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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.


FABLE, a fiction destitute of truth. St. Paul exhorts Timothy and Titus to shun profane and Jewish fables, 1 Tim. iv, 7; Titus i, 14; as having a tendency to seduce men from the truth. By these fables some understand the reveries of the Gnostics; but the fathers generally, and after them most of the modern commentators, interpret them of the vain traditions of the Jews; especially concerning meats, and other things, to be abstained from as unclean, which our Lord also styles “the doctrines of men,” Matt. xv, 9. This sense of the passages is confirmed by their contexts. In another sense, the word is taken to signify an apologue, or instructive tale, intended to convey truth under the concealment of fiction; as Jotham’s fable of the trees, Judges ix, 7–15, no doubt by far the oldest fable extant.

FACE. Moses begs of God to show him his face, or to manifest his glory; he replies, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee,” and I will proclaim my name; “but my face thou canst not see; for there shall no man see it and live!” The persuasion was very prevalent in the world, that no man could support the sight of Deity, Genesis xvi, 13; xxxii, 30; Exod. xx, 19; xxiv, 11; Judges vi, 22, 23. We read that God spake mouth to mouth with Moses, even apparently, and not in dark speeches, Numbers xii, 8; “The Canaanites have heard that thou art among thy people, and seen face to face,” Numbers xiv, 14. God talked with the Hebrews “face to face out of the midst of the fire,” Deut. v, 4. All these places are to be understood simply, that God so manifested himself to the Israelites, that he made them hear his voice as distinctly as if he had appeared to them face to face; but not that they actually saw more than the cloud of glory which marked his presence. The face of God denotes sometimes his anger: “The face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” “As wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish before the face of God,” Psalm lxviii, 2. To turn the face upon any one, especially when connected with the light or shining of the countenance, are beautiful representations of the divine kindness and condescension. To regard the face of any one, is to have respect of persons, Proverbs xxviii, 21. The Apostle, speaking of the difference between our knowledge of God here and in heaven, says, “Now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face,” 1 Cor. xiii, 12; by which he shows the vast difference between our seeing or knowing God and divine things by an imperfect revelation to faith, and by direct vision. This observation of the Apostle is rendered the more striking, when it is recollected that the Roman glass was not fully transparent as ours, but dull and clouded. Of this, specimens may be seen in the glass vessels taken out of Pompeii.

FAITH, in Scripture, is presented to us under two leading views: the first is that of assent or persuasion; the second, that of confidence or reliance. The former may be separate from the latter, but the latter cannot exist without the former. Faith, in the sense of an intellectual assent to truth, is, by St. James, allowed to devils. A dead, inoperative faith is also supposed, or declared, to be possessed by wicked men, professing Christianity; for our Lord represents persons coming to him at the last day, saying, “Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name” &c, to whom he will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” And yet the charge in this place does not lie against the sincerity of their belief, but against their conduct as “workers of iniquity.” As this distinction is taught in Scripture, so it is also observed in experience: assent to the truths of revealed religion may result from examination and conviction, while yet the spirit and conduct may remain unrenewed and sinful.

2. The faith which is required of us as a condition of salvation always includes confidence or reliance, as well as assent or persuasion. That faith by which “the elders obtained a good report,” was of this character; it united assent to the truth of God’s revelations with a noble confidence in his promise. “Our fathers trusted in thee, and were not confounded.” We have a farther illustration in our Lord’s address to his disciples upon the withering away of the fig tree: “Have faith in God.” He did not question whether they believed the 370existence of God, but exhorted them to confidence in his promises, when called by him to contend with mountainous difficulties: “Have faith in God; for verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe (trust) that these things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.” It was in reference to his simple confidence in Christ’s power that our Lord so highly commended the centurion, and said, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel,” Matt. viii, 10. And all the instances of faith in the persons miraculously healed by Christ, were also of this kind: their faith was belief in his claims, and also confidence in his goodness and power.

3. That faith in Christ which in the New Testament is connected with salvation, is clearly of this nature; that is, it combines assent with reliance, belief with trust. “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name,” that is, in dependence upon my interest and merits, “he shall give it you.” Christ was preached both to Jews and Gentiles as the object of their trust, because he was preached as the only true sacrifice for sin; and they were required to renounce their dependence upon their own accustomed sacrifices, and to transfer that dependence to his death and mediation,--and “in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” He is said to be set forth as a propitiation, “through faith in his blood;” which faith can neither merely mean assent to the historical fact that his blood was shed by a violent death; nor mere assent to the general doctrine that his blood had an atoning quality; but as all expiatory offerings were trusted in as the means of propitiation both among Jews and Gentiles, faith or trust was now to be exclusively rendered to the blood of Christ, as the divinely appointed sacrifice for sin, and the only refuge of the true penitent.

4. To the most unlettered Christian this then will be very obvious, that true and saving faith in Christ consists both of assent and trust; but this is not a blind and superstitious trust in the sacrifice of Christ, like that of the Heathens in their sacrifices; nor the presumptuous trust of wicked and impenitent men, who depend on Christ to save them in their sins; but such a trust as is exercised according to the authority and direction of the word of God; so that to know the Gospel in its leading principles, and to have a cordial belief in it, is necessary to that more specific act of faith which is called reliance, or in systematic language, fiducial assent. The Gospel, as the scheme of man’s salvation, declares that he is under the law; that this law of God has been violated by all; and that every man is under sentence of death. Serious consideration of our ways, confession of the fact, and sorrowful conviction of the evil and danger of sin, will, under the influence of divine grace, follow the cordial belief of the testimony of God; and we shall then turn to God with contrite hearts, and earnest prayers, and supplications for his mercy. This is called “repentance toward God;” and repentance being the first subject of evangelical preaching, and then the injunction to believe the Gospel, it is plain, that Christ is only immediately held out, in this divine plan of our redemption, as the object of trust in order to forgiveness to persons in this state of penitence and under this sense of danger. The degree of sorrow for sin, and alarm upon this discovery of our danger as sinners, is no where fixed to a precise standard in Scripture; only it is supposed every where, that it is such as to lead men to inquire earnestly, “What shall I do to be saved” and with earnest seriousness to use all the appointed means of grace, as those who feel that their salvation is at issue, that they are in a lost condition, and must be pardoned or perish. To all such persons, Christ, as the only atonement for sin, is exhibited as the object of their trust, with the promise of God, “that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Nothing is required of such but this actual trust in, and personal apprehension or taking hold of, the merits of Christ’s death as a sacrifice for sin; and upon their thus believing they are justified, their “faith is counted for righteousness,” or, in other words, they are forgiven.

5. This appears to be the plain Scriptural representation of this doctrine; and we may infer from it, (1.) That the faith by which we are justified is not a mere assent to the doctrines of the Gospel, which leaves the heart unmoved and unaffected by a sense of the evil and danger of sin and the desire of salvation, although it supposes this assent; nor, (2.) Is it that more lively and cordial assent to, and belief in, the doctrine of the Gospel, touching our sinful and lost condition, which is wrought in the heart by the Spirit of God, and from which springeth repentance, although this must precede it; nor, (3.) Is it only the assent of the mind to the method by which God justifies the ungodly by faith in the sacrifice of his Son, although this is an element of it; but it is a hearty concurrence of the will and affections with this plan of salvation, which implies a renunciation of every other refuge, and an actual trust in the Saviour, and personal apprehension of his merits: such a belief of the Gospel by the power of the Spirit of God as leads us to come to Christ, to receive Christ, to trust in Christ, and to commit the keeping of our souls into his hands, in humble confidence of his ability and his willingness to save us.

6. This is that qualifying condition to which the promise of God annexes justification; that without which justification would not take place; and in this sense it is that we are justified by faith; not by the merit of faith, but by faith instrumentally as this condition: for its connection with the benefit arises from the merits of Christ and the promise of God. If Christ had not merited, God had not promised; if God had not promised, justification had never followed upon this faith; so that the indissoluble connection of faith and justification is from God’s institution, whereby he hath bound himself to give the benefit upon performance of 371the condition. Yet there is an aptitude in this faith to be made a condition; for no other act can receive Christ as a Priest propitiating and pleading the propitiation and the promise of God for his sake to give the benefit. As receiving Christ and the gracious promise in this manner, it acknowledgeth man’s guilt, and so man renounceth all righteousness in himself, and honoureth God the Father, and Christ the Son, the only Redeemer. It glorifies God’s mercy and free grace in the highest degree. It acknowledges on earth, as it will be perpetually acknowledged in heaven, that the whole salvation of sinful man, from the beginning to the last degree thereof, whereof there shall be no end, is from God’s freest love, Christ’s merit and intercession, his own gracious promise, and the power of his own Holy Spirit.

7. Faith, in Scripture, sometimes is taken for the truth and faithfulness of God, Rom. iii, 3; and it is also taken for the persuasion of the mind as to the lawfulness of things indifferent, Rom. xiv, 22, 23; and it is likewise put for the doctrine of the Gospel, which is the object of faith, Acts xxiv, 24; Phil. i, 27; Jude 3; for the belief and profession of the Gospel, Rom. i, 8; and for fidelity in the performance of promises.

FALL OF MAN. In addition to what is stated on this subject under the article Adam, it may be necessary to establish the literal sense of the account given of man’s fall in the book of Genesis. This account is, that a garden having been planted by the Creator, for the use of man, he was placed in it, “to dress it, and to keep it;”--that in this garden two trees were specially distinguished, one as “the tree of life,” the other as “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;”--that from eating of the latter Adam was restrained by positive interdict, and by the penalty, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;”--that the serpent, who was more subtle than any beast of the field, tempted the woman to eat, by denying that death would be the consequence, and by assuring her, that her eyes and her husband’s eyes “would be opened,” and that they would “be as gods, knowing good and evil;”--that the woman took of the fruit, gave of it to her husband, who also ate;--that for this act of disobedience they were expelled from the garden, made subject to death, and laid under other maledictions.

2. That this history should be the subject of much criticism, not only by infidels, but by those who hold false and perverted views of the Christian system, was to be expected. Taken in its natural and obvious sense, along with the comments of the subsequent Scriptures, it teaches the doctrines of the existence of an evil, tempting, invisible spirit, going about seeking whom he may deceive and devour; of the introduction of moral corruptness into human nature, which has been transmitted to all men; and is connected also with the doctrine of a vicarious atonement for sin; and wherever the fundamental truths of the Christian system are denied, attempts will be made so to interpret this part of the Mosaic history as to obscure the testimony which it gives to them, either explicitly, or by just induction. Interpreters have adopted various and often strange theories; but those whose opinions it seems necessary to notice may be divided into such as deny the literal sense of the relation entirely; such as take the account to be in part literal and in part allegorical; and those who, while they contend earnestly for the literal interpretation of every part of the history, consider some of the terms used, and some of the persons introduced, as conveying a meaning more extensive than the letter, and as constituting several symbols of spiritual things and of spiritual beings.

3. Those who have denied the literal sense entirely, and regarded the whole relation as an instructive mythos, or fable, have, as might be expected, when all restraint of authority was thus thrown off from the imagination, themselves adopted very different theories. Thus we have been taught, that this account was intended to teach the evil of yielding to the violence of appetite and to its control over reason; or the introduction of vice in conjunction with knowledge and the artificial refinements of society; or the necessity of keeping the great mass of mankind from acquiring too great a degree of knowledge, as being hurtful to society; or to consider it as another version of the story of the golden age, and its being succeeded by times more vicious and miserable; or as designed, enigmatically, to account for the origin of evil, or of mankind. This catalogue of opinions might be much enlarged: some of them have been held by mere visionaries; others by men of learning, especially by several of the semi-infidel theologians and Biblical critics of Germany; nor has our own country been exempt from this class of bold expositors. How to fix upon the moral of “the fable” is, however, the difficulty; and the great variety of opinion is a sufficient refutation of the general notion assumed by the whole class, since scarcely can two of them be found who adopt the same views, after they have discarded the literal acceptation.

4. But that the account of Moses is to be taken as a matter of real history, and according to its literal import, is established by two considerations, against which, as being facts, nothing can successfully be urged. The first is, that the account of the fall of the first pair is a part of a continuous history. The creation of the world, of man, of woman; the planting of the garden of Eden, and the placing of man there; the duties and prohibitions laid upon him; his disobedience; his expulsion from the garden; the subsequent birth of his children, their lives, and actions, and those of their posterity, down to the flood; and, from that event, to the life of Abraham, are given in the same plain and unadorned narrative; brief, but yet simple; and with no intimation at all, either from the elevation of the style or otherwise, that a fable or allegory is in any part introduced. As this, then, is the case, and the evidence of it lies upon the very face of the history, it is clear, that if the account of the fall be excerpted 372from the whole narrative as allegorical, any subsequent part, from Abel to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, may be excerpted for the same reason, which reason is merely this, that it does not agree with the theological opinions of the interpreter; and thus the whole of the Pentateuch may be rejected history, and converted into fable. Either then the account of the fall must be taken as history, or the historical character of the whole five books of Moses must be unsettled; and if none but infidels will go to the latter consequence, then no one who admits the Pentateuch to be a true history generally, can consistentlyconsistently refuse to admit the story of the fall of the first pair to be a narrative of real events, because it is written in the same style, and presents the same character of a continuous record of events. So conclusive has this argument been felt, that the anti-literal interpreters have endeavoured to evade it, by asserting that the part of the history of Moses in question bears marks of being a separate fragment, more ancient than the Pentateuch itself, and transcribed into it by Moses, the author and compiler of the whole. This point is examined and satisfactorily refuted in Holden’s learned and excellent work, entitled, “Dissertation on the Fall of Man;” but it is easy to show, that it would amount to nothing, if granted, in the mind of any who is satisfied on the previous question of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. For let it be admitted that Moses, in writing the pentateuchal history, availed himself of the traditions of the patriarchal ages, a supposition not in the least inconsistent with his inspiration or with the absolute truth of his history, since the traditions so introduced have been authenticated by the Holy Spirit; or let it be supposed, which is wholly gratuitous, that he made use of previously existing documents; and that some differences of style in his books may be traced which serve to point out his quotations, which is a position that some of the best Hebraists have denied; yet two things are to be noted: first, that the inspired character of the books of Moses is authenticated by our Lord and his Apostles, so that they must necessarily be wholly true, and free from real contradictions; and, secondly, that to make it any thing to their purpose who contend that the account of the fall is an older document, introduced by Moses, it ought to be shown that it is not written as truly in the narrative style, even if it could be proved to be, in some respects, a different style, as that which precedes and follows it. Now the very literal character of our translation will enable even the unlearned reader to discover this. Whether it be an embodied tradition, or the insertion of a more ancient document, (though there is no foundation at all for the latter supposition,) it is obviously a narrative, and a narrative as simple as any which precedes or follows it.

5. The other indisputable fact to which I just now adverted, as establishing the literal sense of the history, is that, as such, it is referred to and reasoned upon in various parts of Scripture: “Knowest thou not this of old, since man (Adam) was placed upon earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment” Job xx, 4, 5. There is no reason to doubt but that this passage refers to the fall and the first sin of man. The date agrees; for the knowledge here taught is said to arise from facts as old as the first placing of man upon earth, and the sudden punishment of the iniquity corresponds to the Mosaic account: “The triumphing of the wicked is short, his joy but for a moment.” “If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom,” Job xxxi, 33. Magee renders the verse,

“Did I cover, like Adam, my transgression,
By hiding in a lurking place mine iniquity”

and adds, “I agree with Peters, that this contains a reference to the history of the first man, and his endeavours to hide himself after his transgression.” Our margin reads, “after the manner of men;” and also the old versions; but the Chaldee paraphrase agrees with our translation, which is also satisfactorily defended by numerous critics. “What is man, that he should be clean and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous” Job xv, 14. Why not clean Did God make woman or man unclean at the beginning If he did, the expostulation would have been more apposite, and much stronger, had the true cause been assigned, and Job had said, “How canst thou expect cleanness in man, whom thou createdst unclean” But, as the case now stands, the expostulation has a plain reference to the introduction of vanity and corruption by the sin of the woman, and is an evidence that this ancient writer was sensible of the evil consequences of the fall upon the whole race of man. “Eden” and “the garden of the Lord” are also frequently referred to in the prophets. We have the “tree of life” mentioned several times in the Proverbs and in the Revelation. “God,” says Solomon, “made man upright.” The enemies of Christ and his church are spoken of, both in the Old and New Testaments, under the names of “the serpent,” and “the dragon;” and the habit of the serpent to lick the dust is also referred to by Isaiah.

6. If the history of the fall, as recorded by Moses, were an allegory, or any thing but a literal history, several of the above allusions would have no meaning; but the matter is put beyond all possible doubt in the New Testament, unless the same culpable liberties be taken with the interpretation of the words of our Lord and of St. Paul as with those of the Jewish lawgiver. Our Lord says, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning, made them male and female; and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh” Matt. xix, 4, 5. This is an argument on the subject of divorces, and its foundation rests upon two of the facts recorded by Moses: (1.) That God made at first but two human beings, from whom all the rest have sprung. (2.) That the intimacy and indissolubility of the marriage relation rests upon 373the formation of the woman from the man; for our Lord quotes the words in Genesis, where the obligation of man to cleave to his wife is immediately connected with that circumstance: “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” This is sufficiently in proof that both our Lord and the Pharisees considered this early part of the history of Moses as a narrative; for, otherwise, it would neither have been a reason, on his part, for the doctrine which he was inculcating, nor have had any force of conviction as to them. “In Adam,” says the Apostle Paul, “all die;” “by one man sin entered into the world.” “But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” In the last passage, the instrument of the temptation is said to be a serpent, f, which is a sufficient answer to those who would make it any other animal; and Eve is represented as being first seduced, according to the account in Genesis. This St. Paul repeats in 1 Tim. ii, 13, 14: “Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived,” first or immediately, “but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” And he offers this as the reason of an injunction, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.” When, therefore, it is considered, that these passages are introduced, not for rhetorical illustration, or in the way of classical quotation, but are made the basis of grave and important reasonings, which embody some of the most important doctrines of the Christian revelation, and of important social duties and points of Christian order and decorum; it would be to charge the writers of the New Testament with the grossest absurdity, nay, with even culpable and unworthy trifling, to suppose them to argue from the history of the fall as a narrative, when they knew it to be an allegory. And if we are, therefore, compelled to allow that it was understood as a real history by our Lord and his inspired Apostles, those speculations of modern critics, which convert it into a parable, stand branded with their true character of infidel and semi-infidel temerity.

7. The effect of the sin or lapse of Adam was to bring him under the wrath of God; to render him liable to pain, disease, and death; to deprive him of primeval holiness; to separate him from communion with God and that spiritual life which was before imparted by God, and on which his holiness alone depended, from the loss of which a total moral disorder and depravation of his soul resulted; and finally to render him liable to everlasting misery. See Original Sin. For the effect of the fall of Adam upon his posterity, see Justification.

FASTING has been practised in all ages, and among all nations, in times of mourning, sorrow, and affliction. We see no example of fasting, properly so called, before Moses. Since the time of Moses, examples of fasting have been very common among the Jews. Joshua and the elders of Israel remained prostrate before the ark from morning till evening, without eating, after Israel was defeated at Ai, Joshua vii, 6. The eleven tribes which fought against that of Benjamin, fell down on their faces before the ark, and so continued till evening without eating, Judges xx, 26. David fasted while the first child he had by Bathsheba was sick, 2 Sam. xii, 16. The Heathens sometimes fasted: the king of Nineveh, terrified by Jonah’s preaching, ordered that not only men, but also beasts, should continue without eating or drinking; should be covered with sackcloth, and each after their manner should cry to the Lord, Jonah iii, 5, 6. The Jews, in times of public calamity, appointed extraordinary fasts, and made even the children at the breast fast, Joel ii, 16. Moses fasted forty days upon Mount Horeb, Exod. xxiv, 18. Elijah passed as many days without eating, 1 Kings xix, 8. Our Saviour fasted forty days and forty nights in the wilderness, Matt. iv, 2. These fasts were miraculous, and out of the common rules of nature.

2. Beside the solemn fast of expiation instituted by divine authority, the Jews appointed certain days of humiliation, called the fasts of the congregation. The calamities for which these were enjoined, were a siege, pestilence, diseases, famine, &c. They were observed on the second and fifth days of the week: they began at sunset, and continued till midnight of the following day. On these days they wore sackcloth next the skin, and rent their clothes; they sprinkled ashes on their heads, and neither washed their hands, nor anointed their heads with oil. The synagogues were filled with suppliants, whose prayers were long and mournful, and their countenances dejected with all the marks of sorrow and repentance.

3. As to the fasts observed by Christians, it does not appear by his own practice, or by his commands to his disciples, that our Lord instituted any particular fast. But when the Pharisees reproached him, that his disciples did not fast so often as theirs, or as John the Baptist’s, he replied, “Can ye make the children of the bride-chamber fast while the bride-groombride-groom is with them But the days will come when the bride-groom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days,” Luke v, 34, 35. Fasting is also recommended by our Saviour in his sermon on the mount; not as a stated, but as an occasional, duty of Christians, for the purpose of humbling their minds under the afflicting hand of God; and he requires that this duty be performed in sincerity, and not for the sake of ostentation, Matt. vi, 16.

4. Although Christians, says Dr. Neander, did not by any means retire from the business of life, yet they were accustomed to devote many separate days entirely to examining their own hearts, and pouring them out before God, while they dedicated their life anew to him with uninterrupted prayers, in order that they might again return to their ordinary occupations with a renovated spirit of zeal and seriousness, 374and with renewed powers of sanctification. These days of holy devotion, days of prayer and penitence, which individual Christians appointed for themselves, according to their individual necessities, were often a kind of fast-days. In order that their sensual feelings might less distract and impede the occupation of their heart with its holy contemplations, they were accustomed on these days to limit their corporeal wants more than usual, or to fast entirely. In the consideration of this, we must not overlook the peculiar nature of that hot climate in which Christianity was first promulgated. That which was spared by their abstinence on these days was applied to the support of the poorer brethren.

FAT. God forbade the Hebrews to eat the fat of beasts: “All the fat is the Lord’s. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations, throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood,” Lev. iii, 17. Some interpreters understand these words literally, and suppose fat as well as blood to be forbidden. Josephus says Moses forbids only the fat of oxen, goats, sheep, and their species. This agrees with Lev. vii, 23: “Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.” This is observed by the modern Jews, who think that the fat of other sorts of clean creatures is allowed them, even that of beasts which have died of themselves, conformably to Lev. vii, 24: “And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use; but ye shall in nowise eat of it.” Others maintain that the law which forbids the use of fat, should be restrained to fat separated from the flesh, such as that which covers the kidneys and the intestines; and this only in the case of its being offered in sacrifice. This is confirmed by Lev. vii, 25: “Whosoever eateth of the fat of the beast of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people.” In the Hebrew style, fat signifies not only that of beasts, but also the richer or prime part of other things: “He should have fed them with the finest” (in Hebrew the fat) “of the wheat.” Fat denotes abundance of good things: “I will satiate the souls of the priests with fatness,” Jer. xxxi, 14. “My soul shall be satisfied with marrow and fatness,” Psalm lxiii, 5. The fat of the earth implies its fruitfulness: “God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine,” Gen. xxvii, 28.

FATHER. This word, beside its common acceptation, is taken in Scripture for grandfather, great-grandfather, or the founder of a family, how remote soever. So the Jews in our Saviour’s time called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their fathers. Jesus Christ is called the Son of David, though David was many generations distant from him. By father is likewise understood the institutor of a certain profession. Jabal “was father of such as dwell in tents, and such as have cattle.” Jubal “was father of all such as handle the harp and organ,” or flute, &c, Gen. iv, 20, 21. Huram is called father of the king of Tyre, 2 Chron. ii, 13; and, 2 Chron. iv, 16, even of Solomon, because he was the principal workman, and chief director of their undertakings. The principal prophets were considered as fathers of the younger, who were their disciples, and are called sons of the prophets, 2 Kings ii, 12. Father is a term of respect given by inferiors to superiors. “My father,” said Naaman’s attendants to him, “if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing,” 2 Kings v, 13; and so the king of Israel addresses the prophet Elisha, 2 Kings vi, 21. Rechab, the founder of the Rechabites, is called their father, Jer. xxxv, 6. A man is said to be a father to the poor and orphans, when he supplies their necessities, and sympathizes with their miseries, as a father would do toward them: “I was a father to the poor,” says Job, xxix, 16. God declares himself to be the “Father of the fatherless, and Judge of the widow,” Psalm lxviii, 5. God is frequently called our heavenly Father, and simply our Father; eminently the Father, Preserver, and Protector of all, especially of those who invoke him, and serve him: “Is he not thy Father that bought thee” says Moses, Deut. xxxii, 6. Since the coming of Jesus Christ, we have a new right to call God our Father, by reason of the adoption which our Saviour has merited for us, by clothing himself in our humanity, and purchasing us by his death: “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” Romans viii, 15. Job entitles God “the Father of rain,” Job xxxviii, 28; he produces it, and causes it to fall. The devil is called the father of the wicked and the father of lies, John viii, 44. He deceived Eve and Adam; he introduced sin and falsehood; he inspires his followers with his spirit and sentiments. The father of Sichem, the father of Tekoah, the father of Bethlehem, &c, signify the chief persons who inhabited these cities; he who built or rebuilt them. Adam is the first father, the father of the living; Abraham is the father of the faithful, the father of the circumcision; called also the “father of many nations,” because many people sprung from him; as the Jews, Ishmaelites, Arabs, &c. God is called “the Father of spirits,” Heb. xii, 9. He not only creates them, but he justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies them, and thus confers upon them eternal happiness.

FATHERS, a term of honour applied to the first and most eminent writers of the Christian church. Those of the first century are called Apostolical fathers; those of the first three centuries, and till the council of Nice, Ante-Nicene; and those later than that council, Post-Nicene. Learned men are not unanimous concerning the degree of esteem which is due to these ancient fathers. Some represent them as the most excellent guides, while others place them in the very lowest rank of moral writers, and treat their precepts and decisions as perfectly insipid, and, in many respects, pernicious. It appears, however, 375incontestable, that, in the writings of the primitive fathers are many sublime sentiments, judicious thoughts, and several things well adapted to form a religious temper, and to excite pious and virtuous affections. At the same time, it must be confessed, that, after the earliest age, they abound still more with precepts of an excessive and unreasonable austerity, with stoical and academical dictates, with vague and indeterminate notions, and, what is still worse, with decisions absolutely false, and in evident opposition to the commands of Christ. Though the judgment of antiquity in some disputable points may certainly be useful, yet we ought never to consider the writings of the fathers as of equal authority with the Scriptures. In many cases they may be deemed competent witnesses, but we must not confide in their verdict as judges. As Biblical critics they are often fanciful and injudicious, and their principal value consists in this, that the succession of their writings enables us to prove the existence and authenticity of the sacred books, up to the age of the Apostles.

The following is a list of the entire fathers: Contemporaries of the Apostles, Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp. Papias, A. D. 116; Justin Martyr, 140; Dionysius of Corinth, 170; Tatian, 172; Hegesippus, 173; Melito, 177; Irenæus, 178; Athenagoras, 178; Miltiades, 180; Theophilus, 181; Clement of Alexandria, 194; Tertullian, 200; Minutius Felix, 210; Ammonius, 220; Origen, 230; Firmilian, 233; Dionysius of Alexandria, 247; Cyprian, 248; Novatus, or Novatian, 251; Arnobius, 306; Lactantius, 306; Alexander of Alexandria, 313; Eusebius, 315; Athanasius, 326; Cyril of Jerusalem, 348; Hilary, 354; Epiphanius, 368; Basil, 370; Gregory of Nazianzum, 370; Gregory of Nyssa, 370; Optatus, 370; Ambrose, 374; Philaster, 380; Jerome, 392; Theodore of Mopsuestia, 394; Ruffin, 397; Augustine, 398; Chrysostom, 398; Sulpitius Severus, 401; Cyril of Alexandria, 412; Theodoret, 423; and Gennadius, 494.

Archbishop Wake, in his Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of England has very satisfactorily shown, that the deference paid by Protestants to the Christian fathers of the first three ages, is neither of such an idolatrous description as is generally represented, nor is their authority ever extolled to an equality with that of the Holy Scriptures. “Though we have appealed,” he says, “to the churches of the first ages for new proofs of the truth of our doctrine, it is not that we think that the doctors of those times had more right to judge of our faith than those had that followed them; but it is because after a serious examination we have found, that, as for what concerns the common belief that is among us, they have believed and practised the same things without adding other opinions or superstitions that destroy them,--wherein they have acted conformably to their and our rule, the Word of God: notwithstanding, it cannot be denied, but that they effectually fell into some wrong opinions, as that of the Millenaries and infant communion,” &c. The usefulness and necessity of studying the ancient fathers have been defended by many persons eminent for their learning and piety. Archbishop Usher was one who beyond all men then living knew the vast importance of these studies, and had derived the greatest benefits from them. The following brief advice, in the language of Dr. Parr, his erudite biographer, will convey his sentiments on this very interesting subject: “Indeed he had so great an esteem of the ANCIENT AUTHORS, for the acquiring any solid learning, whether sacred or profane, that his advice to young students, either in divinity or antiquity, was, not to spend too much time in epitomes, but to set themselves to read the ancient authors themselves; as, to begin with the FATHERS, and to read them according to the ages in which they lived, (which was the method he had taken himself,) and, together with them, carefully to peruse the CHURCH HISTORIANS that treated of that age in which those fathers lived: by which means the student would be better able to perceive the reason and meaning of divers passages in their writings, (which otherwise would be obscure,) when he knew the original and growth of those heresies and heterodox opinions against which they wrote, and may also better judge what doctrines, ceremonies, and opinions prevailed in the church in every age, and by what means introduced.”

FEAR, a painful apprehension of danger. It is sometimes used for the object of fear; as, “the fear of Isaac,” that is, the God whom Isaac feared, Gen. xxxi, 42. God says that he will send his fear before his people, to terrify and destroy the inhabitants of Canaan. Job speaks of the terrors of God, as set in array against him, Job vi, 4; the Psalmist, that he had suffered the terrors of the Lord with a troubled mind, Psalm lxxxviii, 15. Fear is used, also, for reverence: “God is greatly to be feared” in the assembly of his saints. This kind of fear, being compatible with confidence and love, is sometimes called filial fear; while “the fear which hath torment,” being the result of conscious guilt, and the anticipation of punishment, is removed by that “love” to God which results from a consciousness of our reconciliation to him.

The filial fear of God is a holy affection, or gracious habit, wrought in the soul by God, Jer. xxxii, 40, whereby it is inclined and enabled to obey all God’s commandments, even the most difficult, Gen. xxii, 12; Eccl. xii, 13; and to hate and avoid evil, Nehemiah v, 15; Prov. viii, 13; xv, 6. Slavish fear is the consequence of guilt; it is a judicial impression from the sad thoughts of the provoked majesty of the heaven; it is an alarm within that disturbs the rest of a sinner. Fear is put for the whole worship of God: “I will teach you the fear of the Lord,” Psalm xxxiv, 11; I will teach you the true way of worshipping and serving God. It is likewise put for the law and word of God: “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever,” Psalm xix, 9. The law is so 376called, because it is the object, the cause, and the rule of the grace of holy fear.

FEASTS. God appointed several festivals among the Jews. 1. To perpetuate the memory of great events; so, the Sabbath commemorated the creation of the world; the passover, the departure out of Egypt; the pentecost, the law given at Sinai, &c. 2. To keep them under the influence of religion, and by the majesty of that service which he instituted among them, and which abounded in mystical symbols or types of evangelical things, to convey spiritual instruction, and to keep alive the expectation of the Messiah, and his more perfect dispensation. 3. To secure to them certain times of rest and rejoicings. 4. To render them familiar with the law; for, in their religious assemblies, the law of God was read and explained. 5. To renew the acquaintance, correspondence, and friendship of their tribes and families, coming from the several towns in the country, and meeting three times a year in the holy city.

The first and most ancient festival, the Sabbath, or seventh day, commemorated the creation. “The Lord blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,” says Moses, “because that in it he had rested from all his work,” Gen. ii, 3. See Sabbath.

The passover was instituted in memory of the Israelites’ departure out of Egypt, and of the favour which God showed his people in sparing their first-born, when he destroyed the first-born of the Egyptians, Exod. xii, 14, &c. See Passover.

The feast of pentecost was celebrated on the fiftieth day after the passover, in memory of the law being given to Moses on Mount Sinai, fifty days after the departure out of Egypt. They reckoned seven weeks from the passover to pentecost, beginning at the day after the passover. The Hebrews call it the feast of weeks, and the Christians, pentecost, which signifies the fiftieth day.

The feast of trumpets was celebrated on the first day of the civil year; on which the trumpets sounded, proclaiming the beginning of the year, which was in the month Tisri, answering to our September, O. S. We know no religious cause of its establishment. Moses commands it to be observed as a day of rest, and that particular sacrifices should be offered at that time.

The new moons, or first days of every month, were, in some sort, a consequence of the feasts of trumpets. The law did not oblige people to rest upon this day, but ordained only some particular sacrifices. It appears that, on these days, also, the trumpet was sounded, and entertainments were made, 1 Sam. xx, 5–18.

The feast of expiation or atonement was celebrated on the tenth day of Tisri, which was the first day of the civil year. It was instituted for a general expiation of sins, irreverences, and pollutions of all the Israelites, from the high priest to the lowest of the people, committed by them throughout the year, Lev. xxiii, 27, 28; Num. xxix, 7. See Expiation, Day of.

The feast of tents, or tabernacles, on which all Israel were obliged to attend the temple, and to dwell eight days under tents of branches, in memory of their fathers dwelling forty years in tents, as travellers in the wilderness. It was kept on the fifteenth of the month Tisri, the first of the civil year. The first and seventh day of this feast were very solemn. But during the other days of the octave they might work, Lev. xxiii, 34, 35; Num. xxix, 12, 13. At the beginning of the feast, two vessels of silver were carried in a ceremonious manner to the temple, one full of water, the other of wine, which were poured at the foot of the altar of burnt offerings, always on the seventh day of this festival.

Of the three great feasts of the year, the passover, pentecost, and that of the tabernacles, the octave, or seventh day after these feasts, was a day of rest as much as the festival itself; and all the males of the nation were obliged to visit the temple at these three feasts. But the law did not require them to continue there during the whole octave, except in the feast of tabernacles, when they seem obliged to be present for the whole seven days.

Beside these feasts, we find the feast of lots, or purim, instituted on occasion of the deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s plot, in the reign of Ahasuerus. See Purim.

The feast of the dedication of the temple, or rather of the restoration of the temple, which had been profaned by Antiochus Epiphanes, 1 Mac. iv, 52, &c, was celebrated in winter, and is supposed to be the feast of dedication mentioned in John x, 22. Josephus says, that it was called the feast of lights, probably because this happiness befel them when least expected, and they considered it as a new light risen on them.

In the Christian church, no festival appears to have been expressly instituted by Jesus Christ, or his Apostles. Yet, as we commemorate the passion of Christ as often as we celebrate his Supper, he seems by this to have instituted a perpetual feast. Christians have always celebrated the memory of his resurrection, and observe this feast on every Sunday, which was commonly called the Lord’s day, Rev. i, 10. By inference we may conclude this festival to have been instituted by Apostolic authority.

The birth-day of Christ, commonly called Christmas-day, has been generally observed by his disciples with gratitude and joy. His birth was the greatest blessing ever bestowed on mankind. The angels from heaven celebrated it with a joyful hymn; and every man, who has any feeling of his own lost state without a Redeemer, must rejoice and be glad in it. “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace,” Isaiah ix, 6. For this festival, however, there is no authority in Scripture, nor do we know that it was observed in the age of the Apostles.

On Easter Sunday we celebrate our Saviour’s victory over death and hell, when, having on the cross made an atonement for the sin of the 377world, he rose again from the grave, brought life and immortality to light, and opened to all his faithful servants the way to heaven. On this great event rest all our hopes. “If Christ be not risen,” says St. Paul, “then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept,” 1 Cor. xv, 14, 20.

Forty days after his resurrection, our Lord ascended into heaven, in the sight of his disciples. This is celebrated on what is called Ascension-day, or Holy Thursday. Ten days after his ascension, our Lord sent the Holy Spirit to be the comforter and guide of his disciples. This blessing is commemorated on Whit-Sunday, which is a very great festival, and may be profitably observed; for the assistance of the Holy Spirit can alone support us through all temptations, and guide us into all truth.

The pretended success of some in discovering the remains of certain holy men, called “relics,” multiplied in the fourth century of the Christian church the festivals and commemorations of the martyrs in a most extravagant manner. These days, instead of being set apart for pious exercises, were spent in indolence, voluptuousness, and criminal pursuits; and were less consecrated to the service of God, than employed in the indulgence of sinful passions. Many of these festivals were instituted on a Pagan model, and perverted to similar purposes.

FELIX, CLAUDIUS. See Claudius.

FERRET, , from , or cry out, Lev. xi, 30. The ferret is a species of the weasel; but Bochart will have the anakah to be the spotted lizard, called by Pliny stellio. Dr. James takes it for the frog, in allusion to the name, which literally signifies the crier, befitting the croaking of that animal; but we shall find the frog mentioned under another name. Dr. Geddes renders it the newt, or rather the lizard of the Nile; and it evidently must be of the lizard species. Pliny mentions “the galleotes, covered with red spots, whose cries are sharp,” which may be the gekko, which is probably the animal here intended. As its name, in the Indies tockai, and in Egypt gekko, is formed from its voice, so the Hebrew name anakah, or perhaps anakkah, seems to be formed in like manner; the double k being equally observable in all these appellations. If these remarks are admissible, this lizard is sufficiently identified.

FESTUS. Portius Festus succeeded Felix in the government of Judea, A. D. 60. Felix his predecessor, to oblige the Jews, when he resigned his government, left St. Paul in bonds at Cæsarea, in Palestine, Acts xxiv, 27. Festus, at his first coming to Jerusalem, was entreated by the principal Jews to condemn St. Paul, or to order him up to Jerusalem, they having conspired to assassinate him in the way. Festus answered, that it was not customary with the Romans to condemn any man without hearing him; but said that he would hear their accusations against St. Paul at Cæsarea. From these accusations St. Paul appealed to Cæsar, and by this means secured himself from the prosecution of the Jews, and the wicked intentions of Festus, whom they had corrupted.

FIG TREE, , Gen. iii, 7; Num. xiii, 23; s, Matthew vii, 16; xxi, 19; xxiv, 32; Mark xi, 13, 20, 21; xiii, 28; Luke vi, 44; xiii, 6, 7; xxi, 29; John i, 48; James iii, 12; Rev. vi, 13. This tree was very common in Palestine. It becomes large, dividing into many branches, which are furnished with leaves shaped like those of the mulberry, and affords a friendly shade. Accordingly, we read, in the Old Testament, of Juda and Israel dwelling, or sitting securely, every man under his fig tree, 1 Kings iv, 25; Micah iv, 4; Zech. iii, 10; 1 Mac. xiv, 12. And, in the New Testament, we find Nathanael under a fig tree, probably for the purposes of devotional retirement, John i, 49–51. Hasselquist, in his journey from Nazareth to Tiberias, says, “We refreshed ourselves under the shade of a fig tree, where a shepherd and his herd had their rendezvous; but without either house or hut.” The fruit which it bears is produced from the trunk and large branches, and not from the smaller shoots, as in most other trees. It is soft, sweet, and very nourishing. Milton is of opinion that the banian tree was that with the leaves of which our first parents made themselves aprons. But his account, as to the matter of fact, wants even probability to countenance it; for the leaves of this are so far from being, as he has described them, of the bigness of an Amazonian target, that they seldom or never exceed five inches in length, and three in breadth. Therefore, we must look for another of the fig kind, that better answers the purpose referred to by Moses, Gen. iii, 7; and as the fruit of the banana tree, is often, by the most ancient authors, called a fig, may we not suppose this to have been the fig tree of paradise Pliny, describing this tree, says that its leaves were the greatest and most shady of all others; and as the leaves of these are often six feet long, and about two broad, are thin, smooth, and very flexible, they may be deemed more proper than any other for the covering spoken of, especially since they may be easily joined together with the numerous threadlike filaments, which may, without labour, be peeled from the body of the tree. The first ripe fig is still called boccôre in the Levant, which is nearly its Hebrew name, , Jer. xxiv, 2. Thus Dr. Shaw, in giving an account of the fruits in Barbary, mentions “the black and white boccôre, or ‘early fig,’ which is produced in June, though the kermes, or kermouse, the ‘fig,’ probably so called, which they preserve and make up into cakes, is rarely ripe before August.” And on Nahum iii, 12, he observes, that “the boccôres drop as soon as they are ripe, and, according to the beautiful allusion of the prophet, fall into the mouth of the eater upon being shaken.” Farther, “It frequently falls out in Barbary,” says he; “and we need not doubt of the like in this hotter climate of Judea, that, according to the quality of the preceding season, some of the more forward and vigorous trees will now and then yield a few ripe figs six weeks or more before the full 378season. Something like this may be alluded to by the Prophet Hosea, when he says, ‘I saw your fathers as , the first ripe, in the fig tree, at her first time,’ Hosea ix, 10. Such figs were reckoned a great dainty.” See Isaiah xxviii, 4. The Prophet Isaiah gave orders to apply a lump of figs to Hezekiah’s boil; and immediately after it was cured. God, in effecting this miraculous cure, was pleased to order the use of means not improper for that end.

2. The account of our Saviour’s denunciation against the barren fig tree, Matt. xxi, 19; Mark xi, 13, has occasioned some of the boldest cavils of infidelity; and the vindication of it has exercised the ingenuity of several of the most learned critics and commentators. The whole difficulty arises from the circumstance of his disappointment in not finding fruit on the tree, when it is expressly said, that “the time of figs was not yet.” While it was supposed that this expression signified, that the time for such trees to bring forth fruit was not yet come, it looked very unaccountable that Christ should reckon a tree barren, though it had leaves, and curse it as such, when he knew that the time of bearing figs was not come; and that he should come to seek figs on this tree, when he knew that figs were not used to be ripe so soon in the year. But the expression does not signify the time of the coming forth of figs, but the time of the gathering in of ripe figs, as is plain from the parallel expressions. Thus, “the time of the fruit,” Matt. xxi, 34, most plainly signifies the time of gathering in ripe fruits, since the servants were sent to receive those fruits for their master’s use. St. Mark and St. Luke express the same by the word time, or season: “At the season he sent a servant,” &c; that is, at the season or time of gathering in ripe fruit, Mark xii, 2; Luke xx, 10. In like manner, if any one should say in our language, the season of fruit, the season of apples, the season of figs, every one would understand him to speak of the season or time of gathering in these fruits. When, therefore, St. Mark says, that “the time or season of figs was not yet,” he evidently means that the time of gathering ripe figs was not yet past; and, if so, it was natural to expect figs upon all those trees that were not barren; whereas, after the time of gathering figs, no one would expect to find them on a fig tree, and its having none then would be no sign of barrenness. St. Mark, by saying, “For the time of figs was not yet,” does not design to give a reason for “his finding nothing but leaves;” but he gives a reason for what he said in the clause before: “He came, if haply he might find any thereon;” and it was a good reason for our Saviour’s coming and seeking figs on the tree, because the time for their being gathered was not come. We have other like instances in the Gospels, and, indeed, in the writings of all mankind, of another clause coming in between the assertion and the proof. Thus, in this very evangelist: “They said among themselves, Who shall roll away the stone from the door of the sepulchre and when they looked, they saw the stone was rolled away; for it was very great,” Mark xvi, 3, 4; where its being very great is not assigned as a reason of its being rolled away, but of the women’s wishing for some one to roll it away for them. St. Matthew informs us that the tree was “in the way,” that is, in the common road, and therefore, probably, no particular person’s property; but if it was, being barren, the timber might be as serviceable to the owner as before. So that here was no real injury; but Jesus was pleased to make use of this innocent miracle to prefigure the speedy ruin of the Jewish nation on account of its unfruitfulness under greater advantages than any other people enjoyed at that day; and, like all the rest of his miracles, it was done with a gracious intention, namely, to alarm his countrymen, and induce them to repent. In the blasting of this barren fig tree, the distant appearance of which was so fair and promising, he delivered one more awful lesson to a degenerate nation, of whose hypocritical exterior and flattering but delusive pretensions it was a just and striking emblem.

FINGER. The finger of God signifies his power, his operation. Pharaoh’s magicians discovered the finger of God in the miracle which Moses wrought, Exodus viii, 19. This legislator gave the law written by the finger of God to the Hebrews, Exodus xxxi, 18. Our Saviour says he cast out devils by the finger and Spirit of God, which he intimates was a sign that the kingdom of God was come; that God’s spiritual government of his church was begun to be exercised among the Jews, by the Messiah, Luke xi, 20. To put forth one’s finger, is a bantering, insulting gesture. “If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, and the putting out of the finger,” Isaiah lviii, 9; if thou take away from the midst of thee the chain, or yoke, wherewith thou loadest thy debtors; and forbear pointing at them, and using jeering or menacing gestures.

FIRE. God hath often appeared in fire, and encompassed with fire, as when he showed himself in the burning bush; and descended on Mount Sinai, in the midst of flames, thunderings, and lightning, Exodus iii, 2; xix, 18. Hence fire is a symbol of the Deity: “The Lord thy God is a consuming fire,” Deut. iv, 24. The Holy Ghost is compared to fire: “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire,” Matt. iii, 11. To verify this prediction, he sent the Holy Ghost, which descended upon his disciples, in the form of tongues, or like flames of fire, Acts ii, 3. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to enlighten, purify, and sanctify the soul; and to inflame it with love to God, and zeal for his glory. Fire from heaven fell frequently on the victims sacrificed to the Lord, as a mark of his presence and approbation. It is thought, that God in this manner expressed his acceptance of Abel’s sacrifices, Gen. iv, 4. When the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, a fire like that of a furnace passed through the divided pieces of the sacrifices, and consumed them, Gen. xv, 17. Fire fell upon the sacrifices which Moses offered at the dedication of the tabernacle, Lev. ix, 24; 379and upon those of Manoah, Samson’s father, Judges xiii, 19, 20; upon Solomon’s, at the dedication of the temple, 2 Chron. vii, 1; and on Elijah’s, at Mount Carmel, 1 Kings xviii, 38. The fire which came down from heaven, first upon the altar in the tabernacle, and afterward descended anew upon the altar in the temple of Solomon, at its consecration, was there constantly fed and maintained by the priests, day and night, in the same manner as it had been in the tabernacle. The Jews have a tradition, that Jeremiah, foreseeing the destruction of the temple, took this fire and hid it in a pit; but that at the rebuilding of the temple, being brought again from thence, it revived upon the altar. But this is a fiction: and the generality of them allow, that, at the destruction of the temple, it was extinguished: and in the time of the second temple, nothing was made use of for all their burnt offerings but common fire only. The ancient Chaldeans adored the fire, as well as the old Persians, and some other people of the east. The torments of hell are described by fire, both in the Old and New Testament. Our Saviour makes use of this similitude, to represent the punishment of the damned, Mark ix, 44. He likewise speaks frequently of the eternal fire prepared for the devil, his angels, and reprobates, Matt. xxv, 41. The sting and remorse of conscience is the worm that will never die; and the wrath of God upon their souls and bodies, the fire that shall never go out. There are writers who maintain, that by the worm is to be understood a living and sensible, not an allegorical and figurative, worm; and by fire, a real elementary and material fire. Among the abettors of this opinion are Austin, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Jerom, &c. The word of God is compared to fire: “Is not my word like a fire” Jer. xxiii, 20. It is full of life and efficacy; like a fire it warms, melts, and heats; and is powerful to consume the dross, and burn up the chaff and stubble. Fire is likewise taken for persecution, dissension, and division: “I am come to send fire on earth,” Luke xii, 49; as if it was said, upon my coming and publishing the Gospel, there will follow, through the devil’s malice and corruption of men, much persecution to the professors thereof, and manifold divisions in the world, whereby men will be tried, whether they will be faithful or not.

FIRMAMENT. It is said, Gen. i, 7, that God made the firmament in the midst of the waters, to separate the inferior from the superior. The word used on this occasion properly signifies expansion, or something expanded. This expansion is properly the atmosphere, which encompasses the globe on all sides, and separates the water in the clouds from that on the earth.

FIRST-BORN. The first-born, who was the object of special affection to his parents, was denominated by way of eminence, , the opening of the womb. In case a man married with a widow, who by a previous marriage had become the mother of children, the first-born as respected the second husband was the eldest child by the second marriage. Before the time of Moses, the father might, if he chose, transfer the right of primogeniture to a younger child, but the practice occasioned much contention, Gen. xxv, 31, 32; and a law was enacted, overruling it, Deut. xxi, 15–17. The first-born inherited peculiar rights and privileges. (1.) He received a double portion of the estate. Jacob, in the case of Reuben, his first-born, bestowed his additional portion upon Joseph, by adopting his two sons, Gen. xlviii, 5–8; Deut. xxi, 17. This was done as a reprimand, and a punishment of his incestuous conduct, Genesis xxxv, 22; but Reuben, notwithstanding, was enrolled as the first-born in the genealogical registers, 1 Chron. v, 1. (2.) The first-born was the priest of the whole family. The honour of exercising the priesthood was transferred, by the command of God communicated through Moses, from the tribe of Reuben, to whom it belonged by right of primogeniture, to that of Levi, Num. iii, 12–18; viii, 18. In consequence of God having taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the first-born to serve him as priests, the first-born of the other tribes were to be redeemed, at a valuation made by the priest not exceeding five shekels, from serving God in that capacity, Numbers xviii, 15, 16; Luke ii, 22, &c. (3.) The first-born enjoyed an authority over those who were younger, similar to that possessed by a father, Gen. xxv, 23, &c; 2 Chron. xxi, 3; Gen. xxvii, 29; Exod. xii, 29: which was transferred in the case of Reuben by Jacob their father to Judah, Gen. xlix, 8–10. The tribe of Judah, accordingly, even before it gave kings to the Hebrews, was every where distinguished from the other tribes. In consequence of the authority which was thus attached to the first-born, he was also made the successor in the kingdom. There was an exception to this rule in the case of Solomon, who, though a younger brother, was made his successor by David at the special appointment of God. It is very easy to see in view of these facts, how the word “first-born” came to express sometimes a great, and sometimes the highest, dignity.

2. First-born is not always to be understood literally; it is sometimes taken for the prime, most excellent, most distinguished of any thing. “The first-born of the poor,” Isaiah xiv, 30, signifies the most miserable of the poor; and “the first-born of death,” Job xviii, 13, the most terrible of deaths.

3. God ordained that all the Jewish first-born both of men and beasts, for service, should be consecrated to him. The male children only were subject to this law. If a woman’s first child were a girl, the father was not obliged to offer any thing for her, or for the children after her, though they were males. If a man had many wives, he was obliged to offer the first-born of each of them to the Lord. The first-born were offered in the temple, and were redeemed for the sum of five shekels. The firstling of a clean beast was offered at the temple, not to be redeemed, but to be killed. An unclean beast, a horse, an ass, or a camel, was 380either redeemed or exchanged. An ass was redeemed by a lamb, or five shekels; if not redeemed, it was killed.

FIRST-FRUITS, among the Hebrews, were presents made to God of part of the fruits of the harvest, to express the submission, dependence, and thankfulness of the offerers. They were offered at the temple, before the crop was touched; and when the harvest was over, before any private persons used their corn. The first of these first-fruits, offered in the name of the nation, was a sheaf of barley, gathered on the fifteenth of Nisan in the evening, and threshed in a court of the temple. After it was well cleaned, about three pints of it were roasted and pounded in a mortar. Over this was thrown a portion of oil, and a handful of incense. Then the priest took this offering, waved it before the Lord toward the four parts of the world, threw a handful of it into the fire upon the altar, and kept the rest. After this, every one was at liberty to get in his harvest. Beside these first-fruits, every private person was obliged to bring his first-fruits to the temple. The Scripture prescribes neither the time nor the quantity. The rabbins say, that they were obliged to bring at least the sixtieth part of their fruits and harvest. These first-fruits consisted of wheat, barley, grapes, figs, apricots, olives, and dates. They met in companies of four-and-twenty persons to carry their first-fruits in a ceremonious manner. The company was preceded by an ox appointed for the sacrifice, with a crown of olives on his head, and his horns gilded. There was also another sort of first-fruits paid to God, Num. xv, 19, 20, when the bread in every family was kneaded, a portion of it was set apart, and given to the priest or Levite of the place. If there was no priest or Levite, it was cast into the oven, and consumed by the fire. This is one of the three precepts peculiar to the women; because they generally made the bread. The first-fruits and tenths were the most substantial revenue of the priests and Levites. St. Paul says, Christians have the first-fruits of the Spirit, Rom. viii, 23, that is, a greater abundance of God’s Spirit, more perfect and more excellent gifts than the Jews. Christ is called the first-fruits of them that slept; for as the first-fruits were earnests to the Jews of the succeeding harvest, so Christ is the first-fruits or the earnest of the general resurrection.

FIR TREE, , occurs 2 Sam. vi, 5; 1 Kings v, 8, 10; vi, 15, 34; ix, 11; 2 Kings xix, 23; 2 Chron. ii, 8; iii, 5; Psalm civ, 17; Isaiah xiv, 8; xxxvii, 24; xli, 19; lv, 13; lx, 13; Ezek. xxvii, 5; xxxi, 8; Hosea xiv, 8; Nahum ii, 3; Zech. xi, 2. The LXX render it so variously as to show that they knew not what particular tree is meant; the Vulgate, generally by abietes, the “fir tree.” Celsius asserts that it is the cedar; but Millar maintains that it is the fir. The fir tree is an evergreen, of beautiful appearance, whose lofty height, and dense foliage, afford a spacious shelter and shade. The trunk of the tree is very straight. The wood was anciently used for spears, musical instruments, furniture for houses, rafters in building, and for ships. In 2 Sam. vi, 5, it is mentioned that David played on instruments of fir wood; and Dr. Burney, in his “History of Music,” observes, “This species of wood, so soft in its nature, and sonorous in its effects, seems to have been preferred by the ancients, as well as moderns, to every other kind for the construction of musical instruments, particularly the bellies of them, on which the tone of them chiefly depends. Those of the harp, lute, guitar, harpsichord, and violin, in present use, are always made of this wood.”

FISH, , , Matt. vii, 10; xvii, 27; Luke v, 6; John xxi, 6, 8, 11, occurs very frequently. This appears to be the general name in Scripture of aquatic animals. Boothroyd, in the note upon Num. xi, 4, says, “I am inclined to think that the word , here rendered flesh, denotes only the flesh of fish, as it certainly does in Lev. xi, 11; and indeed the next verse seems to support this explication: ‘We remember how freely we ate fish.’ It was then, particularly, the flesh of fish, for which they longed, which was more relishing than either the beef or mutton of those regions, which, unless when young, is dry and unpalatable. Of the great abundance and deliciousness of the fish of Egypt, all authors, ancient and modern, are agreed.” We have few Hebrew names, if any, for particular fishes. Moses says in general, Lev. xi, 9–12, that all sorts of river, lake, and sea fish, might be eaten, if they had scales and fins; others were unclean. St. Barnabas, in his epistle, cites, as from ancient authority, “You shall not eat of the lamprey, the many-feet, [polypes,] nor the cuttle fish.” Though fish was the common food of the Egyptians, yet we learn from Herodotus and Chæremon, as quoted by Porphyry, that their priests abstained from fish of all sorts. Hence we may see how distressing to the Egyptians was the infliction which turned the waters of the river into blood, and occasioned the death of the fish, Exod. vii, 18–21. Their sacred stream became so polluted as to be unfit for drink, for bathing, and for other uses of water to which they were superstitiously devoted, and themselves obliged to nauseate what was the usual food of the common people, and held sacred by the priests, Exod. ii, 5; vii, 15; viii, 20.

In Ezekiel xxix, 4, the king of Egypt is compared to the crocodile: “I am against thee, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers in Egypt. I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish in thy rivers to stick to thy scales, and I will bring thee out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick to thy scales.” If the remora is as troublesome to the crocodile as it is to some other tenants of the water, it may here be referred to. Forskal mentions the echeneis neucrates [remora] at Gidda, there called kaml el kersh, “the louse of the shark,” because it often adheres very strongly to this fish; and Hasselquist says that it is found at Alexandria.

The term, , a fish, was, at an early 381period of the Christian era, adopted as a symbolical word. It was formed from the initial letters of the Greek words, s , Te , St, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Saviour.” From the use of symbolical terms, the transition was easy to the adoption of symbolical representations, and it therefore soon became common for the Christians to have the letters of the word , or the figures of fishes, sculptured on their monuments for the dead, struck on their medals, engraved on their rings and seals, and even formed on the articles of domestic use.

FITCHES, or VETCHES, a kind of tare. There are two words in Hebrew which our translators have rendered fitches, and : the first occurs only in Isaiah xxviii, 25, 27, and must be the name of some kind of seed; but the interpreters differ much in explaining it. Jerom, Maimonides, R. David Kimchi, and the rabbins understand it of the gith; and rabbi Obdias de Bartenora expressly says that its barbarous or vulgar name is . The gith was called by the Greeks µe, and by the Latins nigella; and is thus described by Ballester: “It is a plant commonly met with in gardens, and grows to a cubit in height, and sometimes more, according to the richness of the soil. The leaves are small like those of fennel, the flower blue, which disappearing, the ovary shows itself on the top, like that of a poppy, furnished with little horns, oblong, divided by membranes into several partitions, or cells, in which are enclosed seeds of a very black colour, not unlike those of the leek, but of a very fragrant smell.” And Ausonius observes, that its pungency is equal to that of pepper:--

Est inter fruges morsu piper æquiparens git.

Pliny says it is of use in bakehouses, pistrinis, and that it affords a grateful seasoning to the bread. The Jewish rabbins also mention the seeds among condiments, and mixed with bread. For this purpose it was probably used in the time of Isaiah; since the inhabitants of those countries, to this day, have a variety of rusks and biscuits, most of which are strewed on the top with the seeds of sesamum, coriander, and wild garden saffron.

The other word rendered fitches in our translation of Ezek. iv, 9, is ; but in Exod. ix, 32, and Isaiah xxviii, 25, “rye.” In the latter place the Septuagint has a, and in the two former a; and the Vulgate in Exodus, far, and in Isaiah and Ezekiel, vicia. Saadias, likewise, took it to be something of the leguminous kind, , cicircula, (misprinted circula in the Polyglott version,) or, “a chickling.” Aquila has a, and Theodotion, a. Onkelos and Targum have and Syriac, , which are supposed to be the millet, or a species of it called panicum; Persian, , the spelt; and this seems to be the most probable meaning of the Hebrew word; at least it has the greatest number of interpreters from Jerom to Celsius. There are not, however, wanting, who think it was rye; among whom R. D. Kimchi, followed by Luther, and our English translators: Dr. Geddes, too, has retained it, though he says that he is inclined to think that the spelt is preferable.

Dr. Shaw thinks that this word may signify rice. Hasselquist, on the contrary, affirms that rice was brought into cultivation in Egypt under the Caliphs. This, however, may be doubted. One would think from the intercourse of ancient Egypt with Babylon and with India, that this country could not be ignorant of a grain so well suited to its climate.

FLAG, , occurs Gen. xli, 2, 18; Job viii, 11; and , weeds, Exod. ii, 3, 5; Isa. xix, 6; John ii, 5. The word achu in the first two instances is translated “meadows,” and in the latter, “flag.” It probably denotes the sedge, or long grass, which grows in the meadows of the Nile, very grateful to the cattle. It is retained in the Septuagint in Genesis, t e; and is used by the son of Sirach, Ecclesiasticus xl, 16, and e; for the copies vary.

“We have no radix,” says the learned Chapelow, “for , unless we derive it, as Schultens does, from the Arabic achi, ‘to bind or join together.’” Thus, Parkhurst defines it “a species of plant, sedge, or reed, so called from its fitness for making ropes, or the like, to connect or join things together; as the Latin juncus, a ‘bulrush,’ a jungendo, from ‘joining,’ for the same reason;” and he supposes that it is the plant, or reed, growing near the Nile, which Hasselquist describes as having numerous narrow leaves, and growing about eleven feet high, of the leaves of which the Egyptians make ropes.

The word is called by Eben Ezra, “a reed growing on the borders of the river.” Bochart, Fuller, Rivetus, Ludolphus, and Junius and Tremellius, render it by juncus, carex, or alga; and Celsius thinks it the fucus or alga, “sea weed.” Dr. Geddes says there is little doubt of its being the sedge called sari, which, as we learn from Theophrastus and Pliny, grows on the marshy banks of the Nile, and rises to the height of almost two cubits. This, indeed, agrees very well with Exod. ii, 3, 5, and the thickets of arundinaceous plants, at some small distances from the Red Sea, observed by Dr. Shaw; but the place in Jonah seems to require some submarine plant.

FLAX, , Exod. ix, 31; Lev. xiii, 47, 48, 52, 59; Deut. xxii, 11; Joshua ii, 6; Judg. xv, 14; Prov. xxxi, 13; Isaiah xix, 9; xlii, 3; xliii, 17; Jer. xiii, 1; Ezek. xl, 3; xliv, 17, 18; Hosea ii, 5, 9; Matt. xii, 20; Rev. xv, 6; a plant very common, and too well known to need a description. It is a vegetable upon which the industry of mankind has been exercised with the greatest success and utility. On passing a field of it, one is struck with astonishment when he considers that this apparently insignificant plant may, by the labour and ingenuity of man, be made to assume an entirely new form and appearance, and to contribute to pleasure and health, by furnishing us with agreeable and ornamental apparel. This word Mr. Parkhurst thinks is derived from the verb , to strip, because the substance which we term flax is properly the bark or fibrous part of the vegetable, pilled or stripped off the 382stalks. From time immemorial Egypt was celebrated for the production or manufacture of flax. Wrought into garments, it constituted the principal dress of the inhabitants, and the priests never put on any other kind of clothing. The fine linen of Egypt is celebrated in all ancient authors, and its superior excellence mentioned in the sacred Scriptures. The manufacture of flax is still carried on in that country, and many writers take notice of it. Rabbi Benjamin Tudela mentions the manufactory at Damiata; and Egmont and Heyman describe the article as being of a beautiful colour, and so finely spun that the threads are hardly discernible.

FLEA, , 1 Sam. xxiv, 14; xxvi, 20. The LXX, and another Greek version in the Hexapla, render it , and the Vulgate pulex. It seems, says Mr. Parkhurst, an evident derivative from free, and to leap, bound, or skip, on account of its agility in leaping or skipping. The flea is a little wingless insect, equally contemptible and troublesome. It is thus described by an Arabian author: “A black, nimble, extenuated, hunch-backed animal, which being sensible when any one looks on it, jumps incessantly, now on one side, now on the other, till it gets out of sight.” David likens himself to this insect; importing that while it would cost Saul much pains to catch him, he would obtain but very little advantage from it.

FLESH, a term of very ambiguous import in the Scriptures. An eminent critic has enumerated no less than six different meanings which it bears in the sacred writings, and for which, he affirms, there will not be found a single authority in any profane writer: 1. It sometimes denotes the whole body considered as animated, as in Matt. xxvi, 41, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 2. It sometimes means a human being, as in Luke iii, 6, “All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” 3. Sometimes a person’s kindred collectively considered, as in Rom. xi, 14, “If by any means I may provoke them which are my flesh.” 4. Sometimes any thing of an external or ceremonial nature, as opposed to that which is internal and moral, as in Gal. iii, 3, “Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect in the flesh” 5. The sensitive part of our nature, or that which is the seat of appetite, as in 2 Cor. vii, 1, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit;” where there can be no doubt that the pollutions of the flesh must be those of the appetites, being opposed to the pollutions of the spirit, or those of the passions. 6. It is employed to denote any principle of vice and moral pravity of whatever kind. Thus among the works of the flesh, Gal. v, 19–21, are numbered not only adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, drunkenness, and revellings, which all relate to criminal indulgence of appetite, but idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, and murders, which are manifestly vices of a different kind, and partake more of the diabolical nature than of the beastly.

FLIES. The kinds of flies are exceedingly numerous; some with two, and some with four, wings. They abound in warm and moist regions, as in Egypt, Chaldea, Palestine, and in the middle regions of Africa; and during the rainy seasons are very troublesome. In the Hebrew Scriptures, or in the ancient versions, are seven kinds of insects, which Bochart classes among muscæ, or flies. These are, 1. , Exod. viii, 20; Psa. lxxviii, 45; cv, 31, which those interpreters who, by residing on the spot, have had the best means of identifying, have rendered the dog-fly, µa, and it is supposed to be the same which in Abyssinia is called the zimb. 2. , 2 Kings i, 2, 3, 6, 16; Eccles. x, 1; Isa. vii, 18. Whether this denotes absolutely a distinct species of fly, or swarms of all sorts, may be difficult to determine. 3. Judges xiv, 18; Psa. cxviii, 12, rendered bee. 4. , sf, Exodus xxiii, 28; Joshua xxiv, 12; Deut. vii, 20, hornet. 5. , , Ezek. ii, 6; Hosea iv, 16. 6. , , Matt. xxiii, 24, the gnat. 7. , sfe, Exod. viii, 16; Psa. cv, 31, lice.

2. M. Sonnini, speaking of Egypt, says, “Of insects there the most troublesome are the flies. Both man and beast are cruelly tormented with them. No idea can be formed of their obstinate rapacity when they wish to fix upon some part of the body. It is in vain to drive them away; they return again in the self-same moment; and their perseverance wearies out the most patient spirit. They like to fasten themselves in preference on the corners of the eye, and on the edge of the eyelid; tender parts, toward which a gentle moisture attracts them.” The Egyptians paid a superstitious worship to several sorts of flies and insects. If, then, such was thethe superstitious homage of this people, nothing could be more determinate than the judgment brought upon them by Moses. They were punished by the very things they revered; and though they boasted of spells and charms, yet they could not ward off the evil.

3. “The word zimb,” says Bruce, “is Arabic, and signifies the fly in general.”general.” The Chaldee paraphrase is content with calling it simply zebub, which has the same general signification. The Ethiopic version calls it tsaltsalya, which is the true name of this particular fly in Geez. It is in size very little larger than a bee, of a thicker proportion; and its wings, which are broader, are placed separate like those of a fly. Its head is large; the upper jaw or lip is sharp, and has at the end of it a strong pointed hair, of about a quarter of an inch in length; the lower jaw has two of these hairs: and this pencil of hairs, joined together, makes a resistance to the finger, nearly equal to a strong bristle of a hog. Its legs are serrated on the inside, and the whole covered with brown hair, or down. It has no sting, though it appears to be of the bee kind. As soon as this winged assassin appears, and its buzzing is heard, the cattle forsake their food, and run wildly about the plain till they die, worn out with affright, fatigue, and pain. The inhabitants of Melinda down to Cape Gardefan, to Saba, and the south coast of the Red Sea, are obliged to put themselves in motion, and remove 383to the next sand in the beginning of the rainy season. This is not a partial emigration; the inhabitants of all the countries, from the mountains of Abyssinia northward, to the confluence of the Nile and Astaboras, are, once in a year, obliged to change their abode, and seek protection in the sands of Beja, till the danger of the insect is over. The elephant and the rhinoceros, which by reason of their enormous bulk, and the vast quantity of food and water they daily need, cannot shift to desert and dry places, are obliged, in order to resist the zimb, to roll themselves in mud and mire, which, when dry, coats them over like armour. It was no trifling judgment, then, with which the prophet threatened the refractory Israelites: “The Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost parts of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria,” Isaiah vii, 18. If the prediction be understood in the literal sense, it represents the œstra or cincinellæ, as the armies of Jehovah, summoned by him to battle against his offending people; or, if it be taken metaphorically, which is perhaps the proper way of expounding it, the prophet compares the numerous and destructive armies of Babylon to the countless swarms of these flies, whose distant hum is said to strike the quadrupeds with consternation, and whose bite inflicts, on man and beast, a torment almost insupportable. How intolerable a plague of flies can prove, is evident from the fact, that whole districts have been laid waste by them. Such was the fate of Myuns in Ionia, and of Alarnæ. The inhabitants were forced to quit these cities, not being able to stand against the flies and gnats with which they were pestered. Trajan was obliged to raise the siege of a city in Arabia, before which he had sat down, being driven away by the swarms of these insects. Hence different people had deities whose office it was to defend them against flies. Among these may be reckoned Baalzebub, the fly-god of Ekron: Hercules muscarum abactor, “Hercules, the expeller of flies;” and hence Jupiter had the titles of pµ, µa, µ, because he was supposed to expel flies, and especially to clear his temples of these insects.

4. Solomon observes, “Dead flies cause the apothecary’s ointment to stink,” Eccles. x, 1. “A fact well known,” says Scheuchzer; “wherefore apothecaries take care to prevent flies from coming to their syrups and other fermentable preparations. For in all insects there is an acrid volatile salt, which, mixed with sweet or even alkaline substances, excites them to a brisk intestine motion, disposes them to fermentation, and to putrescence itself; by which the more volatile principles fly off, leaving the grosser behind: at the same time, the taste and odour are changed, the agreeable to fetid, the sweet to insipid.” This verse is an illustration, by a very appropriate similitude, of the concluding assertion in the preceding chapter, that “one sinner destroyeth much good,” as one dead fly spoils a whole vessel of precious ointment, which, in eastern countries, was considered as very valuable, 2 Kings xx, 13. The application of this proverbial expression to a person’s good name, which is elsewhere compared to sweet ointment, Eccles. vii, 1; Cant. i, 3, is remarkably significant. As a fly, though a diminutive creature, can taint and corrupt much precious perfume; so a small mixture of folly and indiscretion will tarnish the reputation of one who, in other respects, is very wise and honourable; and so much the more, because of the malignity and ingratitude of mankind, who are disposed rather to censure one error, than to commend many excellencies, and from whose minds one small miscarriage is sufficient to blot out the memory of all other deserts. It concerns us, therefore, to conduct ourselves unblamably, that we may not by the least oversight or folly blemish our profession, or cause it to be offensive to others.

FLOCK. See Shepherd.

FLOOR, for threshing corn, or threshing floor, is frequently mentioned in Scripture. This was a place in the open air, in which corn was threshed, by means of a cart or sledge, or some other instrument drawn by oxen. The threshing floors among the Jews were only, as they are to this day in the east, round level plats of ground in the open air, where the corn was trodden out by oxen. Thus Gideon’s floor appears to have been in the open air, Judges vi, 37; and also that of Araunah the Jebusite, 2 Sam. xxiv, otherwise it would not have been a proper place for erecting an altar, and offering sacrifices. In Hosea xiii, 3, we read of the chaff which is driven by the whirlwind from the floor. This circumstance of the threshing floor’s being exposed to the agitation of the wind seems to be the principal reason of its Hebrew name. It appears, therefore, that a threshing floor, which is rendered in our textual translation, “a void place,” might well be near the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and a proper situation in which the kings of Israel and Judah might hear the prophets, 1 Kings xxii, 10; 2 Chron. xviii, 9. An instrument sometimes used in Palestine and the east, to force the corn out of the ear, and bruise the straw, was a heavy kind of sledge made of thick boards, and furnished beneath with teeth of stone or iron, Isa. xli, 15. The sheaves being laid in order, the sledge was drawn over the straw by oxen, and at the same time threshed out the corn, and cut or broke the straw into a kind of chaff. An instrument in the east is still used for the same purpose. This sledge is alluded to in 2 Sam. xii, 31; Isa. xxviii, 27; xli, 15; Amos i, 3. Dr. Lowth, in his notes on Isaiah xxviii, 27, 28, observes, that four methods of threshing are mentioned in this passage, by different instruments, the flail, the drag, the wain, and the treading of the cattle. The staff, or flail, was used for the infirmiora semina, the grain that was too tender to be treated in the other methods. The drag consisted of a sort of frame of strong planks, made rough at the bottom with hard stones or iron; it was drawn by horses or oxen over the corn sheaves on the floor, the driver sitting upon it. The wain was nearly similar to this instrument, but had wheels with iron teeth, or 384edges like a saw. The last method is well known from the law of Moses, which forbids the ox to be muzzled when he treadeth out the corn. Niebuhr, in his Travels, gives the following description of a machine which the people of Egypt use at this day for threshing out their corn: “This machine,” says he, “is called nauridsj. It has three rollers which turn on their axles; and each of them is furnished with some irons round and flat. At the beginning of June, Mr. Forskall and I several times saw, in the environs of Dsjise, how corn was threshed in Egypt. Every peasant chose for himself, in the open field, a smooth plat of ground from eighty to a hundred paces in circumference. Hither was brought on camels or asses the corn in sheaves, of which was formed a ring of six or eight feet wide, and two high. Two oxen were made to draw over it again and again the sledge, traineau, above mentioned; and this was done with the greatest convenience to the driver; for he was seated in a chair fixed on the sledge. Two such parcels or layers of corn are threshed out in a day, and they move each of them as many as eight times, with a wooden fork of five prongs, which they call meddre. Afterward they throw the straw into the middle of the ring, where it forms a heap, which grows bigger and bigger. When the first layer is threshed they replace the straw in the ring, and thresh it as before. Thus the straw becomes every time smaller, till at last it resembles chopped straw. After this, with the fork just described, they cast the whole some yards from thence, and against the wind; which driving back the straw, the corn and the ears not threshed out fall apart from it, and make another heap. A man collects the clods of dirt, and other impurities to which any corn adheres, and throws them into a sieve. They afterward place in a ring the heaps, in which a good many entire ears are still found, and drive over them for four or five hours together ten couple of oxen joined two and two, till by absolute trampling they have separated the grains, which they throw into the air with a shovel to cleanse them.”

FO, or FUH, as the Chinese now call him, was an Indian prince, who was made a god at thirty years of age, and died at seventy-five. His worshippers form one of the three great sects of China, and it is said to be far the most numerous. The worship of this idol, they pretend, was observed a thousand years before the Christian era, and was introduced from India into China within the first century after. Many temples are reared to this deity, some of which are magnificent; and a number of bonzes, or priests, are consecrated to his service. He is represented shining in light, with his hands hid under his robes, to show that he does all things invisibly. The doctors of this sect, like those of Egypt, Greece, and India, teach a double doctrine; the one public, the other private. According to the former, they say, all the good are recompensed, and the wicked punished, in places destined for each. They enjoin all works of charity; and forbid cheating, impurity, murder, and even the taking of life from any creature whatever. For they believe that the souls of their ancestors transmigrate into irrational creatures; either into such as they liked best, or resembled most in their behaviour; for which reason they never kill any such animals; but, while they live, feed them well, and when they die bury them with respect. As they build temples for Fuh, which are filled with images, so also monasteries for his priests, providing for their maintenance, as the most effectual means to partake of their prayers. These priests pretend to know into what bodies the dead are transmigrated; and seldom fail of representing their case to the surviving friends as miserable, or uncomfortable; that they may extort money from them to procure for the deceased a passage into a better state, or pray them out of purgatory, which forms a part of their system.

The interior doctrine of this sect, which is kept secret from the common people, teaches a philosophical atheism, which admits neither rewards nor punishments after death; and believes not in a providence, or the immortality of the soul; acknowledges no other God than the void, or nothing; and which makes the supreme happiness of mankind to consist in a total inaction, an entire insensibility, and a perfect quietude. Fuh, though the idol of the common people, is considered as a foreign deity in China, imported by the Boudhists from India: great effects are, however, attached to the perpetual reiteration of his name, and even to meditation upon it. It is supposed to render fate favourable, and life secure; to prevent migration into the bodies of inferior animals; and, in fine, to secure a place in the paradise of Fuh, whose land is yellow gold, whose towers are composed of gems, the bridges of pearls, &c.

FOOL, FOLLY, or FOOLISHNESS. The term fool is to be understood sometimes according to its plain, literal meaning, as denoting a person void of understanding; but it is often used figuratively, Psalm xxxviii, 5; lxix, 5. “The fool,” that is, the impious sinner, “hath said in his heart, There is no God,” Psalm xiv, 1. “I have sinned: do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly,” 1 Chron. xxi, 8. “Fools make a mock at sin,” Prov. xiv, 9. See also the language of Tamar to her brother Amnon: “Do not this folly; for whither shall I cause my shame to go And as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel,” 2 Sam. xiii, 13; that is, Thou wilt be accounted a very wicked person. Our Lord seems to have used the term in a sense somewhat peculiar in Matthew v, 22: “Whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” But the whole verse shows the meaning to be, that when any one of his professed disciples indulges a temper and disposition of mind contrary to charity, or that peculiar love which the brethren of Christ are bound by his law to have toward each other, John xiii, 34, not only showing anger against another without a cause, but also treating him with contemptuous language, and that with 385malicious intent, he shall be in danger of eternal destruction.

FOOT. Anciently it was customary to wash the feet of strangers coming off a journey, because generally they travelled barefoot, or wore sandals only, which did not secure them from dust or dirt. Jesus Christ washed the feet of his Apostles, and thereby taught them to perform the humblest services for one another. Feet, in the sacred writers, often mean inclinations, affections, propensities, actions, motions: “Guide my feet in thy paths.” “Keep thy feet at a distance from evil.” “The feet of the debauched woman go down to death.” “Let not the foot of pride come against me.” To be at any one’s feet, signifies obeying him, listening to his instructions and commands. Moses says that “the Lord loved his people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at his feet,” Deut. xxxiii, 3. St. Paul was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. Mary sat at our Saviour’s feet, and heard his word, Luke x, 39.

It is said that the land of Canaan is not like Egypt, “where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot,” Deut. xi, 10. Palestine is a country which has rains, plentiful dews, springs, rivulets, brooks, &c, that supply the earth with the moisture necessary to its fruitfulness. On the contrary, Egypt has no river except the Nile: there it seldom rains, and the lands which are not within reach of the inundation continue parched and barren. To supply this want, ditches are dug from the river, and water is distributed throughout the several villages and cantons: there are great struggles who shall first obtain it; and, in this dispute, they frequently come to blows. Notwithstanding these precautions, many places have no water; and, in the course of the year, those places which are nearest the Nile require to be watered again by means of art and labour. This was formerly done by the help of machines, one of which is thus described by Philo: It is a wheel which a man turns by the motion of his feet, by ascending successively the several steps that are within it. This is what Moses means in this place by saying, that, in Egypt, they water the earth with their feet. The water is thus conveyed to cisterns; and when the gardens want refreshment, water is conducted by trenches to the beds in little rills, which are stopped by the foot, and turned at pleasure into different directions.

2. To be under any one’s feet, to be a footstool to him, signifies the subjection of a subject to his sovereign, of a slave to his master. To lick the dust of one’s feet, is an abject manner of doing homage. In Mr. Hugh Boyd’s account of his embassy to the king of Candy, in Ceylon, there is a paragraph which singularly illustrates this, and shows the adulation and obsequious reverence with which an eastern monarch is approached. Describing his introduction to the king, he says, “The removal of the curtain was the signal of our obeisances. Mine, by stipulation, was to be only kneeling. My companions immediately began the performance of theirs, which were in the most perfect degree of eastern humiliation. They almost literally licked the dust; prostrating themselves with their faces almost close to the stone floor, and throwing out their arms and legs; then, rising on their knees, they repeated, in a very loud voice, a certain form of words of the most extravagant meaning that can be conceived, that the head of the king of kings might reach beyond the sun; that he might live a thousand years,” &c. Nakedness of feet was a sign of mourning. God says to Ezekiel, “Make no mourning for the dead, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet,” &c. It was also a mark of respect: “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground,” Exodus iii, 5. The rabbins say that the priests went barefoot in the temple. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day,” Isaiah lviii, 13; if thou forbear walking and travelling on the Sabbath day, and do not then thine own will. We know that journeys were forbidden on the Sabbath day, Matt. xxiv, 20; Acts i, 12. Kissing the feet was often practised as a mark of affection and reverence.

FORNICATION, whoredom, or the act of incontinency between single persons; for if either of the parties be married, the sin is adultery.

FOREHEAD, Mark on the, Ezekiel ix, 4. Mr. Maurice, speaking of the religious rites of the Hindoos, says, Before they can enter the great pagoda, an indispensable ceremony takes place, which can only be performed by the hand of a brahmin; and that is, the impression of their foreheads with the tiluk, or mark of different colours, as they may belong either to the sect of Veeshnu, or Seeva. If the temple be that of Veeshnu, their foreheads are marked with a longitudinal line, and the colour used is vermilion. If it be the temple of Seeva, they are marked with a parallel line, and the colour used is turmeric, or saffron. But these two grand sects being again subdivided into numerous classes, both the size and the shape of the tiluk are varied, in proportion to their superior or inferior rank. In regard to the tiluk, I must observe, that it was a custom of very ancient date in Asia to mark their servants in the forehead. It is alluded to in these words of Ezekiel, where the Almighty commands his angels to “go through the midst of the city, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh for the abominations committed in the midst thereof.” The same idea occurs also in Rev. vii, 3. The divers sects of the Hindoos have a distinguishing mark of the sect, by which they are known, on the forehead, of powdered sandal wood, or of the slime of the Ganges. The mark of the Wischnites consists of two nearly oval lines down the nose, which runs from two straight lines on the forehead. The mark of the Schivites consists of two curved lines, like a half moon with a point on the nose. It is made either with the slime of the Ganges, with sandal wood, or the ashes of cow dung.

FOUNTAIN is properly the source or springhead 386of waters. There were several celebrated fountains in Judea, such as that of Rogel, of Gihon, of Siloam, of Nazareth, &c; and allusions to them are often to be met with in both the Old and New Testament. Dr. Chandler, in his travels in Asia Minor, says, “The reader, as we proceed, will find frequent mention of fountains. Their number is owing to the nature of the country and the climate. The soil, parched and thirsty, demands moisture to aid vegetation; and a cloudless sun, which inflames the air, requires for the people the verdure, with shade and air, its agreeable attendants. Hence fountains are met with, not only in the towns and villages, but in the fields and gardens, and by the sides of the roads, and of the beaten tracks on the mountains. Many of them are the useful donations of humane persons while living, or have been bequeathed as legacies on their decease.” As fountains of water were so extremely valuable to the inhabitants of the eastern countries, it is easy to understand why the inspired writers so frequently allude to them, and thence deduce some of their most beautiful and striking similitudes, when they would set forth the choicest spiritual blessings. Thus Jeremiah calls the blessed God, “the fountain of living waters,” Jer. ii, 13. As those springs or fountains of water are the most valuable and highly prized which never intermit or cease to flow, but are always sending forth their streams; such is Jehovah to his people: he is a perennial source of felicity. Zechariah, pointing in his days to the atonement which was to be made in the fulness of time, by the shedding of the blood of Christ, describes it as a fountain that was to be opened in which the inhabitants of Jerusalem might wash away all their impurities: “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness,” Zech. xiii, 1. Joel predicted the salvation which was to come out of Zion, under the beautiful figure of “a fountain which should come forth out of the house of the Lord, and water the plain of Shittim,” Joel iii, 18. The Psalmist, expatiating on the excellency of the loving-kindness of God, not only as affording a ground of hope to the children of men, but also as the source of consolation and happiness, adds, “Thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures; for with thee is the fountain of life,” Psalm xxxvi, 7–9. In short, the blessedness of the heavenly state is shadowed forth under this beautiful figure; for as “in the divine presence there is fulness of joy, and at God’s right hand, pleasures for evermore,” Psalm xvi, 11; so it is said of those who came out of great tribulation, that “the Lamb that was in the midst of the throne shall lead them unto living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,” Rev. vii, 17.

FOX, , Judges xv, 4; Nehemiah iv, 3; xi, 27; Psalm lxiii, 10; Cant. ii, 15; Lam. v, 11; Ezek. xiii, 4; Matt. viii, 20; Luke ix, 58; xiii, 32. Parkhurst observes that this is the name of an animal, probably so called from its burrowing, or making holes in the earth to hide himself or dwell in. The LXX render it by p, the Vulgate, vulpes, and our English version, fox. It is recorded, in Judges xv, 4, 5, that “Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails; and when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.” Dr. Shaw thinks jackals to be the animals here intended; observing, that “as these are creatures by far the most common and familiar, as well as the most numerous of any in the eastern countries, we may well perceive the great possibility there was for Samson to take, or cause to be taken, three hundred of them. The fox, properly so called,” he adds, “is rarely to be met with, neither is it gregarious.” So Hasselquist remarks: “Jackals are found in great numbers about Gaza; and, from their gregarious nature, it is much more probable that Samson should have caught three hundred of them, than of the solitary quadruped, the fox.”

2. At the feast of Ceres, the goddess of corn, celebrated annually at Rome about the middle of April, there was the observance of this custom, to fix burning torches to the tails of a number of foxes, and to let them run through the circus till they were burnt to death. This was done in revenge upon that species of animals, for having once burnt up the fields of corn. The reason, indeed, assigned by Ovid, is too frivolous an origin for so solemn a rite; and the time of its celebration, the seventeenth of April, it seems, was not harvest time, when the fields were covered with corn, vestitos messibus agros; for the middle of April was seed time in Italy, as appears from Virgil’s Georgics. Hence we must infer that this rite must have taken its rise from some other event than that by which Ovid accounted for it; and Samson’s foxes are a probable origin of it. The time agrees exactly, as may be collected from several passages of Scripture. For instance: from the book of Exodus we learn, that before the passover, that is, before the fourteenth day of the month Abib, or March, barley in Egypt was in the ear, Exod. xii, 18; xiii, 4. And in chapter ix, 31, 32, it is said, that the wheat at that time was not grown up. Barley harvest, then, in Egypt, and so in the country of the Philistines, which bordered upon it, must have fallen about the middle of March. Wheat harvest, according to Pliny, was a month later: “In Egypto hordeum sexto a satu mense, frumenta septimo metuntur.” [In Egypt barley is reaped in the sixth month from the time of its being sown, wheat in the seventh.] Therefore wheat harvest happened about the middle of April; the very time in which the burning of foxes was observed at Rome. It is certain that the Romans borrowed many of their rites and ceremonies, both serious and ludicrous, from foreign nations; and Egypt and Phenicia furnished them with more perhaps than any other country. From one of these the Romans might either receive 387this rite immediately, or through the hands of their neighbours, the Carthaginians, who were a colony of Phenicians; and so its true origin may be referred back to the story which we have been considering.

Bochart has made it probable that the spoken of in Isaiah xiii, 22; xxxiv, 14; and Jer. 1, 39, rendered by our translators “the beasts of the islands,” an appellation very vague and indeterminate, are jackals; and that the of the Greeks, and the beni ani of the Arabians are the same animal; and though he takes that to have been their specific name, yet he thinks, that, from their great resemblance to a fox, they might be comprehended under the Hebrew name of a fox, shual; which is indeed almost the same with sciagal sciugal, the Persian names of the jackal. Scaliger and Olearius, quoted by Bochart, expressly call the jackal a fox; and Mr. Sandys speaks of it in the same manner: “The jackals, in my opinion, are no other than foxes, whereof an infinite number,” &c. Hasselquist calls it the little eastern fox; and Kæmpfer says that it might not be improperly called the wolf-fox. It is therefore very conceivable that the ancients might comprehend this animal under the general name of fox.

3. To give an idea of his own extreme poverty, the Lord Jesus says, Luke ix, 58, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” And he calls Herod, the tetrarch of Galilee, a fox, Luke xiii, 32; thereby signifying his craft, and the refinements of his policy. In illustration of the pertinency of this allusion, we may quote a remark of Busbequius: “I heard a mighty noise, as if it had been of men who jeered and mocked us. I asked what was the matter; and was answered, ‘Only the howlings of certain beasts which the Turks call, ciagals, or jackals.’ They are a sort of wolves, somewhat bigger than foxes, but less than common wolves, yet as greedy and devouring. They go in flocks, and seldom hurt man or beast; but get their food more by craft and stealth than by open force. Thence it is that the Turks call subtle and crafty persons by the metaphorical name of ciagals.”

FRANKINCENSE, , Exod. xxx, 34, &c. a, Matt. ii, 11; Rev. xviii, 13, a dry, resinous substance, of a yellowish white colour, a strong fragrant smell, and bitter, acrid taste. The tree which produces it is not known. Dioscorides mentions it as procured from India. What is here called the pure frankincense is, no doubt, the same with the mascula thura of Virgil, and signifies what is first obtained from the tree.

FRIEND is taken for one whom we love and esteem above others, to whom we impart our minds more familiarly than to others, and that from a confidence of his integrity and good will toward us: thus Jonathan and David were mutually friends. Solomon, in his book of Proverbs, gives the qualities of a true friend. “A friend loveth at all times:” not only in prosperity, but also in adversity; and, “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” He is more hearty in the performance of all friendly offices; he reproves and rebukes when he sees any thing amiss. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” His sharpest reproofs proceed from an upright, and truly loving and faithful soul. He is known by his good and faithful counsel, as well as by his seasonable rebukes. “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, so does the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel:” by such counsel as comes from his very heart and soul, and is the language of his inward and most serious thoughts. The company and conversation of a friend is refreshing and reviving to a person, who, when alone, is sad, dull, and inactive. “Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” The title, “the friend of God,” is principally given to Abraham: “Art not thou our God, who gavest this land to the seed of Abraham, thy friend, for ever” And in Isaiah xli, 8, “But thou Israel art the seed of Abraham, my friend.” “And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God,” James ii, 23. This title was given him, not only because God frequently appeared to him, conversed familiarly with him, and revealed his secrets to him, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do” Gen. xviii, 17; but also because he entered into a covenant of perpetual friendship both with him and his seed. Our Saviour calls his Apostles “friends:” “But I have called you friends;” and he adds the reason of it, “for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you,” John xv, 15. As men use to communicate their counsels and their whole mind to their friends, especially in things which are of any concern, or may be of any advantage for them to know and understand, so I have revealed to you whatever is necessary for your instruction, office, comfort, and salvation. And this title is not peculiar to the Apostles only, but is common with them to all true believers. The friend of the bridegroom is the brideman; he who does the honours of the wedding, and leads his friend’s spouse to the nuptial chamber. John the Baptist, with respect to Christ and his church, was the friend of the bridegroom; by his preaching he prepared the people of the Jews for Christ, John iii, 29. Friend is a word of ordinary salutation, whether to a friend or foe: he is called friend who had not on a wedding garment, Matt. xxii, 12. And our Saviour calls Judas the traitor friend. Some are of opinion that this title is given to the guest by an irony, or antiphrasis; meaning the contrary to what the word importeth; or that he is called so, because he appeared to others to be Christ’s friend; or was so in his own esteem and account, though falsely, being a hypocrite. However, this being spoken in the person of him who made the feast, it is generally taken for a usual compellation, and that Christ, following the like courteous custom of appellation and friendly greeting, did so salute Judas, which yet left a sting behind it in his conscience, 388who knew himself to be the reverse of what he was called. The name of friend is likewise given to a neighbour. “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say, Friend, lend me three loaves” Luke xi, 3.

FRIENDS, or QUAKERS, a religious society which began to be distinguished about the middle of the seventeenth century. Their doctrines were first promulgated in England, by George Fox, about the year 1647; for which he was imprisoned at Nottingham, in the year 1649, and the year following at Derby. Fox evidently considered himself as acting under a divine commission, and went, not only to fairs and markets, but into courts of justice and “steeple houses,” as he called the churches, warning all to obey the Holy Spirit, speaking by him. It is said, that the appellation of Quakers was given them in reproach by one of the magistrates, who, in 1650, committed Fox to prison, on account of his bidding him, and those about him, to quake at the word of the Lord. But they adopted among themselves, and still retain, the kind appellation of Friends.

From their first appearance, they suffered much persecution. In New-England they were treated with peculiar severity, imprisoned, scourged, (women as well as men,) and at Boston four of them were even hanged, among whom was one woman; and this was the more extraordinary and inexcusable, as the settlers themselves had but lately fled from persecution in the parent country! During these sufferings, they applied to King Charles II, for relief; who, in 1661, granted a mandamus, to put a stop to them. Neither were the good offices of this prince in their favour confined to the colonies; for in 1672, he released, under the great seal, four hundred of these suffering people who were imprisoned in Great Britain. To what has been alleged against them, on account of James Naylor and his associates, they answer that their extravagancies and blasphemies were disapproved at the time, and the parties disowned; nor was Naylor restored till he had given signs of a sincere repentance, and publicly condemned his errors.

In 1681, Charles II, granted to W. Penn the province of Pennsylvania. Penn’s treaty with the Indians, and the liberty of conscience which he granted to all denominations, even those which had persecuted his own, do honour to his memory. In the reign of James II, the Friends, in common with other English Dissenters, were relieved by the suspension of the penal laws. But it was not till the reign of William and Mary that they obtained any thing like a proper legal protection. An act was passed in the year 1696, which, with a few exceptions, allowed to their affirmation the legal force of an oath, and provided a less oppressive mode for recovering tithes under a certain amount; which provisions, under the reign of George I, were made perpetual. For refusing to pay tithes, &c, however, they are still liable to suffer in the exchequer and ecclesiastical court, both in Great Britain and Ireland.

The true Friends are orthodox, as to the leading doctrines of Christianity, but express themselves in peculiar phrases. They hold special revelations of the Holy Spirit, yet not to the disparagement of the written word, which they regard as the infallible rule of faith and practice. They reject a salaried ministry, and interpret the sacraments mystically. They are advocates of the interior spiritual life of religion, to which, indeed, they have borne constant testimony; and they are distinguished by probity, philanthropy, and a public spirit. [In the United States, the Friends are divided into the Orthodox, (so called,) and Hicksites, or followers of the late Elias Hicks. The latter are considered as having departed from the original doctrines of the Friends, and very far from the leading doctrines of Christianity, as held by Protestant Christians in general.]

FROG, ; Arabic, akurrak; Greek, ßta; Exod. viii, 2–14; Psalm lxxviii, 45; cv, 30; Rev. xvi, 13. When God plagued Pharaoh and his people, the river Nile, which was the object of great admiration to the Egyptians, was made to contribute to their punishment. “The river brought forth frogs abundantly;” but the circumstance of their coming up into the bed chambers, and into the ovens and kneading troughs, needs explanation to us, whose domestic apartments and economy are so different from those of the ancient nations. Their lodgings were not in upper stories, but in recesses on the ground floor; and their ovens were not like ours, built on the side of a chimney, and adjacent to a fireplace, where the glowing heat would frighten away the frogs, but they dug a hole in the ground, in which they placed an earthen pot, which having sufficiently heated, they stuck their cakes to the inside to be baked. To find such places full of frogs when they came to heat them in order to bake their bread, and to see frogs in the beds where they sought repose, must have been both disgusting and distressing in the extreme. Frogs were reckoned unclean by the Hebrews.

FRONTLETS. Leo of Modena thus describes them: The Jews take four pieces of parchment, and write, with an ink made on purpose, and in square letters, these four passages, one on each piece: 1. “Sanctify unto me all the first-born,” &c, Exodus xiii, 1–10. 2. “And when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites,” &c, verses 11–16. 3. “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord,” &c, Deut. vi, 4–9. 4. “If you shall hearken diligently unto my commandments,” &c, Deut. xi, 13–21. This they do in obedience to these words of Moses: “These commandments shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes.” These four little pieces of parchment are fastened together, and a square formed of them, on which the letter is written; then a little square of hard calf’s skin is put upon the top, out of which come two leathern strings an inch wide, and a cubit and a half, or thereabouts, in length. This square is put on the middle of the forehead, and the strings being girt about the head, make a knot in the form 389of the letter : they then are brought before, and fall on the breast. It is called teffila-schel-rosch, or the tephila of the head. The most devout Jews put it on both at morning and noon-day prayer; but the generality of the Jews wear it only at morning prayer. Only the chanter of the synagogue is obliged to put it on at noon as well as morning.

It is a question, whether the use of frontlets, and other phylacteries, was literally ordained by Moses. They who believe their use to be binding, observe, that the text of Moses speaks as positively of this as of other precepts; he requires the commandments of God to be written on the doors of houses, as a sign on their hands, and as an ornament on their foreheads, Exod. xiii, 16. If there be any obligation to write these commandments on their doors, as the text intimates, there is the same for writing them on their hands and foreheads. On the contrary, others maintain that these precepts should be taken figuratively and allegorically, as denoting that the Jews should very carefully preserve the remembrance of God’s law, and observe his commands; that they should always have them before them, and never forget them. Prior to the Babylonish captivity, no traces of them appear in the history of the Jews. The prophets never inveigh against the omission or neglect of them, nor was there any question concerning them in the reformation of manners at any time among the Hebrews. The almost general custom in the east of wearing phylacteries and frontlets, determines nothing for the antiquity or usefulness of this practice. The Caraite Jews, who adhere to the letter of the law, and despise traditions, call the rabbinical Jews bridled asses, because they wear these tephilim and frontlets. See Phylactery.

FRUIT, the product of the earth, as trees, plants, &c. “Blessed shall be the fruit of thy ground and cattle.” The fruit of the body signifies children: “Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body.” By fruit is sometimes meant reward: “They shall eat of the fruit of their own ways,” Prov. i, 31; they shall receive the reward of their bad conduct, and punishment answerable to their sins. The fruit of the lips is the sacrifice of praise or thanksgiving, Heb. xiii, 15. The fruit of the righteous, that is, the counsel, example, instruction, and reproof of the righteous, is a tree of life, is a means of much good, both temporal and eternal; and that not only to himself, but to others also, Prov. xi, 30. Solomon says, in Prov. xii, 14, “A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth;” that is, he shall receive abundant blessings from God as the reward of that good he has done, by his pious and profitable discourses. “Fruits meet for repentance,” Matt. iii, 8, is such a conduct as befits the profession of penitence.

2. The fruits of the Spirit are those gracious habits which the Holy Spirit of God produces in those in whom he dwelleth and worketh, with those acts which flow from them, as naturally as the tree produces its fruit. The Apostle enumerates these fruits in Galatians v, 22, 23. The same Apostle, in Eph. v, 9, comprehends the fruits of the sanctifying Spirit in these three things; namely, goodness, righteousness, and truth. The fruits of righteousness are such good works and holy actions as spring from a gracious frame of heart: “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness,” Phil. i, 11. Fruit is taken for a charitable contribution, which is the fruit or effect of faith and love: “When I have sealed unto them this fruit,” Rom. xv, 28; when I have safely delivered this contribution. When fruit is spoken of good men, then it is to be understood of the fruits or works of holiness and righteousness; but when of evil men, then are meant the fruits of sin, immorality, and wickedness. This is our Saviour’s doctrine, Matt. vii, 16–18.

3. Uncircumcised fruit, or impure, of which there is mention in Lev. xix, 23, is the fruit for the first three years of a tree newly planted; it was reputed unclean, and no one was permitted to eat of it in all that time. In the fourth year it was offered to the Lord; after which it was common, and generally eaten. Various reasons are assigned for this precept. As (1.) Because the first-fruits were to be offered to God, who required the best: but in this time the fruit was not come to perfection. (2.) It was serviceable to the trees themselves, which grew the better and faster; being early stripped of those fruits which otherwise would have derived to themselves, and drawn away, much of the strength from the root and tree. (3.) It tended to the advantage of men, both because the fruit was then waterish, undigestible, and unwholesome; and because hereby men were taught to bridle their appetites, a lesson of great use and absolute necessity in a godly life.

FUEL. In preparing their victuals, the orientals are, from the extreme scarcity of wood in many countries, reduced to use cow dung for fuel. At Aleppo, the inhabitants use wood and charcoal in their rooms, but heat their baths with cow dung, the parings of fruit, and other things of a similar kind, which they employ people to gather for that purpose. In Egypt, according to Pitts, the scarcity of wood is so great, that at Cairo they commonly heat their ovens with horse or cow dung, or dirt of the streets; what wood they have, being brought from the shores of the Black Sea, and sold by weight. Chardin attests the same fact: “The eastern people always used cow dung for baking, boiling a pot, and dressing all kinds of victuals that are easily cooked, especially in countries that have but little wood;” and Dr. Russel remarks, in a note, that “the Arabs carefully collect the dung of the sheep and camel, as well as that of the cow; and that the dung, offals, and other matters, used in the bagnios, after having been new gathered in the streets, are carried out of the city, and laid in great heaps to dry, where they become very offensive. They are intolerably disagreeable, while drying, in the town, adjoining to the bagnios; and are so at all times when it rains, though they be stacked, pressed hard together, and thatched at top.” These statements exhibit, in a very strong light, the extreme misery 390of the Jews, who escaped from the devouring sword of Nebuchadnezzar: “They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills,” Lam. iv, 5. To embrace dunghills, is a species of wretchedness, perhaps unknown to us in the history of modern warfare; but it presents a dreadful and appalling image, when the circumstances to which it alludes are recollected. What can be imagined more distressing to those who lived delicately, than to wander without food in the streets What more disgusting and terrible to those who had been clothed in rich and splendid garments, than to be forced, by the destruction of their palaces, to seek shelter among stacks of dung, the filth and stench of which it is almost impossible to endure The dunghill, it appears from Holy Writ, is one of the common retreats of the mendicant. This imparts great force and beauty to a passage in the song of Hannah: “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory,” 1 Sam. ii, 8. The change in the circumstances of that excellent woman, she reckoned as great, (and it was to her as unexpected,) as the elevation of a poor despised beggar from a nauseous and polluting dunghill, rendered tenfold more fetid by the intense heat of an oriental sun, to one of the highest and most splendid stations on earth.

2. Dung is used as fuel in the east only when wood cannot be had; for the latter, and even any other combustible substance, is preferred when it can be obtained. The inhabitants of Aleppo, according to Russel, use thorns and fuel of a similar kind for those culinary purposes which require haste, particularly for boiling, which seems to be the reason that Solomon mentions the “crackling of thorns under a pot,” rather than in any other way. The same allusion to the use of thorns for boiling occurs in other parts of the sacred volume: thus, the Psalmist speaks of the wicked, “Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.” The Jews are sometimes compared in the prophets to “a brand plucked out of the burning,” Amos iv, 11; Zech. iii, 2; a figure which Chardin considers as referring to vine twigs, and other brushwood which the orientals frequently use for fuel, and which, in a few minutes, must be consumed if they are not snatched out of the fire; and not to those battens, or large branches, which will lie a long time in the fire before they are reduced to ashes. If this idea be correct, it displays in a stronger and more lively manner the seasonable interposition of God’s mercy, than is furnished by any other view of the phrase. The same remark applies to the figure by which the Prophet Isaiah describes the sudden and complete destruction of Rezin, and the son of Remaliah; only in this passage, the firebrands are supposed to be smoking; that is, in the opinion of Harmer, having the steam issuing with force from one end, in consequence of the fire burning violently at the other. The words of the prophet are: “Take heed and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted, for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah,” Isaiah vii, 4. It is not easy to conceive an image more striking than this; the remains of two small twigs burning with violence at one end, as appears by the steaming of the other, are soon reduced to ashes; so shall the kingdoms of Syria and Israel sink into ruin and disappear.

3. The scarcity of fuel in the east obliges the inhabitants to use, by turns, every kind of combustible matter. The withered stalks of herbs and flowers, the tendrils of the vine, the small branches of myrtle, rosemary, and other plants, are all used in heating their ovens and bagnios. We can easily recognise this practice in these words of our Lord: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith” Matt. vi, 28–30. The grass of the field, in this passage, evidently includes the lilies of which our Lord had just been speaking, and, by consequence, herbs in general; and in this extensive sense the word t is not unfrequently taken. These beautiful productions of nature, so richly arrayed, and so exquisitely perfumed, that the splendour even of Solomon is not to be compared with theirs, shall soon wither and decay, and be used as fuel to heat the oven and the bagnio. Has God so adorned these flowers and plants of the field, which retain their beauty and vigour but for a few days, and are then applied to some of the meanest purposes of life; and will he not much more clothe you who are the disciples of his own Son, who are capable of immortality, and destined to the enjoyment of eternal happiness

FULNESS. “The fulness of time” is the time when the Messiah appeared, which was appointed by God, promised to the fathers, foretold by the prophets, expected by the Jews themselves, and earnestly longed for by all the faithful: “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son,” Gal. iv, 4. The fulness of Christ is the superabundance of grace with which he was filled: “Of his fulness have all we received,” John i, 16. And whereas men are said to be filled with the Holy Ghost, as John the Baptist, Luke i, 15; and Stephen, Acts vi, 5; this differs from the fulness of Christ in these three respects: (1.) Grace in others is by participation, as the moon hath her light from the sun, rivers their waters from the fountain: but in Christ all that perfection and influence which we include in that term is originally, naturally, and of himself. (2.) The Spirit is in Christ infinitely and above measure, John iii, 34; but in the saints by measure according to the gift of God, Eph. iv, 16. The saints cannot communicate their graces to others, whereas the gifts of the Spirit are in Christ as a head and fountain, to impart them 391to his members. “We have received of his fulness,” John i, 16. It is said, that “the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Christ bodily,” Col. ii, 2; that is, the whole nature and attributes of God are in Christ, and that really, essentially, or substantially; and also personally, by nearest union; as the soul dwells in the body, so that the same person who is man is God also. The church is called the fulness of Christ, Eph. i, 23. It is the church which makes him a complete and perfect head; for though he has a natural and personal fulness as God, yet, as Mediator, he is not full and complete, without his mystical body, (as a king is not complete without his subjects,) but receives an outward, relative, and mystical fulness from his members.


FURNACE, a fireplace for melting gold and other metals. “The fining pot is for silver, the furnace for gold,” Prov. xvii, 3. It signifies also a place of cruel bondage and oppression, such as Egypt was to the Israelites, who there met with much hardship, rigour, and severity, to try and purge them, Deut. iv, 20; Jer. xi, 4; the sharp and grievous afflictions and judgments, wherewith God tries his people, Ezek. xxii, 18; xx, 22; also a place of torment, as Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace, Dan. iii, 6, 11. On the last we may remark, that this mode of putting to death is not unusual in the east in modern times. After speaking of the common modes of punishing with death in Persia, Chardin says, “But there is still a particular way of putting to death such as have transgressed in civil affairs, either by causing a dearth, or by selling above the tax by a false weight, or who have committed themselves in any other manner: they are put upon a spit and roasted over a slow fire, Jer. xxix, 22. Bakers, when they offend, are thrown into a hot oven. During the dearth in 1668, I saw such ovens heated in the royal square in Ispahan, to terrify the bakers, and deter them from deriving advantage from the general distress.”