifice, we do not mean either, on the one hand, such a substitution as that the victim should bear the same quantum of pain and suffering as the offender himself; or, on the other, that it was put in the place of the offender as a mere symbolical act, by which he confessed his desert of punishment; but a substitution made by divine appointment, by which the victim was exposed to sufferings and death instead of the offender, in virtue of which the offender himself was released. With this view, one can scarcely conceive why so able a writer as Archbishop Magee should prefer to use the term, “vicarious import,” rather than the simple and established term, “vicarious;” since the Antinomian notion of substitution may be otherwise sufficiently guarded against, and the phrase “vicarious import” is certainly capable of being resolved into that figurative notion of mere symbolical action, which, however plausible, does in fact deprive the ancient sacrifices of their typical, and the oblation of Christ of its real, efficacy. Vicarious acting, is acting for another; vicarious suffering, is suffering for another; but the nature and circumstances of that suffering in the case of Christ are to be determined by the doctrine of Scripture at large, and not wholly by the term itself, which is, however, useful for this purpose, (and therefore to be preserved,) that it indicates the sense in which those who use it understand the declaration of Scripture, “Christ died for us,” so as that he died not merely for our benefit, but in our stead; in other words, that, but for his having died, those who believe in him would personally have suffered that death which is the penalty of every violation of the law of God.

4. That sacrifices under the law were expiatory and vicarious, admits of abundant proof.

The chief objections made to this doctrine 362are, (1.) That under the law in all capital cases, the offender, upon legal proof or conviction, was doomed to die, and that no sacrifice could exempt him from the penalty. (2.) That in all lower cases to which the law had not attached capital punishment, but pecuniary mulcts, or personal labour or servitude upon their nonpayment, this penalty was to be strictly executed, and none could plead any privilege or exemption on account of sacrifice; and that when sacrifices were ordained with a pecuniary mulct, they are to be regarded in the light of fine, one part of which was paid to the state, the other to the church. This was the mode of argument adopted by the author of “the Moral Philosopher;” and nothing of weight has been added to these objections since his day. Now, much of this may be granted, without any prejudice to the argument; and, indeed, is no more than the most orthodox writers on this subject have often remarked. The law, under which the Jews were placed, was at once, as to them, both a moral and a political law; and the Lawgiver excepted certain offences from the benefit of pardon, because that would have been exemption from temporal death, which was the state penalty. He therefore would accept no atonement for such transgressions. Blasphemy, idolatry, murder, and adultery, were the “presumptuous sins” which were thus exempted; and the reason will be seen in the political relation of the people to God; for in refusing to exempt them from punishment in this world, respect was had to the order and benefit of society. Running parallel, however, with this political application of the law to the Jews as subjects of the theocracy, we see the authority of the moral law kept over them as men and creatures; and if these “presumptuous sins,” of blasphemy and idolatry, of murder and adultery, and a few others, were the only capital crimes considered politically, they were not the only capital crimes considered morally; that is, there were other crimes which would have subjected the offender to death, but for this provision of expiatory oblations. The true question then is, whether such sacrifices were appointed by God, and accepted instead of the personal punishment or life of the offender, which otherwise would have been forfeited, as in the other cases; and if so, if the life of animal sacrifices was accepted instead of the life of man, then the notion that “they were mere mulcts and pecuniary penalties” falls to the ground, and the vicarious nature of most of the Levitical oblations is established. That other offences, beside those above mentioned, were capital, that is, exposed the offender to death, is clear from this, that all offences against the law had this capital character. As death was the sanction of the commandment given to Adam, so every one who transgressed any part of the law of Moses became guilty of death; every man was “accursed,” that is, devoted to die, who “continued not in all things written in the book of the law.” “The man only that doeth these things shall live by them,” was the rule; and it was, therefore, to redeem the offenders from this penalty that sacrifices were appointed. So with reference to the great day of expiation, we read, “For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins; and this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year,” Lev. xvi, 30–34.

5. To prove that this was the intention and effect of the annual sacrifices of the Jews, we need do little more than refer to Lev. xvii, 10, 11: “I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh 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.” Here the blood which is said to make an atonement for the soul, is the blood of the victims; and to make an atonement for the soul is the same as to be a ransom for the soul, as will appear by referring to Exodus xxx, 12–16; and to be a ransom for the soul is to avert death. “They shall give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, that there be no plague among them,” by which their lives might be suddenly taken away. The “soul” is also here used obviously for the life; the blood, or the life of the victims in all sacrifices, was substituted for the life of man, to preserve him from death, and the victims were therefore vicarious.

6. The Hebrew word , rendered atonement, signifying primarily to cover, to overspread, has been the subject of some evasive criticisms. It comes, however, in the secondary sense to signify atonement or propitiation, because the effect of that is to cover, or, in Scripture meaning, to remit offences. The Septuagint also renders it by sµa, to appease, to make propitious. It is used, indeed, where the means of atonement are not of the sacrificial kind, but these instances equally serve to evince the Scripture sense of the term, in cases of transgression, to be that of reconciling the offended Deity, by averting his displeasure; so that when the atonement for sin is said to be made by sacrifice, no doubt can remain that the sacrifice was strictly a sacrifice of propitiation. Agreeably to this conclusion we find it expressly declared, in the several cases of piacular oblations for transgression of the divine commands, that the sin for which atonement was made by those oblations should be forgiven.

7. As the notion that the sacrifices of the law were not vicarious, but mere mulcts and fines, is overturned by the general appointment of the blood to be an atonement for the souls, the forfeited lives, of men, so also is it contradicted by particular instances. Let us refer to Leviticus v, 15,16: “If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance in the holy things of the Lord, he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add a fifth part thereto, and shall give it to the priest.” Here, indeed, is 363the proper fine for the trespass; but it is added, “He shall bring for his trespass unto the Lord a ram without blemish, and the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.” Thus, then, so far from the sacrifice being the fine, the fine is distinguished from it, and with the ram only was the atonement made to the Lord for his trespass. Nor can the ceremonies with which the trespass and sin offerings were accompanied agree with any notion but that of their vicarious character. The worshipper, conscious of his trespass, brought an animal, his own property, to the door of the tabernacle. This was not a eucharistical act; not a memorial of mercies received, but of sins committed. He laid his hands upon the head of the animal, the symbolical act of transferring punishment; then slew it with his own hand, and delivered it to the priest, who burned the fat and part of the animal upon the altar; and, having sprinkled part of the blood upon the altar, and, in some cases, upon the offerer himself, poured the rest at the bottom of the altar. And thus, we are told, “The priest shall make an atonement for him, as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.” So clearly is it made manifest by these actions, and by the description of their nature and end, that the animal bore the punishment of the offender, and that by this appointment he was reconciled to God, and obtained the forgiveness of his offences.

8. An equally strong proof that the life of the animal sacrifice was accepted in place of the life of man, is afforded by the fact, that atonement was required by the law to be made, by sin offerings and burnt offerings, for even bodily distempers and disorders. It is not necessary to the argument to explain the distinctions between these various oblations; nor yet to inquire into the reason for requiring propitiation to be made for corporal infirmities which, in many cases, could not be avoided. They were, however, thus connected with sin as the cause of all these disorders; and God, who had placed his residence among the Israelites, insisted upon a perfect ceremonial purity, to impress upon them a sense of his moral purity, and the necessity of purification of mind. Whether these were the reasons, or some others not at all discoverable by us, all such unclean persons were liable to death, and were exempted from it only by animal sacrifices. This appears from the conclusion to all the Levitical directions concerning the ceremonial to be observed in all such cases: “Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in,” or by, “their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle which is among them,” Lev. xv, 31. So that, by virtue of the sin offerings, the children of Israel were saved from a death which otherwise they would have suffered from their uncleanness, and that by substituting the life of the animal for the life of the offerer. Nor can it be urged that death is, in these instances, threatened only as the punishment of not observing these laws of purification; for the reason given in the passage just quoted shows that the threatening of death was not hypothetical upon their not bringing the prescribed purification, but is grounded upon the fact of “defiling the tabernacle of the Lord which was among them,” which is supposed to be done by all uncleanness, as such, in the first instance.

9. As a farther proof of the vicarious character of the principal sacrifices of the Mosaic economy, we may instance those statedly offered for the whole congregation. Every day were offered two lambs, one in the morning, and the other in the evening, “for a continual burnt offering.” To these daily victims were to be added, weekly, two other lambs for the burnt offering of every Sabbath. None of these could be considered in the light of fines for offences, since they were offered for no particular persons, and must be considered, therefore, unless resolved into an unmeaning ceremony, piacular and vicarious. To pass over, however, the monthly sacrifices, and those offered at the great feasts, it is sufficient to fix upon those, so often alluded to in the Epistle to the Hebrews, offered on the solemn anniversary of expiation. On that day, to other prescribed sacrifices were to be added another ram for a burnt offering, and another goat, the most eminent of the sacrifices for a sin offering, whose blood was to be carried by the high priest into the inner sanctuary, which was not done by the blood of any other victim, except the bullock, which was offered the same day as a sin offering for the family of Aaron. The circumstances of this ceremony, whereby atonement was to be made “for all the sins” of the whole Jewish people, are so strikingly significant, that they deserve a particular detail. On the day appointed for this general expiation, the priest is commanded to offer a bullock and a goat, as sin offerings, the one for himself, and the other for the people; and, having sprinkled the blood of these in due form before the mercy seat, to lead forth a second goat, denominated “the scape-goat;” and, after laying both his hands upon the head of the scape-goat, and confessing over him all the iniquities of the people, to put them upon the head of the goat, and to send the animal, thus bearing the sins of the people, away into the wilderness; in this manner expressing, by an action which cannot be misunderstood, that the atonement, which, it is affirmed, was to be effected by the sacrifice of the sin offering, consisted in removing from the people their iniquities by this translation of them to the animal. For it is to be remarked, that the ceremony of the scape-goat is not a distinct one: it is a continuation of the process, and is evidently the concluding part and symbolical consummation of the sin offering: so that the transfer of the iniquities of the people upon the head of the scape-goat, and the bearing them away into the wilderness, manifestly imply, that the atonement effected by the sacrifice of the sin offering consisted in the transfer and consequent removal of those iniquities.

10. How, then, is this impressive and singular 364ceremonial to be explained Shall we resort to the notion of mulcts and fines If so, then this and other stated sacrifices must be considered in the light of penal enactments. But this cannot agree with the appointment of such sacrifices annually in succeeding generations: “This shall be a statute for ever unto you.” The law appoints a certain day in the year for expiating the sins both of the high priest himself and of the whole congregation, and that for all high priests and all generations of the congregation. Now, could a law be enacted, inflicting a certain penalty, at a certain time, upon a whole people, as well as upon their high priest, thus presuming upon their actual transgression of it The sacrifice was also for sins in general; and yet the penalty, if it were one, is not greater than individual persons were often obliged to undergo for single trespasses. Nothing, certainly, can be more absurd than this hypothesis. Shall we account for it by saying that sacrifices were offered for the benefit of the worshipper, but exclude the notion of expiation But here we are obliged to confine the benefit to reconciliation and the taking away of sins, and that by the appointed means of the shedding of blood, and the presentation of blood in the holy place, accompanied by the expressive ceremony of imposition of hands upon the head of the victim; the import of which act is fixed, beyond all controversy, by the priest’s confessing over that victim the sins of all the people, and at the same time imprecating upon its head the vengeance due to them, Lev. xvi, 21. Shall we content ourselves with merely saying that this was a symbol But the question remains, Of what was it the symbol To determine this, let the several parts of the symbolic action be enumerated. Here is confession of sin; confession before God at the door of the tabernacle; the substitution of a victim; the figurative transfer of sins to that victim; the shedding of blood, which God appointed to make atonement for the soul; the carrying the blood into the holiest place, the very permission of which clearly marked the divine acceptance; the bearing away of iniquity; and the actual reconciliation of the people to God. If, then, this is symbolical, it has nothing correspondent with it, it never had or can have any thing correspondent to it but the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, and the communication of the benefits of his passion in the forgiveness of sins to those that believe in him, and in their reconciliation with God. Shall we, finally, say that those sacrifices had respect, not to God to obtain pardon by expiation, but to the offerer, teaching him moral lessons, and calling forth moral dispositions We answer, that this hypothesis leaves many of the essential circumstances of the ceremonial wholly unaccounted for. The tabernacle and temple were erected for the residence of God, by his own command. There it was his will to be approached, and to these sacred places the victims were required to be brought. Any where else they might as well have been offered, if they had had respect only to the offerer; but they were required to be brought to God, to be offered according to a prescribed ritual, and by an order of men appointed for that purpose. Now truly there is no reason why they should be offered in the sanctuary rather than in any other place, except that they were offered to the Inhabitant of the sanctuary; nor could they be offered in his presence without having respect to him. There were some victims whose blood, on the day of atonement, was to be carried into the inner sanctuary; but for what purpose can we suppose the blood to have been carried into the most secret place of the divine residence, except to obtain the favour of Him in whose presence it was sprinkled To this we may add, that the reason given for these sacred services is not in any case a mere moral effect to be produced upon the minds of the worshippers: they were “to make atonement,” that is, to avert God’s displeasure, that the people might not “die.”

11. We may find, also, another more explicit illustration in the sacrifice of the passover. The sacrificial character of this offering is strongly marked; for it was an offering brought to the tabernacle; it was slain in the sanctuary; and the blood was sprinkled upon the altar by the priests. It derives its name from the passing over and sparing of the houses of the Israelites, on the door posts of which the blood of the immolated lamb was sprinkled, when the first-born in the houses of the Egyptians were slain; and thus we have another instance of life being spared by the instituted means of animal sacrifice. Nor need we confine ourselves to particular instances. “Almost all things,” says an Apostle, who surely knew his subject, “are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Thus, by their very law, and by constant usage, were the Jews familiarized to the notion of expiatory sacrifice, as well as by the history contained in their sacred books, especially in Genesis, which speaks of the vicarious sacrifices offered by the patriarchs; and in the book of Job, in which that patriarch is said to have offered sacrifices for the supposed sins of his sons; and where Eliphaz is commanded, by a divine oracle, to offer a burnt offering for himself and his friends, “lest God should deal with them after their folly.”

12. On the sentiments of the uninspired Jewish writers on this point, the substitution of the life of the animal for that of the offerer, and, consequently, the expiatory nature of their sacrifices, Outram has given many quotations from their writings, which the reader may consult in his work on Sacrifices. Two or three only may be adduced by way of specimen. R. Levi Ben Gerson says, “The imposition of the hands of the offerers was designed to indicate that their sins were removed from themselves, and transferred to the animal.” Isaac Ben Arama: “He transfers his sins from himself, and lays them upon the head of the victim.” R. Moses Ben Nachman says, with respect to a sinner offering a victim, “It was just that his blood should be shed, and that his body should be burned; but the Creator, of his mercy, accepted the victim from him, as his substitute 365and ransom; that the blood of the animal might be shed instead of his blood; that is, that the blood of the animal might be given for his life.”

13. Full of these ideas of vicarious expiation, then, the Apostles wrote and spoke, and the Jews of their time heard and read, the books of the New Testament. The Socinian pretence is, that the inspired penmen used the sacrificial terms which occur in their writings figuratively; but we not only reply, as before, that they could not do this honestly, unless they had given notice of this new application of the established terms of the Jewish theology; but, if this be assumed, it leaves us wholly at a loss to discover what that really was which they intended to teach by these sacrificial terms and allusions. They are themselves utterly silent as to this point; and the varying theories of those who reject the doctrine of atonement, in fact, confess that their writings afford no solution of the difficulty. If, therefore, it is blasphemous to suppose, on the one hand, that inspired men should write on purpose to mislead; so, on the other, it is utterly inconceivable that, had they only been ordinary writers, they should construct a figurative language out of terms which had a definite and established sense, without giving any intimation at all that they employed them otherwise than in their received meaning, or telling us why they adopted them at all, and more especially when they knew that they must be interpreted, both by Jews and Greeks, in a sense which, if the Socinians are right, was in direct opposition to that which they intended to convey. See Type, Sacrifice, Propitiation.

Expiation, or Atonement, Great Day of, was the tenth of Tizri, which nearly answers to our September, O. S. The Hebrews call it KIPPUR, or CHIPPUR, “pardon,” or “expiation,” because the faults of the year were then expiated. The principal ceremonies of this day have been noticed in the preceding article; but a more particular detail may be useful. The high priest, after he had washed, not only his hands and his feet, as usual at common sacrifices, but his whole body, dressed himself in plain linen, like the other priests, wearing neither his purple robe, nor the ephod, nor the pectoral, because he was to expiate his own sins, together with those of the people. He first offered a bullock and a ram for his own sins, and those of the priests: putting his hands on the heads of these victims, he confessed his own sins and the sins of his house. Afterward, he received from the princes of the people two goats for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, to be offered in the name of the whole nation. The lot determined which of the two goats should be sacrificed, and which set at liberty. After this, the high priest put some of the sacred fire of the altar of burnt offerings into a censer, threw incense upon it, and entered with it, thus smoking, into the sanctuary. After he had perfumed the sanctuary with this incense, he came out, took some of the blood of the young bullock he had sacrificed, carried that also into the sanctuary, and, dipping his fingers in it, sprinkled it seven times between the ark and the vail, which separated the holy from the sanctuary, or most holy. Then he came out a second time, and, beside the altar of burnt offerings, killed the goat which the lot had determined to be the sacrifice. The blood of this goat he carried into the most holy sanctuary, and sprinkled it seven times between the ark and the vail, which separated the holy from the sanctuary: from thence he returned into the court of the tabernacle, and sprinkled both sides of it with the blood of the goat. During all this, none of the priests or people were admitted into the tabernacle, or into the court. After this, the high priest came to the altar of burnt offerings, wetted the four horns of it with the blood of the goat and young bullock, and sprinkled it seven times with the same blood. The sanctuary, the court, and the altar, being thus purified, the high priest directed the goat which was set at liberty by the lot to be brought to him. He put his hand on the goat’s head, confessed his own sins and the sins of the people, and then delivered the goat to a person appointed, who was to carry it to some desert place, and let it loose, or, as others say, throw it down some precipice. This being done, the high priest washed himself all over in the tabernacle; and, putting on other clothes, his pontifical dress, that is, his robe of purple, the ephod, and the pectoral, he sacrificed two rams for burnt offering, one for himself, the other for the people. The great day of expiation was a principal solemnity of the Hebrews, a day of rest and strict fasting.

2. There have been various disputes among the learned respecting the meaning of the word azazel, the name of the scape-goat on which the lot fell; but the most prevailing opinion is, that it is derived from gnez, “a goat,” and azel, “to go away.” So Buxtorf and many others explain it; and so it was understood by our translators, who have therefore rendered it “a scape-goat.” Both goats were typical of Christ: that which was sacrificed is understood to have denoted his death, by means of which sin was expiated; the other, which was to have the sins of the people confessed over him, and, as it were, put upon him, and then to be sent alive into some desert place, where they could see him no more, was intended to signify the effect of the expiation, namely, the removing of guilt, indicating that it should never more be charged on the pardoned sinner.

3. The rites attending the public service of the day of expiation were chiefly performed by the high priest, whose duties were on this day more arduous than on any other day in the year, or perhaps on all the rest united. He was to kill and offer the sacrifices, and sprinkle their blood with his own hands, Lev. xvi, 11–15; and he was to enter with it into the holy of holies, which he was not permitted to do at any other time, Lev. xvi, 2, &c; Heb. ix, 7. It was thus his peculiar privilege to draw nearer to God, or to the tokens of his special presence, to the ark of the covenant, to the mercy seat, and to the Shekinah, than was allowed to 366any other mortal. The services which he performed in the inmost sanctuary were, the burning of incense, and sprinkling the blood of the sacrifices before the mercy seat, which he was to do with his finger seven times, Lev. xvi, 14.

4. The spiritual meaning of all these rites has been particularly explained by the Apostle Paul in Hebrews ix. As the high priest was a type of Christ, his laying aside those vestments which were made “for glory and beauty,” Exodus xxviii, 2, and appearing in his common garments, which he did on that day, probably signified our Lord’s humiliation, when he emptied himself of the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and “was made in fashion as a man,” Phil. ii, 6, 7. The expiatory sacrifices, offered by the high priest, were typical of the true expiation which Christ made for the sins of his people, when he gave himself for them, that he might redeem them from all iniquity, Titus ii, 14; Heb. i, 3; and the priest’s confessing the sins of the people over them, and putting them upon the head of the scape-goat, Lev. xvi, 21, was a lively emblem of the imputation of sin to Christ, who “was made sin for us,” 2 Cor. v, 21; for “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isaiah liii, 6. Farther, the goat’s “bearing upon him all the iniquities of the Jews into a land not inhabited,” Lev. xvi, 22, represents the effect of Christ’s sacrifice in delivering his people from guilt and punishment; and the priest’s entering into the holy of holies with the blood of the sacrifice is explained by the Apostle to be typical of Christ’s ascension into heaven itself, and his making intercession for his people in virtue of the sacrifice of his death.

EYE, the organ of sight. The Hebrews by a curious and bold metaphor call fountains eyes; and they also give the same name to colours: “And the eye,” or colour, “of the manna was as the eye,” or colour, “of bdellium,” Num. xi, 7. By an “evil eye” is meant, envy, jealousy, grudging, ill-judged parsimony; to turn the eyes on any one, is to regard him and his interests; to find grace in any one’s eyes, Ruth ii, 10, is to win his friendship and good will. “The eyes of servants look unto the hands of their masters,” Psalm cxxiii, 2, to observe the least motion, and obey the least signal. “Their eyes were opened,” Gen. iii, 7, they began to comprehend in a new manner. “The wise man’s eyes are in his head,” Eccles. ii, 14, he does not act by chance. The eye of the soul, in a moral sense, is the intention, the desire. God threatens to set his eyes on the Israelites for evil, and not for good, Amos ix, 4. Nebuchadnezzar recommends to Nebuzaradan that he would “set his eyes” on Jeremiah, and permit him to go where he pleased, Jer. xxxix, 12; xl, 4. Sometimes expressions of this kind are taken in a quite opposite sense: “Behold, the eyes of the Lord are on the sinful kingdom; and I will destroy it,” Amos ix, 8. To be eyes to the blind, or to serve them instead of eyes, is sufficiently intelligible, Job xxix, 15. The Persians called those officers of the crown who had the care of the king’s interests and the management of his finances, the king’s eyes. Eye service is peculiar to slaves, who are governed by fear only; and is to be carefully guarded against by Christians, who ought to serve from a principle of duty and affection, Eph. vi, 6; Col. iii, 22. The lust of the eyes, or the desire of the eyes, comprehends every thing that curiosity, vanity, &c, seek after; every thing that the eyes can present to men given up to their passions, 1 John ii, 16. “Cast ye away every man the abomination of his eyes,” Ezek. xx, 7, 8; let not the idols of the Egyptians seduce you. The height or elevation of the eyes is taken for pride, Eccles. xxiii, 5. St. Paul says that the Galatians would willingly have “plucked out their eyes” for him, Gal. iv, 15; expressing the intensity of their zeal, affection, and devotion to him. The Hebrews call the apple of the eye the black daughter of the eye. To keep any thing as the apple of the eye, is to preserve it with particular care, Deut. xxxii, 10: “He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye,” Zech. ii, 8; attempts to injure me in the tenderest part, which men instinctively defend. The eye and its actions are occasionally transferred to God: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth,” Zech. iv, 10; 2 Chron. xvi, 9; Psalm xi, 4. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good,” Proverbs xv, 3. “The Lord looked down from heaven,” &c. We read, Matthew vi, 22, “The light,” or lamp, “of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single,” simple, clear, p, “thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil,” distempered, diseased, “thy whole body shall be darkened.” The direct allusion may hold to a lantern, or lamp, ; if the glass of it be clear, the light will shine through it strongly; but if the glass be soiled, dirty, foul, but little light will pass through it: for if they had not glass lanterns, such as we use, they had others in the east made of thin linen, &c: these were very liable to receive spots, stains, and foulnesses, which impeded the passage of the rays of light from the luminary within. So, in the natural eye, if the cornea be single, and the humours clear, the light will act correctly; but if there be a film over the cornea, or a cataract, or a skin between any of the humours, the rays of light will never make any impression on the internal seat of sight, the retina. By analogy, therefore, if the mental eye, the judgment, be honest, virtuous, sincere, well-meaning, pious, it may be considered as enlightening and directing the whole of a person’s actions; but if it be perverse, malign, biassed by undue prejudices, or drawn aside by improper views, it darkens the understanding, perverts the conduct, and suffers a man to be misled by his unwise and unruly passions.

2. The orientals, in some cases, deprive the criminal of the light of day, by sealing up his eyes. A son of the great Mogul was actually suffering this punishment when Sir Thomas Roe visited the court of Delhi. The hapless youth was cast into prison, and deprived of the light by some adhesive plaster put upon his eyes, for the space of three years; after which 367the seal was taken away, that he might with freedom enjoy the light; but he was still detained in prison. Other princes have been treated in a different manner, to prevent them from conspiring against the reigning monarch, or meddling with affairs of state: they have been compelled to swallow opium and other stupifying drugs, to weaken or benumb their faculties, and render them unfit for business. Influenced by such absurd and cruel policy, Shah Abbas, the celebrated Persian monarch, who died in 1629, ordered a certain quantity of opium to be given every day to his grandson, who was to be his successor, to stupify him, and prevent him from disturbing his government. Such are probably the circumstances alluded to by the prophet: “They have not known nor understood; for he hath shut their eyes that they cannot see; and their hearts that they cannot understand,” Isaiah xliv, 18. The verb , rendered in our version, to shut, signifies “to overlay,” “to cover over the surface;” thus, the king of Israel prepared three thousand talents of gold, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the temple, 1 Chron. xxix, 4. But it generally signifies to overspread, or daub over, as with mortar or plaster, of which Parkhurst quotes a number of examples; a sense which entirely corresponds with the manner in which the eyes of a criminal are sealed up in some parts of the east. The practice of sealing up the eyes, and stupifying a criminal with drugs, seems to have been contemplated by the same prophet in another passage of his book: “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed.”

3. Deprivation of sight was a very common punishment in the east. It was at first the practice to sear the eyes with a hot iron; but a discovery that this was not effectual, led to the cruel method of taking them out altogether with a sharp-pointed instrument. The objects of this barbarity were usually persons who aspired to the throne, or who were considered likely to make such an attempt. It was also inflicted on chieftains, whom it was desirable to deprive of power without putting them to death. For this reason the hapless Zedekiah was punished with the loss of sight, because he had rebelled against the king of Babylon, and endeavoured to recover the independence of his throne: “Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death,” Jer. lii, 11.

4. Females used to paint their eyes. The substance used for this purpose is called in Chaldee , cohol; by the LXX, ß. Thus we read of Jezebel, 2 Kings ix, 30, that, understanding that Jehu was to enter Samaria, she decked herself for his reception, and (as in the original Hebrew) “put her eyes in paint.” This was in conformity to a custom which prevailed in the earliest ages. As large black eyes were thought the finest, the women, to increase their lustre, and to make them appear larger, tinged the corner of their eyelids with the impalpable powder of antimony or of black lead. This was supposed also to give the eyes a brilliancy and humidity, which rendered them either sparkling or languishing, as suited the various passions. The method of performing this among the women in the eastern countries at the present day, as described by Russel, is by a cylindrical piece of silver or ivory, about two inches long, made very smooth, and about the size of a common probe; this is wet with water, and then dipped into a powder finely levigated, made from what appears to be a rich lead ore, and applied to the eye; the lids are closed upon it while it is drawn through between them. This blacks the inside, and leaves a narrow black rim all round the edge. That this was the method practised by the Hebrew women, we infer from Isaiah iii, 22, where the prophet, in his enumeration of the articles which composed the toilets of the delicate and luxurious daughters of Zion, mentions “the wimples and the crisping pins,” or bodkins for painting the eyes. The satirist Juvenal describes the same practice:--

Ille supercilium madida fuligine tinctum
Obliqua producit acu, pingitque trementes
Attollens oculos.
Sat. ii.
“These with a tiring pin their eyebrows dye
Till the full arch give lustre to the eye.”

This custom is referred to by Jeremiah, iv, 30:--

“Though thou clothest thyself in scarlet,
Though thou adornest thyself with ornaments of gold,
Though thou distendest thine eyes with paint,
In vain shalt thou set forth thy beauty;
Thy paramours have rejected thee.”

And Ezekiel, describing the irregularities of the Jewish nation, under the idea of a debauched woman, says, , “Thou didst dress thine eyes with cohol;” which the Septuagint render, t faµ s, “Thou didst dress thine eyes with stibium,” Ezek. xxiii, 40.

5. The passage, Psalm cxxiii, 2, derives a striking illustration from the customs of the east. The servants or slaves in eastern countries attend their masters or mistresses with the profoundest respect. Maundrell observes, that the servants in Turkey stand round their master and his guests in deep silence and perfect order, watching every motion. Pococke says, that at a visit in Egypt every thing is done with the greatest decency and the most profound silence, the slaves or servants standing at the bottom of the room, with their hands joined before them, watching with the utmost attention every motion of their master, who commands them by signs. De la Motraye says, that the eastern ladies are waited on even at the least wink of the eye, or motion of the fingers, and that in a manner not perceptible to strangers.

EZEKIEL, like his contemporary Jeremiah, was of the sacerdotal race. He was carried away captive to Babylon with Jehoiachim, king of Judah, B. C. 598, and was placed with 368many others of his countrymen upon the river Chebar, in Mesopotamia, where he was favoured with the divine revelations contained in his book. He began to prophesy in the fifth year of his captivity, and is supposed to have prophesied about twenty-one years. The boldness with which he censured the idolatry and wickedness of his countrymen is said to have cost him his life; but his memory was greatly revered, not only by the Jews, but also by the Medes and Persians. The book which bears his name may be considered under the five following divisions: the first three chapters contain the glorious appearance of God to the prophet, and his solemn appointment to his office, with instructions and encouragements for the discharge of it. From the fourth to the twenty-fourth chapter inclusive, he describes, under a variety of visions and similitudes, the calamities impending over Judea, and the total destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar, occasionally predicting another period of yet greater desolation, and more general dispersion. From the beginning of the twenty-fifth to the end of the thirty-second chapter, the prophet foretels the conquest and ruin of many nations and cities, which had insulted the Jews in their affliction; of the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Edomites, and Philistines; of Tyre, of Sidon, and Egypt; all of which were to be punished by the same mighty instrument of God’s wrath against the wickedness of man; and in these prophecies he not only predicts events which were soon to take place, but he also describes the condition of these several countries in the remote periods of the world. From the thirty-second to the fortieth chapter, he inveighs against the accumulated sins of the Jews collectively, and the murmuring spirit of his captive brethren; exhorts them earnestly to repent of their hypocrisy and wickedness, upon the assurance that God will accept sincere repentance; and comforts them with promises of approaching deliverance under Cyrus; subjoining intimations of some far more glorious, but distant, redemption under the Messiah, though the manner in which it is to be effected is deeply involved in mystery. The last nine chapters contain a remarkable vision of the structure of a new temple and a new polity, applicable in the first instance to the return from the Babylonian captivity, but in its ultimate sense referring to the glory and prosperity of the universal church of Christ. Jerom observes that the visions of Ezekiel are among the things in Scripture hard to be understood. This obscurity arises, in part at least, from the nature and design of the prophecies themselves; they were delivered amidst the gloom of captivity; and though calculated to cheer the drooping spirits of the Jews, and to keep alive a watchful and submissive confidence in the mercy of God, yet they were intended to communicate only such a degree of encouragement as was consistent with a state of punishment, and to excite an indistinct expectation of future blessings, upon condition of repentance and amendment. It ought also to be observed, that the last twelve chapters of this book bear a very strong resemblance to the concluding chapters of the Revelation. The style of this prophet is characterized by Bishop Lowth as bold, vehement, and tragical; as often worked up to a kind of tremendous dignity. He is highly parabolical, and abounds in figures and metaphorical expressions. He may be compared to the Grecian Æschylus; he displays a rough but majestic dignity; an unpolished though noble simplicity; inferior perhaps in originality and elegance to others of the prophets, but unequalled in that force and grandeur for which he is particularly celebrated. He sometimes emphatically and indignantly repeats his sentiments, fully dilates his pictures, and describes the idolatrous manners of his countrymen under the strongest and most exaggerated representations that the license of eastern style would admit. The middle part of the book is in some measure poetical, and contains even some perfect elegies, though his thoughts are in general too irregular and uncontrolled to be chained down to rule, or fettered by language.


EZRA, the author of the book which bears his name, was of the sacerdotal family, being a direct descendant from Aaron, and succeeded Zerubbabel in the government of Judea. This book begins with the repetition of the last two verses of the second book of Chronicles, and carries the Jewish history through a period of seventy-nine years, commencing from the edict of Cyrus. The first six chapters contain an account of the return of the Jews under Zerubbabel, after the captivity of seventy years; of their reëstablishment in Judea; and of the building and dedication of the temple at Jerusalem. In the last four chapters, Ezra relates his own appointment to the government of Judea by Artaxerxes Longimanus, his journey thither from Babylon, the disobedience of the Jews, and the reform which he immediately effected among them. It is to be observed, that between the dedication of the temple and the departure of Ezra, that is, between the sixth and seventh chapters of this book, there was an interval of about fifty-eight years, during which nothing is here related concerning the Jews, except that, contrary to God’s command, they intermarried with Gentiles. This book is written in Chaldee from the eighth verse of the fourth chapter to the twenty-seventh verse of the seventh chapter. It is probable that the sacred historian used the Chaldean language in this part of his work, because it contains chiefly letters and decrees written in that language, the original words of which he might think it right to record; and indeed the people, who were recently returned from the Babylonian captivity, were at least as familiar with the Chaldee as they were with the Hebrew tongue.

Till the arrival of Nehemiah, Ezra had the principal authority in Jerusalem. In the second year of Nehemiah’s government, the people being assembled in the temple, at the feast of tabernacles, Ezra was desired to read the law. He read it from morning till noon, 369and was accompanied by Levites who stood beside him, and kept silence. The next day they desired to know of Ezra how they were to celebrate the feast of tabernacles. This he explained, and continued eight days reading the law in the temple. All this was followed by a solemn renewal of the covenant with the Lord. Josephus says that Ezra was buried at Jerusalem; but the Jews believe that he died in Persia, in a second journey to Artaxerxes. His tomb is shown there in the city of Zamuza. He is said to have lived nearly one hundred and twenty years.

Ezra was the restorer and publisher of the Holy Scriptures, after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. 1. He corrected the errors which had crept into the existing copies of the sacred writings by the negligence or mistake of transcribers. 2. He collected all the books of which the Holy Scriptures then consisted, disposed them in their proper order, and settled the canon of Scripture for his time. 3. He added throughout the books of his edition what appeared necessary for illustrating, connecting, or completing them; and of this we have an instance in the account of the death and burial of Moses, in the last chapter of Deuteronomy. In this work he was assisted by the same Spirit by which they were at first written. 4. He changed the ancient names of several places become obsolete, and substituted for them new names, by which they were at that time called. 5. He wrote out the whole in the Chaldee character; that language having grown into use after the Babylonish captivity. The Jews have an extraordinary esteem for Ezra, and say that if the law had not been given by Moses, Ezra deserved to have been the legislator of the Hebrews.