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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.


MAACAH, or BETH-MAACHA, a little province of Syria to the east and the north of the sources of the river Jordan, upon the road to Damascus. Abel or Abela was in this country, whence it was called Abelbeth-Maachah. We learn from Joshua xiii, 13, that the Israelites did not destroy the Maachathites, but permitted them to dwell in the land among them. The distribution of the half tribe of Manasseh, beyond Jordan, extended as far as this country, Deut. iii, 14; Joshua xii, 5.

MACCABEES, two apocryphal books of Scripture, containing the history of Judas and his brothers, and their wars against the Syrian kings in defence of their religion and liberties, so called from Judas, the son of Mattathias, surnamed Maccabæus, as some authors say, from the word , formed of the initials of - , Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods” Exod. xv, 11, which was the motto of his standard; whence those who fought under his standard were called Maccabees, and the name was generally applied to all who suffered in the cause of true religion, under the Egyptian or Syrian kings. This name, formed by abbreviation according to the common practice of the Jews, distinguished Judas Maccabæus by way of eminence, as he succeeded his father, B. C. 166, in the command of those forces which he had with him at his death; and, being joined by his brothers, and all others that were zealous for the law, he erected his standard, on which he inscribed the above mentioned motto. Those, also, who suffered under Ptolemy Philopater of Alexandria, fifty years before this period, were afterward called Maccabees; and so were Eleazar, and the mother and her seven sons, though they suffered before Judas erected his standard with the motto from which the appellation originated. And therefore, as these books which contain the history of Judas and his brothers, and their wars against the Syrian kings, in defence of their religion and liberties, are called the first and second books of the Maccabees; so that book which gives us the history of those who, in the like cause, under Ptolemy Philopater, were exposed to his elephants at Alexandria, is called the third book of the Maccabees; and that which is written by Josephus, of the martyrdom of Eleazar, and the seven brothers and their mother, is called the fourth book of the Maccabees.

The first book of the Maccabees is an excellent history, and comes nearest to the style and manner of the sacred historians of any extant. It was written originally in the Chaldee language, of the Jerusalem dialect, and was extant in this language in the time of Jerom, who bad seen it. From the Chaldee it was translated into Greek, from the Greek into Latin. Theodotion is conjectured to have translated it into Greek; but this version was probably more ancient, as we may infer from its use by ancient authors, as Tertullian, Origen, and others. It is supposed to have been written by John Hyrcanus, the son of Simon, who was prince and high priest of the Jews near thirty years, and began his government at the time where this history ends. It contains the history of forty years, from the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes to the death of Simon, the high priest; that is, from the year of the world 3829 to the year 3869, B. C. 131. The second book of the Maccabees begins with two epistles sent from the Jews of Jerusalem to the Jews of Egypt and Alexandria, to exhort them to observe the feast of the dedication of the new altar erected by Judas, on his purifying the temple. The first was written in the 169th year of the era of the Seleucidæ, that is, B. C. 144; and the second, in the 188th year of the same era, or B. C. 125; and both appear to be spurious. After these epistles follows the preface of the author to his history, which is an abridgment of a larger work, composed by one Jason, a Jew of Cyrene, who wrote in Greek the history of Judas Maccabæus, and his brethren, and the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes, and Eupator his son. The two last chapters contain events under the reign of Demetrius Soter, the successor of Antiochus Eupator, and contain such varieties in their style, as render it doubtful whether they had the same author as the rest of the work. This second book does not by any means equal the accuracy and excellency of the first. It contains a history of about fifteen years, from the execution of Heliodorus’s commission, who was sent by Seleucus to fetch away the treasures of the temple, to the victory obtained by Judas Maccabæus over Nicanor; that is, from the year of the world 3828 to the year 3843, B. C. 157.

There are in the Polyglott Bibles, both of Paris and London, Syriac versions of both these books; but they, as well as the English versions which we have among the apocryphal writers in our Bibles, are derived from the Greek. For a farther account of Judas Maccabæus, 608and of his brothers, whose history is recorded in the first and second books of the Maccabees, and also by Josephus, we refer to the article Jews. The third book of the Maccabees contains the history of the persecution of Ptolemy Philopater against the Jews in Egypt, and their sufferings under it; and seems to have been written by some Alexandrian Jew in the Greek language, not long after the time of Siracides. This book, with regard to its subject, ought to be called the first, as the things which are related in it occurred before the Maccabees, whose history is recorded in the first and second books; but as it is of less authority and repute than the other two, it is reckoned after them. It is extant in Syriac, though the translator did not seem to have well understood the Greek language. It is in most of the ancient manuscript copies of the Greek Septuagint, particularly in the Alexandrian and Vatican, but was never inserted into the vulgar Latin version of the Bible, nor, consequently, into any of our English copies. The first authentic mention we have of this book is in Eusebius’s Chronicon.” It is also named with two other books of the Maccabees in the eighty-fifth of the apostolic canons. But it is uncertain when that canon was added. Grotius thinks that this book was written after the two first books, and shortly after the book of Ecclesiasticus, from which circumstance it was called the third book of Maccabees. Moreover, Josephus’s history of the martyrs that suffered under Antiochus Epiphanes, is found in some manuscript Greek Bibles, under the name of the fourth book of the Maccabees. This book, ascribed to Josephus, occurs under the title, Concerning the Empire or Government of Reason;” but learned men have expressed a doubt whether this was the book known to the ancients as the fourth book of the Maccabees.

MACEDONIA, a kingdom of Greece, having Thrace to the north, Thessaly south, Epirus west, and the Ægean Sea east. Alexander the Great, son of Philip, king of Macedonia, having conquered Asia, and subverted the Persian empire, the name of the Macedonians became very famous throughout the east; and it is often given to the Greeks, the successors of Alexander in the monarchy. In like manner, the name of Greeks is often put for Macedonians, 2 Maccabees iv, 36. When the Roman empire was divided, Macedonia fell to the share of the emperor of the east. After it had long continued subject to the Romans, it fell under the power of the Ottoman Turks, who are the present masters of it.

St. Paul was invited by an angel of the Lord, who appeared to him at Troas, to come and preach the Gospel in Macedonia, Acts xvi, 9. After this vision, the Apostle no longer doubted his divine call to preach the Gospel in Macedonia; and the success that attended his ministry confirmed him in his persuasion. Here he laid the foundation of the churches of Thessalonica and Philippi.

MAGDALA, a city on the west side of the sea of Galilee, near Dalmanutha; Jesus, after the miracle of the seven loaves, being said by St. Matthew to have gone by ship to the coasts of Magdala, Matt. xv, 39; and by St. Mark, to the parts of Dalmanutha,” Mark viii, 10. Mr. Buckingham came to a small village in this situation called Migdal, close to the edge of the lake, beneath a range of high cliffs, in which small grottoes are seen, with the remains of an old square tower, and some larger buildings, of rude construction, apparently of great antiquity. Migdol implies a tower, or fortress; and this place, from having this name particularly applied to it, was doubtless, like the Egyptian Migdol, one of considerable importance; and may be considered as the site of the Migdal of the Naphtalites, as well as the Magdala of the New Testament.

MAGI, or MAGIANS, a title which the ancient Persians gave to their wise men, or philosophers. Magi, among the Persians, answers to sf, or fsf, among the Greeks; sapientes, among the Latins; druids, among the Gauls; gymnosophists, among the Indians; and priests, among the Egyptians.

The ancient magi, according to Aristotle and Laertius, were the sole authors and conservators of the Persian philosophy; and the philosophy principally cultivated among them was theology and politics; they being always esteemed as the interpreters of all law, both divine and human; on which account they were wonderfully revered by the people. Hence Cicero observes that none were admitted to the crown of Persia, but such as were well instructed in the discipline of the magi; who taught t ßas, and showed princes how to govern. Plato, Apuleius, Laertius, and others, agree that the philosophy of the magi related principally to the worship of the gods: they were the persons who were to offer prayers, supplications, and sacrifices, as if the gods would be heard by them alone. But, according to Lucian, Suidas, &c, this theology, or worship of the gods, as it is called, about which the magi were employed, was little more than the diabolical art of divination; so that µae., strictly taken, was the art of divination. These people were held in such veneration among the Persians, that Darius, the son of Hystaspes, among other things, had it engraven on his monument, that he was the master of the magi. Philo Judæus describes the magi to be diligent inquirers into nature, out of the love they bear to truth; and who, setting themselves apart from other things, contemplate the divine virtues the more clearly, and initiate others in the same mysteries. The magi, or magians, formed one of the two grand sects into which the idolatry of the world was divided between 500 and 600 years before Christ. These abominated all those images which were worshipped by the other sect, denominated Sabians, and paid their worship to the Deity under the emblem of fire. Their chief doctrine was, that there were two principles, one of which was the cause of all good, and the other the 609cause of all evil. The former was represented by light, and the latter by darkness, as their truest symbols; and of the composition of these two they supposed that all things in the world were made. The sect of the magians was revived and reformed by Zoroaster. This celebrated philosopher, called by the Persians Zerdusht, or Zaratush, began about the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Darius to restore and reform the magian system of religion. He was not only excellently skilled in all the learning of the east that prevailed in his time, but likewise thoroughly versed in the Jewish religion, and in all the sacred writings of the Old Testament that were then extant: whence some have inferred that he was a native Jew both by birth and profession; and that he had been servant to one of the prophets, probably Ezekiel or Daniel. He made his first appearance in Media, in the city of Xix, now called Aderbijan, as some say; or, according to others in Ecbatana, now called Tauris. Instead of admitting the existence of two first causes, with the magians, he asserted the existence of one supreme God, who created both these, and out of these two produced, according to his sovereign pleasure, every thing else. According to his doctrine, there was one supreme Being independently and self-existing from all eternity. Under him there are two angels: one the angel of light, the author and director of all good; and the other the angel of darkness, who is the author and director of all evil. These two, probably speaking figuratively, out of the mixture of light and darkness, made all things that are; and they are in a state of perpetual conflict; so that where the angel of light prevails, there the most is good; and where the angel of darkness prevails, there the most is evil. This struggle shall continue to the end of the world; and then there shall be a general resurrection, and a day of judgment: after which, the angel of darkness and his disciples shall go into a world of their own, where they shall suffer in everlasting darkness the punishment of their evil deeds; and the angel of light and his disciples shall go into a world of their own, where they shall receive in everlasting light the reward due unto their good deeds: and henceforward they shall for ever remain separate.

Of the controversy as to Zoroaster, Zeratusht, or Zertushta, and the sacred books said to have been written by him, called Zend or Zendavesta, which has divided the most eminent critics, it would answer no important end to give an abstract. Those who wish for information on the subject are referred to Hyde’s Religio Veterum Persarum;” Prideaux’s Connection;” Warburton’s Divine Legation;” Bryant’s Mythology;” The Universal History;” Sir W. Jones’s Works, vol. iii, p. 115; M. Du Perron, and Richardson’s Dissertation,” prefixed to his Persian and Arabic Dictionary. But whatever may become of the authority of the whole or part of the Zendavesta, and with whatever fables the history of the reformer of the magian religion may be mixed, the learned are generally agreed that such a reformation took place by his instrumentality. Zeratusht,” says Sir W. Jones, reformed the old religion by the addition of genii or angels, of new ceremonies in the veneration shown to fire, of a new work which he pretended to have received from heaven, and, above all, by establishing the actual adoration of the supreme Being;” and he farther adds, The reformed religion of Persia continued in force till that country was conquered by the Musselmans; and, without studying the Zend, we have ample information concerning it in the modern Persian writings of several who profess it. Bahman always named Zeratusht with reverence; he was, in truth, a pure Theist, and strongly disclaimed any adoration of the fire or other elements; and he denied that the doctrine of two coëval principles, supremely good and supremely bad, formed any part of his faith.” The Zeratusht of Persia, or the Zoroaster of the Greeks,” says Richardson, was highly celebrated by the most discerning people of ancient times; and his tenets, we are told, were most eagerly and rapidly embraced by the highest in rank, and the wisest men in the Persian empire.” He distinguished himself by denying that good and evil, represented by light and darkness, were coëval, independent principles; and asserted the supremacy of the true God, in exact conformity with the doctrine contained in a part of that celebrated prophecy of Isaiah in which Cyrus is mentioned by name: I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me,” no coëval power. I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace,” or good, and create evil, I the Lord do all these things.” Fire, by Zerdushta, appears to have been used emblematically only; and the ceremonies for preserving and transmitting it, introduced by him, were manifestly taken from the Jews, and the sacred fire of their tabernacle and temple.

The old religion of the Persians was corrupted by Sabianism, or the worship of the host of heaven, with its accompanying superstition. The magian doctrine, whatever it might be at first, had degenerated; and two eternal principles, good and evil, had been introduced. It was therefore necessarily idolatrous also, and, like all other false systems, flattering to the vicious habits of the people. So great an improvement in the moral character and influence of the religion of a whole nation as was effected by Zoroaster, a change which is not certainly paralleled in the ancient history of the religion of mankind, can scarcely, therefore, be thought possible, except we suppose a divine interposition, either directly, or by the occurrence of some very impressive events. Now as there are so many authorities for fixing the time of Zoroaster or Zeratusht not many years subsequent to the death of the great Cyrus, the events connected with the conquest of Babylon may account for his success in that reformation of religion of which he was the author. For, had not the minds of men been prepared for this change by something extraordinary, it is not supposable that they would have adopted a purer faith from him. 610That he gave them a better doctrine, is clear from the admission of even Dean Prideaux, who has very unjustly branded him as an impostor. Let it then be remembered, that as the Most High ruleth in the kingdoms of men,” he often overrules great political events for moral purposes. The Jews were sent into captivity to Babylon to be reformed from their idolatrous propensities, and their reformation commenced with their calamity. A miracle was there wrought in favour of three Hebrew confessors of the existence of one only God, and that under circumstances to put shame upon a popular idol in the presence of the king and all the rulers of the provinces,” that the issue of this controversy between Jehovah and idolatry might be made known throughout that vast empire.--Worship was refused to the idol by a few Hebrew captives, and the idol had no power to punish the public affront:--the servants of Jehovah were cast into a furnace, and he delivered them unhurt; and a royal decree declared that there was no god who could deliver after this sort.” The proud monarch himself also is smitten with a singular disease;--he remains subject to it until he acknowledges the true God; and, upon his recovery, he publicly ascribes to him both the justice and the mercy of the punishment. This event takes place, also, in the accomplishment of a dream which none of the wise men of Babylon could interpret. It was interpreted by Daniel, who made the fulfilment to redound to the honour of the true God, by ascribing to him the perfection of knowing the future, which none of the false gods, appealed to by the Chaldean sages, possessed; as the inability of their servants to interpret the dream sufficiently proved. After these singular events, Cyrus takes Babylon, and he finds there the sage and the statesman, Daniel, the worshipper of the true God, who creates both good and evil,” who makes the light, and forms the darkness.” There is little doubt but that he and the principal Persians throughout the empire would have the prophecy of Isaiah respecting Cyrus, delivered more than a hundred years before he was born, and in which his name stood recorded, along with the predicted circumstances of the capture of Babylon, pointed out to them. Every reason, religious and political, urged the Jews to make the prediction a matter of notoriety; and from Cyrus’s decree in Ezra it is certain that he was acquainted with it; because there is in the decree an obvious reference to the prophecy. This prophecy, so strangely fulfilled, would give mighty force to the doctrine connected with it, and which it proclaims with so much majesty:--

I am Jehovah, and none else,
Forming LIGHT, and creating DARKNESS,
Making PEACE, and creating EVIL;
I Jehovah am the author of all these things.”

Here the great principle of corrupted magianism was directly attacked; and, in proportion as the fulfilment of the prophecy was felt to be singular and striking, the doctrine blended with it would attract notice. Its force was both felt and acknowledged, as we have seen, in the decree of Cyrus for the rebuilding of the temple. In that Cyrus acknowledged the true God to be supreme, and thus renounced his former faith; and the example, the public example, of a prince so beloved, and whose reign was so extended, could not fail to influence the religious opinions of his people. That the effect did not terminate in Cyrus, we know; for, from the book of Ezra, it appears that both Darius and Artaxerxes made decrees in favour of the Jews, in which Jehovah has the emphatic appellation repeatedly given to him, the God of heaven,” the very terms used by Cyrus himself. Nor are we to suppose the impression confined to the court; for the history of the three Hebrew youths, of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, sickness, and reformation from idolatry, of the interpretation of the hand writing on the wall by Daniel the servant of the living God, of his deliverance from the lions, and the publicity of the prophecy of Isaiah respecting Cyrus, were too recent, too public, and too striking in their nature, not to be often and largely talked of. Beside, in the prophecy respecting Cyrus, the intention of almighty God in recording the name of that monarch in an inspired book, and showing beforehand that he had chosen him to overturn the Babylonian empire, is expressly mentioned as having respect to two great objects, first, the deliverance of Israel, and, second, the making known his supreme divinity among the nations of the earth. We again quote Lowth’s translation:--

For the sake of my servant Jacob,
And of Israel my chosen,
I have even called thee by thy name,
I have surnamed thee, though thou knewest me not.
I am Jehovah, and none else,
Beside me there is no God;
I will gird thee, though thou hast not known me,
That they may know, from the rising of the sun,
And from the west, that there is NONE BESIDE ME.”

It was therefore intended by this proceeding on the part of Providence to teach, not only Cyrus, but the people of his vast empire, and surrounding nations, 1. That the God of the Jews was Jehovah, the self-subsistent, the eternal God; 2. That he was God alone, there being no deity beside himself; and, 3. That good and evil, represented by light and darkness, were neither independent nor eternal subsistences, but his great instruments, and under his control.

The Persians, who had so vastly extended their empire by the conquest of the countries formerly held by the monarchs of Babylon, were thus prepared for such a reformation of their religion as Zoroaster effected. The principles he advocated had been previously adopted by Cyrus and other Persian monarchs, and probably by many of the principal persons of that nation. Zoroaster himself thus became acquainted with the great truths contained in this famous prophecy, which attacked the very foundations of every idolatrous and Manichean system. From the other sacred books of the Jews, who mixed with the Persians in every part of the empire, he evidently learned more. 611This is sufficiently proved from the many points of similarity between his religion and Judaism, though he should not be allowed to speak so much in the style of the Holy Scriptures as some passages in the Zendavesta would indicate. He found the people, however, prepared of the Lord” to admit his reformations, and he carried them. This cannot but be looked upon as one instance of several merciful dispensations of God to the Gentile world, through his own peculiar people, the Jews, by which the idolatries of the Heathen were often checked, and the light of truth rekindled among them. In this view the ancient Jews evidently considered the Jewish church as appointed not to preserve only but to extend true religion. God be merciful to us and bless us; that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health unto all nations.” This renders Pagan nations more evidently without excuse.” That this dispensation of mercy was afterward neglected among the Persians, is certain. How long the effect continued we know not, nor how widely it spread; perhaps longer and wider than may now distinctly appear. If the magi, who came from the east to seek Christ, were Persians, some true worshippers of God would appear to have remained in Persia to that day; and if, as is probable, the prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel were retained among them, they might be among those who waited for redemption,” not at Jerusalem, but in a distant part of the world. The Parsees, who were nearly extirpated by Mohammedan fanaticism, were charged by their oppressors with the idolatry of fire, and this was probably true of the multitude. Some of their writers, however, warmly defended themselves against the charge. A considerable number of them remain in India to this day, and profess to have the books of Zoroaster.

2. The term magi was also anciently used generally throughout the east, to distinguish philosophers, and especially astronomers. Pliny and Ptolemy mention Arabi as synonymous with magi; and it was the opinion of many learned men in the first ages of Christianity, that the magi who presented offerings to the infant Saviour, Matt. ii, 1, came from southern Arabia; for it is certain that gold, frankincense, and myrrh,” were productions of that country. They were philosophers among whom the best parts of the reformed magian system, which was extensively diffused, were probably preserved. They were pious men, also, who had some acquaintance, it may be, with the Hebrew prophecies, and were favoured themselves with divine revelations. They are to be regarded as members of the old patriarchal church, never quite extinguished among the Heathen; and they had the special honour to present the homage of the Gentile world to the infant Saviour.

MAGICIAN not unfrequently occurs in Scripture. Generally it signifies a diviner, a fortune teller, &c. Moses forbids recourse to such on pain of death: The soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and even cut him off from among his people,” Leviticus xix, 31; xx, 6. The Hebrew is - -, which signify literally,--the first, those possessed with a spirit of Python, or a demon that fortels future events;--the second, knowers, they who boast of the knowledge of secret things. It was such sort of people that Saul extirpated out of the land of Israel, 1 Sam. xxviii, 3. Daniel also speaks of magicians and diviners in Chaldea, under Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel i, 20, &c; . He names four sorts: Chartumim, Asaphim, Mecasphim, and Casdim, Daniel ii, 2. The first, Chartumim, according to Theodotion, signifies enchanters;” according to the LXX, sophists;” according to Jerom, hariolas, diviners, fortune tellers, casters of nativities.” The second word, Asaphim, has a great resemblance to the Greek word sf, wise man;” whether the Greeks took this word from the Babylonians, or vice versâ. Theodotion and Jerom have rendered it magicians;” the LXX, philosophers.” The third word, Mecasphim, by Jerom and the Greeks, is translated malefici, enchanters;” such as used noxious herbs and drugs, the blood of victims, and the bones of the dead, for their superstitious operations. The fourth word, Casdim, or Chaldeans, has two significations: first, the Chaldean people, over whom Nebuchadnezzar was monarch; the second, a sort of philosophers, who dwelt in a separate part of the city, who were exempt from all public offices and employments. Their studies were physic, astrology, divination, foretelling of future events by the stars, interpretation of dreams, augury, worship of the gods, &c. All these inquisitive and superstitious arts were prohibited among the Israelites, as founded on imposture or devilism, and as inconsistent with faith in God’s providence, and trust in his supremacy.

MAGOG. See Gog.

MAHANAIM, a city of the Levites, of the family of Merari, in the tribe of Gad, upon the brook Jabbok, Joshua xxi, 38; xiii, 26. The name Mahanaim signifies two hosts,” or two fields.” The patriarch gave it this name because in this place he had a vision of angels coming to meet him, Genesis xxxii, 2. Mahanaim was the seat of the kingdom of Ishbosheth, after the death of Saul, 2 Sam. ii, 9, 12. It was also to this place that David retired during the usurpation of Absalom, 2 Sam. xvii, 24; and this rebellious son was subdued, and suffered death, not far from this city.

MAHOMETANISM. Mohammed, its distinguished founder, was born in Arabia, toward the conclusion of the sixth century. Although he had been reduced to poverty, he was descended from ancestors who had long been conspicuous by rank and by influence; but having been shut out from the advantages of education, which in his peculiar case might have rather cramped than invigorated the astonishing powers of his mind, he had been compelled to seek his subsistence by devoting 612himself to a menial occupation. Yet although thus unfavourably situated, he was led, in conducting the commercial transactions which, in the service of Cadijah, a woman of great wealth, he was employed to arrange, to survey the state of several of the neighbouring nations; became acquainted with the most striking features in the characters of those by whom he was surrounded; and he was enabled to profit by the information which he thus procured, from his adding to the graces of personal elegance and beauty, the most captivating manners, and the most winning address. Exalted by the partiality of Cadijah, who conferred on him her hand and her extensive possessions, he seems early to have formed the scheme of announcing himself as the author of a new religion, and, in virtue of this sacred office, of ascending to that supremacy of political influence which it was his singular fortune, soon after he unfolded his pretensions, to attain. Taking advantage of that insensibility into which, by the attacks of epilepsy, he was occasionally thrown, he pretended that he was wrapped in divine contemplation, or was actually holding communication with higher orders of beings, who were committing to him the divine instructions which he was to disseminate through the world.

When the time which he conceived to be favourable for the grand object of his ambition had arrived, he openly declared that he was the prophet of the most high God; but the magistrates of Mecca, despising his pretensions, or dreading the evils which might result from religious innovation, vigorously opposed him, and he found himself compelled, in order to avoid the punishment which they were preparing to inflict on him, to have recourse to flight. He did not, however, relinquish the scheme upon which he had so long meditated, and which he was convinced that he was qualified to carry into execution. After his departure from Mecca, from which event the Mohammedan era of the hegira takes its commencement, he was joined by a few followers determined to share his fate; and having solemnly consecrated the banner under which he was to extend his power and propagate his tenets, he commenced hostilities against those by whom he had been opposed. His first efforts, however, were not crowned with success, but he had infused into his attendants a spirit which misfortune could not subdue: they renewed their enterprise, and Mecca at length submitted to his arms. From this period his exaltation was very rapid; he was venerated as the favoured messenger of Heaven, and his countrymen bowed down before a sovereign protected, as they believed, by the Omnipotent, and commissioned to reveal his will. There were many causes which satisfactorily account for his success. The Christian religion, in the corrupted form in which it existed in the regions contiguous to the country of the prophet, was not interwoven with the affections of its professors; they were split into factions, contending about the most frivolous distinctions and the most ridiculous tenets; and the sword of persecution was mutually wielded by them all, to spread misery where there should have been the ties of charity and love. Thus divided, they presented no steady resistance to the attempt made to wrest from them their religion; and, indeed, as many of them had adopted that religion, not from conviction, but from dread of the tyranny by which it had been imposed on them, they only did what they had previously done, when, shrinking from the ferocious zeal of the emissaries of the prophet, they submitted to his doctrine. With admirable address, too, he had framed his religious system, so as to gratify those to whom it was announced. Laying down the sublime and unquestionable doctrine of the unity of God, he professed to revere the patriarchs, whose memory the Arabs held in veneration; he admitted that Moses was a messenger from God; he acknowledged Jesus as an exalted prophet; and he founded his own pretensions upon the intimation which our Saviour had given that the Paraclete, or Comforter, was to be sent to lead the world into all truth. Thus each party found in the Koran much of what it had been accustomed to believe; and the transition was in this way rendered more easy to the admission that a new revelation had been vouchsafed.

This effect was facilitated by the ignorance which prevailed in Arabia. Accustomed to a wandering life, the Arabs had devoted no time to the acquisition of knowledge; most of them were even unable to read the Koran, the sublimity and beauty of which were held forth to them as incontestable proofs of the inspiration of its author. Had Mohammed, indeed rested his doctrine upon miracles, it might have happened that the imposture by some would have been detected; but, with his usual policy, he avoided what he knew was so hazardous; and, with the exception of his reference to the Koran, as surpassing the capacity of man, he explicitly disclaimed having been authorized to do such mighty works as had been wrought to establish the previous dispensations of the Almighty. The fascinating representation that he gave of the joys of paradise, which he accommodated to the conceptions and wishes of the eastern nations, also made a deep and favourable impression; the wantonness of imagination was gratified with the anticipation of a state abounding with sensual gratification raised to the highest degree of exquisiteness; while the dismal fate allotted through eternity to all who rejected the message which he brought, alarmed the fears of the credulous and superstitious multitude whom he was eager to allure. When with these causes are combined the vigour of his administration, and the certainty of suffering or of death in the event of withstanding his doctrine, there is sufficient to account for the success of his religion; and there is in that success nothing which can, with the shadow of reason, be employed, as, with strange perversion of argument, it has sometimes been, to invalidate the proof for the truth of Christianity deduced from its rapid diffusion. That 613proof does not rest upon the mere circumstance that the religion of Jesus was widely and speedily propagated; there might, under particular circumstances, have been in this nothing wonderful; but on the facts that it was so propagated, when all the human means to which they who preached it could have recourse, would have retarded rather than promoted what actually took place; that it employed no force; that it held out no earthly advantages; that it accommodated itself to no previous religious prejudices; and that it opposed and reproved all, and did not gratify any, of the corruptions and lusts of human nature.

But Mohammed did not limit his views to the sovereignty of Arabia: he was elevated by the hope of universal empire; and he moulded his system so as to promote what he was eager to attain. For this purpose he promised to all who enrolled themselves under his banner full license to plunder the nations against which they were led; and he made it a fundamental tenet of his faith that they who fell in the warlike enterprises destined to enlarge the number of believers were at once delivered from the guilt and misery of their sins, and were admitted to the happy scenes prepared for the faithful. He thus collected around him an army thoroughly devoted, prepared for meeting every danger, stimulated to the most laborious exertions by the hope of plunder, and steeled against all which can weaken courage or exhaust resolution, by the enthusiasm of hope; whatever was their fate, they had nothing to dread; if they escaped the weapons of their enemies, they were loaded with spoil, and invited to indulgence; and if they fell, they were canonized by those who survived, and exchanged the vicissitudes and troubles of this world for the delights of a sensual paradise. An army thus constituted and thus impelled must, under any circumstances, have been formidable; against them the usual methods to defeat invasion and to prevent conquest would have failed; they could have been successfully encountered only by men who had imbibed a similar spirit, and who identified patience and courage in the field with the most sacred duty required by religion. Of the advantages which, after Arabia had acknowledged his sway, and hailed him as the prophet of the Lord, he might confidently anticipate, Mohammed was abundantly sensible; but while he was preparing to bring into action the mighty machine which he had erected, his earthly career was terminated, and he left to others to execute the schemes which he had fondly devised.

The energy of the system remained after the author of it was removed from the world; and his successors lost no time in extending their dominions far beyond the bounds of Arabia. The obstacles opposed to them instantly yielded; a feeble and degenerate empire sinking under its own weight, and unable to resist any power acting against it, at once submitted to the host of fanatical plunderers, who spread desolation as they advanced; the richest provinces soon were wrested from it; and the most fertile regions of Asia fell under the conquering fury of the caliphs. Persia, which had long persecuted Christianity, was added to their increasing territories; Syria submitted to their yoke; and, what filled with horror and with anguish the believers in the Gospel, Palestine, that holy land from which the light of divine truth had beamed upon the nations, which had been the scene of those awful or interesting events recorded in the inspired Scriptures, which had witnessed the life, the ministry, the death, the resurrection, and ascension of the Redeemer of mankind, bent under the iron sceptre of an infidel sovereign, nominally, indeed, revering the Founder of its religion, but filled with bigoted and implacable hatred against the most attached and conscientious of his disciples. But the caliphs did not accomplish their principal object when they reduced to subjection the countries which they ravaged: to them it was of infinitely more moment to propagate the Musselman faith; and, accordingly, although in the commencement of that faith some indulgence was, from political considerations, granted to the Christians, there was soon no alternative left to the trembling captives but to embrace the doctrine of the prophet, or to submit to slavery or death. We cannot wonder that tenets thus enforced rapidly spread; they supplanted, in many extensive regions, the religion of Jesus; and, incorporating themselves with civil governments, or rather founding all governments upon the Koran, they continue, at the distance of eleven hundred years, to be believed through a large proportion of the world.

The effect of this signal revolution was first experienced by those Christians who inhabited the eastern parts of the empire; but the account of it must have been speedily conveyed throughout Christendom, and the gigantic enterprises of the Saracens soon threatened all nations with slavery and superstition. The successors of the prophet, in the eighth century, directed their steps toward Europe; and having at length crossed the narrow sea which separates Africa from Spain, they dispersed the troops of Roderick, king of the Goths, took possession of the greater part of his dominions, subverted the empire of the Visigoths, which had been established in Spain for upward of three centuries, and planted themselves along the coast of Gaul, from the Pyrenean mountains to the Rhine. Charlemagne, alarmed at their progress, made a great effort to crush them; but he failed in accomplishing his object, and they committed, in various parts of Europe which they visited, the most shocking devastations.

When a great part of the life of Mohammed had been spent in preparatory meditation on the system he was about to establish, the chapters of the Alcoran or Koran, which was to contain the rule of the faith and practice of his followers, were dealt out slowly and separately during the long period of three-and-twenty years. He entrusted his beloved wife, Raphsa, the daughter of Omar, with the keeping of the chest of his apostleship, in which 614were laid up all the originals of the revelations he pretended to have received by the ministration of the Angel Gabriel, and out of which the Koran, consisting of one hundred and fourteen surats, or chapters, of very unequal length, was composed after his death. Yet, defective in its structure, and not less exceptionable in its doctrines and precepts, was the work which he thus delivered to his followers as the oracles of God. We will not detract from the real merit of the Koran; we allow it to be generally elegant and often sublime; but at the same time we reject with disdain its arrogant pretensions to any thing supernatural. Nay, if, descending to a minute investigation of it, we consider its perpetual inconsistency and absurdity, we shall indeed have cause for astonishment at that weakness of humanity which could ever have received such compositions as the work of the Deity, and which could still hold it in such high admiration as it is held by the followers of Mohammed to the present day. Far from supporting its arrogant claim to a supernatural work, it sinks below the level of many compositions confessedly of human original; and still lower does it fall when compared with that pure and perfect pattern which we justly admire in the Scriptures of truth. The first praise of all the productions of genius is invention; but the Koran bears little impression of this transcendent character. It does not contain one single doctrine which may not fairly be derived either from the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, from the spurious and apocryphal Gospels, then current in the east, from the Talmudical legends, or from the traditions, customs, and opinions of the Arabians. And the materials collected from these several sources are here heaped together with perpetual and needless repetitions, without any settled principle, or visible connection. The most prominent feature of the Koran, that point of excellence in which the partiality of its admirers has ever delighted to view it, is the sublime notion it generally impresses of the nature and attributes of God. But if its author had really derived these just conceptions from the inspiration of that Being whom they attempt to describe, they would not have been surrounded, as they now are, on every side with error and absurdity. By attempting to explain what is inconceivable, to describe what is ineffable, and to materialize what in itself is spiritual, he absurdly and impiously aimed to sensualize the purity of the divine essence. But it might easily be proved, that whatever the Koran justly defines of the divine attributes, was borrowed from our Holy Scriptures; which, even from their first promulgation, but especially from the completion of the New Testament, have extended the views, and enlightened the understandings, of mankind.

The Koran, indeed, every where inculcates that grand and fundamental doctrine of the unity of the supreme Being, the establishment of which was constantly alleged by the impostor as the primary object of his pretended mission; but on the subject of the Christian trinity, its author seems to have entertained very gross and mistaken ideas, and to have been totally ignorant of the perfect consistency of that opinion with the unity of the Deity. With respect to the great doctrine of a future life, and the condition of the soul after its departure from the body, it must indeed be acknowledged that the prophet of Arabia has presented us with a nearer prospect of the invisible world, and disclosed to us a thousand particulars concerning it, which the Holy Scriptures had wrapped in the most profound and mysterious silence. But in his various representations of another life, he generally descends to an unnecessary minuteness and particularity, which excite disgust and ridicule, instead of reverence. He constantly pretended to have received these stupendous secrets by the ministry of the Angel Gabriel, from that eternal book in which the divine decrees have been written by the finger of the Almighty from the foundation of the world; but the learned inquirer will discover a more accessible, and a far more probable, source whence they might be derived, partly in the wild and fanciful opinions of the ancient Arabs, and chiefly in those exhaustless stores of marvellous and improbable fiction, the works of the rabbins. Hence, that romantic fable of the angel of death, whose peculiar office it is, at the destined hour, to dissolve the union between soul and body, and to free the departing spirit from its prison of flesh. Hence, too, the various descriptions of the general resurrection and final judgment with which the Koran every where abounds; and hence the vast but ideal balance in which the actions of all mankind shall then be impartially weighed, and their eternal doom be assigned them, either in the regions of bliss or misery, according as their good or evil deeds shall preponderate. Here, too, may be traced the grand and original outlines of that sensual paradise, and those luxurious enjoyments, which were so successfully employed in the Koran, to gratify the ardent genius of the Arabs, and allure them to the standard of the prophet.

The same observation which has been applied with respect to the sources whence the doctrines were drawn, may, with some few limitations, be likewise extended to the precepts which the Arabian legislator has enjoined. That the Koran, amidst a various and confused heap of ridiculous and even immoral precepts, contains many interesting and instructive lessons of morality, cannot with truth be denied. Of these, however, the merit is to be ascribed, not to the feeble imitation, but to the great and perfect original from which they were manifestly drawn. Instead of improving on the Christian precepts by a superior degree of refinement; instead of exhibiting a purer and more perfect system of morals than that of the Gospel; the prophet of Arabia has miserably debased and weakened even what he has borrowed from that system. We are told by our Saviour, that a man is to be the husband of one wife, and that there is to be an inseparable union between them. By Mohammed’s confession, 615Jesus Christ was a prophet of the true God, and the Holy Spirit was with him. Yet in the Koran we find permission for any person to have four wives, and as many concubines as he can maintain. Again: our Saviour expressly tells us, that, at the resurrection, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; but be like the angels of God in heaven.” We are informed also by St. Paul, that we shall be changed, and have a spiritual and glorified body; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; neither can corruption inherit incorruption.” But Mohammed gives a very different account: it is clear, from his own confession, that the happiness promised in the Koran consists in base and corporeal enjoyments. According to its author, there will not only be marriage, but also servitude in the next world. The very meanest in paradise will have eighty thousand servants, and seventy-two wives of the girls of paradise, beside the wives he had in this world; he will also have a tent erected for him of pearls, hyacinths, and emeralds. And as marriage will take place, so a new race will be introduced in heaven; for, says the Koran, If any of the faithful in paradise be desirous of issue, it shall be conceived, born, and grown up in the space of an hour.” But on the contradictions in point of doctrine, though sufficient of themselves to confute the pretensions of Mohammed, we forbear to insist.

The impure designs which gave birth to the whole system may be traced in almost every subordinate part; even its sublimest descriptions of the Deity, even its most exalted moral precepts, not unfrequently either terminate in, or are interwoven with, some provision to gratify the inordinate cravings of ambition, or some license for the indulgence of the corrupt passions of the human heart. It has allowed private revenge, in the case of murder; it has given a sanction to fornication; and, if any weight be due to the example of its author, it has justified adultery. It has made war, and rapine, and bloodshed, provided they be exercised against unbelievers, not only meritorious acts, but even essential duties to the good Musselman; duties by the performance of which he may secure the constant favour and protection of God and his prophet in this life, and in the next entitle himself to the boundless joys of paradise. In the Koran are advanced the following assertions, among others already noticed: That both Jews and Christians are idolaters; that the patriarchs and Apostles were Mohammedans; that the angels worshipped Adam, and that the fallen angels were driven from heaven for not doing so; that our blessed Saviour was neither God, nor the Son of God; and that he assured Mohammed of this in a conference with the Almighty and him; yet that he was both the word and Spirit of God: not to mention numberless absurdities concerning the creation, the deluge, the end of the world, the resurrection, the day of judgment, too gross to be received by any except the most debased understandings.

It was frequently the triumphant boast of St. Paul, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ had for ever freed mankind from the intolerable burden of ceremonial observances. But the Koran renews and perpetuates the slavery, by prescribing to its votaries a ritual still more oppressive, and entangling them again in a yoke of bondage yet more severe than that of the law. Of this kind, amidst a variety of instances, is that great and meritorious act of Mohammedan devotion, the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca; an act which the Koran has enjoined, and the pious Musselman implicitly performs, as necessary to the obtaining pardon of his sins, and qualifying him to be a partaker of the alluring pleasures and exquisite enjoyments of paradise. To the several articles of faith to which all his followers were to adhere, Mohammed added four fundamental points of religious practice; namely, prayer five times a day, fasting, alms-giving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. Under the first of these are comprehended those frequent washings or purifications which he prescribed as necessary preparations for the duty of prayer. So necessary did he think them, that he is said to have declared, that the practice of religion is founded upon cleanliness, which is one half of faith, and the key of prayer. The second of these he conceived to be a duty of so great moment, that he used to say it was the gate of religion, and that the odour of the mouth of him who fasteth is more grateful to God than that of musk. The third is looked upon as so pleasing in the sight of God, that the Caliph Omar Ebn Abdalaziz used to say, Prayer carries us half way to God; fasting brings us to the door of his palace; and alms procure us admission.” The last of these practical religious duties is deemed so necessary, that, according to a tradition of Mohammed, he who dies without performing it, may as well die a Jew or a Christian.” As to the negative precepts and institutions of this religion, the Mohammedans are forbidden the use of wine, and are prohibited from gaming, usury, and the eating of blood and swine’s flesh, and whatever dies of itself, or is strangled, or killed by a blow, or by another beast. They are said, however, to comply with the prohibition of gaming, (from which chess seems to be excepted,) much better than they do with that of wine, under which all strong and inebriating liquors are included; for both the Persians and Turks are in the habit of drinking freely.

However successful and triumphant from without, the progress of the followers of Mohammed received a considerable check by the civil dissensions which arose among themselves soon after his death. Abubeker and Ali, the former the father-in-law, the latter the son-in-law, of this pretended prophet, aspired both to succeed him in the empire which he had erected. Upon this arose a cruel and tedious contest, whose flames produced that schism which divided the Mohammedans into two great factions; and this separation not only gave rise to a variety of opinions and rites, but also excited the most implacable hatred, and the most deadly animosities, 616which have been continued to the present day. With such furious zeal is this contention still carried on between these two factions, who are distinguished by the name of Sonnites and Schiites, that each party detest and anathematize the other as abominable heretics, and farther from the truth than either the Christians or the Jews. The chief points in which they differ are: 1. The Schiites reject Abubeker, Omar, and Othman, the first three caliphs, as usurpers and intruders; but the Sonnites acknowledge and respect them as rightful caliphs or imams. 2. The Schiites prefer Ali to Mohammed, or, at least, esteem them both equal; but the Sonnites admit neither Ali, nor any of the prophets, to be equal to Mohammed. 3. The Sonnites charge the Schiites with corrupting the Koran, and neglecting its precepts; and the Schiites retort the same charge on the Sonnites.

4. The Sonnites receive the Sonna, or book of traditions of their prophet, as of canonical authority; but the Schiites reject it as apocryphal, and unworthy of credit. The Sonnites are subdivided into four chief sects, of which the first is that of the Hanefites, who generally prevail among the Turks and Tartars; the second, that of the Malecites, whose doctrine is chiefly followed in Barbary, and other parts of Africa; the third, that of the Shafeites, who are chiefly confined to Arabia and Persia; and the fourth orthodox sect is that of the Hanbalites, who are not very numerous, and seldom to be met with out of the limits of Arabia. The heretical sects among the Mohammedans are those which are counted to hold heterodox opinions in fundamentals, or matters of faith; and they are variously compounded and decompounded of the opinions of four chief sects; the Motazalites, the Safatians, the Kharejites, and the Schiites.

Ever since the valour of John Sobieski rolled back the hosts of Islamism from eastern and central Europe, the civil dominion of the false prophet has been rather retrograde than advancing. A free philosophy in many places is destroying the influence of the system among the better informed; and the barbarism and misery which a bad government inflicts upon the people, weakens its power, and is preparing the way for great changes. The throwing off the Turkish yoke by the Greeks, and the rising greatness of Russia, are symptoms of the approaching subversion of Mohammedanism as a power; and thus the fall of this eastern antichrist cannot long be delayed. It is, indeed, even now supported only by the rival interests of Christian powers; and a new combination among them would suddenly withdraw its only support.

MALACHI, the last of the twelve minor prophets. Malachi prophesied about B. C. 400; and some traditionary accounts state that he was a native of Sapha, and of the tribe of Zebulun. He reproves the people for their wickedness, and the priests for their negligence in the discharge of their office; he threatens the disobedient with the judgments of God, and promises great rewards to the penitent and pious; he predicts the coming of Christ, and the preaching of John the Baptist; and with a solemnity becoming the last of the prophets, he closes the sacred canon with enjoining the strict observance of the Mosaic law, till the forerunner, already promised, should appear in the spirit of Elias, to introduce the Messiah, who was to establish a new and everlasting covenant.

MAMMON, a Syriac word which signifies riches, Matt. vi, 24.

MAMRE, an Amorite, brother of Aner and Eshcol, and friend of Abraham, Gen. xiv, 13. It was with these three persons, together with his own and their domestics, that Abraham pursued and overcame the kings after their conquest of Sodom and Gomorrah.

2. Mamre, the same as Hebron. In Gen. xxiii, 19, it is said, that Abraham buried Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.” And in Gen. xxxv, 27, it is said, that Jacob came unto Isaac his father, unto Mamre, unto the city of Arba, which is Hebron.” The city probably derived its name from that Mamre who joined Abraham in the pursuit of Chedorlaomer, and the rescue of Lot, Gen. xiv.

Mamre, Plain of, a plain near Mamre, or Hebron, said to be about two miles to the south of the town. Here Abraham dwelt after his separation from Lot; here he received from God himself a promise of the land, in which he was then a stranger, for his posterity; here he entertained the angels under an oak, and received a second promise of a son; and here he purchased a burying place for Sarah; which served also as a sepulchre for himself and the rest of his family.

MANAHEM was the sixteenth king of Israel, and son of Gadi. He revenged the death of his master Zachariah, by killing Shallum, son of Jabesh, who had usurped the crown of Israel, A. M. 3232, 2 Kings xv, 13, &c. Manahem reigned in his stead.

MANASSEH, the eldest son of Joseph, and grandson of the patriarch Jacob, Gen. xii, 50, was born, A. M. 2290, B. C. 1714. The name Manasseh signifies forgetfulness, because Joseph said, “God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.” When Jacob was going to die, Joseph brought his two sons to him, that his father might give them his last blessing, Gen. xlviii. Jacob, having seen them, adopted them. The tribe of Manasseh came out of Egypt in number thirty-two thousand two hundred men, upward of twenty years old, under the conduct of Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur, Num. ii, 20, 21. This tribe was divided in the land of promise. One half tribe of Manasseh settled beyond the river Jordan, and possessed the country of Bashan, from the river Jabbok, to Mount Libanus; and the other half tribe of Manasseh settled on this side Jordan, and possessed the country between the tribe of Ephraim south, and the tribe of Issachar north, having the river Jordan east, and the Mediterranean Sea west, Joshua xvi; xvii.

6172. Manasseh, the fifteenth king of Judah, and son and successor of Hezekiah, was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty-five years, 2 Kings xx, 21; xxi, 1, 2; 2 Chron. xxxiii, 1, 2, &c. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord; worshipped the idols of the land of Canaan; rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; set up altars to Baal; and planted groves to false gods. He raised altars to the whole host of heaven, in the courts of God’s house; made his son pass through the fire in honour of Moloch; was addicted to magic, divinations, auguries, and other superstitions; set up the idol Astarte in the house of God; finally, he involved his people in all the abomination of the idolatrous nations to that degree, that Israel committed more wickedness than the Canaanites, whom the Lord had driven out before them. To all these crimes Manasseh added cruelty; and he shed rivers of innocent blood in Jerusalem. The Lord being provoked by so many crimes, threatened him by his prophets, I will blot out Jerusalem as a writing is blotted out of a writing tablet.” The calamities which God had threatened began toward the twenty-second year of this impious prince. The king of Assyria sent his army against him, who, seizing him among the briers and brambles where he was hid, fettered his hands and feet, and carried him to Babylon, 2 Chron. xxxiii, 11, 12, &c. It was probably Sargon or Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who sent Tartan into Palestine, and who taking Azoth, attacked Manasseh, put him in irons, and led him away, not to Nineveh, but to Babylon, of which Esar-haddon had become master, and had reunited the empires of the Assyrians and the Chaldeans. Manasseh, in bonds at Babylon, humbled himself before God, who heard his prayers, and brought him back to Jerusalem; and Manasseh acknowledged the hand of the Lord. Manasseh was probably delivered out of prison by Saosduchin, the successor of Esar-haddon, 2 Chron. xxxiii, 13, 14, &c. Being returned to Jerusalem, he restored the worship of the Lord; broke down the altars of the false gods; abolished all traces of their idolatrous worship; but he did not destroy the high places: which is the only thing Scripture reproaches him with, after his return from Babylon. He caused Jerusalem to be fortified; and he inclosed with a wall another city, which in his time was erected west of Jerusalem, and which went by the name of the second city, 2 Chron. xxxiii, 14. He put garrisons into all the strong places of Judah. Manasseh died at Jerusalem, and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, 2 Kings xxi, 18. He was succeeded by his son Amon.

MANDRAKE, , Gen. xxx, 14–16; Cant. vii, 13. Interpreters have wasted much time and pains in endeavouring to ascertain what is intended by the Hebrew word dudaim. Some translate it by violet,” others, lilies,” jasmines,” truffle or mushroom,” and some think that the word means flowers,” or fine flowers,” in general. Bochart, Calmet, and Sir Thomas Browne, suppose the citron intended; Celsius is persuaded that it is the fruit of the lote tree; Hiller, that cherries are spoken of; and Ludolf maintains that it is the fruit which the Syrians call mauz, resembling in figure and taste the Indian fig; but the generality of interpreters and commentators understand by dudaim, mandrakes, a species of melon; and it is so rendered in the Septuagint, and in both the Targums, on Gen. xxx, 14. It appears from Scripture, that they were in perfection about the time of wheat harvest, have an agreeable odour, may be preserved, and are placed with pomegranates. Hasselquist, the pupil and intimate friend of Linnæus, who travelled into the Holy Land to make discoveries in natural history, imagines that the plant commonly called mandrake, is intended. Speaking of Nazareth, in Galilee, he says, “What I found most remarkable at this village was the great number of mandrakes which grew in a vale below it. I had not the pleasure to see this plant in blossom, the fruit now (May 5th, O. S.) hanging ripe on the stem, which lay withered on the ground. From the season in which this mandrake blossoms and ripens fruit, one may form a conjecture that it was Rachel’s dudaim. These were brought her in the wheat harvest, which in Galilee is in the month of May, about this time, and the mandrake was now in fruit.”

MANICHÆANS, or MANICHEES, a denomination founded in the latter part of the third century, by Mani, Manes, or Manichæus. Being a Persian or Chaldean by birth, and educated among the magi, he attempted a coalition of their doctrine with the Christian system, or rather, the explication of the one by the other. Dr. Lardner, so far from taking Mani and his followers for enthusiasts, as some have done, thinks they erred on the other side, and were rather a sect of reasoners and philosophers, than visionaries and enthusiasts. So Faustus, one of their leaders, says, the doctrine of Mani taught him not to receive every thing recommended as said by our Saviour, but first to examine and consider whether it be true, sound, right, genuine; while the Catholics, he says, swallowed every thing, and acted as if they despised the benefit of human reason, and were afraid to examine and distinguish between truth and falsehood. St. Augustine, it is well known, was for some time among this sect; but they were not pretensions to inspiration, but specious and alluring promises of rational discoveries, by which Augustine was deluded, as he particularly states in his letter to his friend Honoratus. So Beausobre remarks: These heretics were philosophers, who, having formed certain systems, accommodated revelation to them, which was the servant of their reason, not the mistress.”

Mani, according to Dr. Lardner, believed in an eternal self-existent Being, completely happy and perfect in goodness, whom alone he called God, in a strict and proper sense; but he believed, also, in an evil principle or being, which he called hyle, or the devil, whom he considered as the god of this world, blinding 618the eyes of them that believe not, 2 Cor. iv, 4. God, the supreme and good, they considered as the Author of the universe; and, according to St. Augustine, they believed, also, in a consubstantial trinity, though they strangely supposed the Father to dwell in light inaccessible, the Son to have his residence in the solar orb, and the Holy Spirit to be diffused throughout the atmosphere; on which account they paid a superstitious, and perhaps an idolatrous, reverence to the sun and moon. Their belief in the evil principle was, no doubt, adopted to solve the mysterious question of the origin of evil, which, says Dr. Lardner, was the ruin of these men, and of many others. As to the hyle, or the devil, though they dared not to consider him as the creature of God, neither did they believe in his eternity; for they contended, from the Greek text of John viii, 44, that he had a father. But they admitted the eternity of matter, which they called darkness; and supposed hyle to be the result of some wonderful and unaccountable commotion in the kingdom of darkness, which idea seems to be borrowed from the Mosaic chaos. In this commotion darkness became mingled with light, and thus they account for good and evil being so mixed together in the world. Having thus brought hyle, or Satan, into being, they next found an empire and employment for him. Every thing, therefore, which they conceived unworthy of the fountain of goodness, they attributed to the evil being; particularly the material world, the Mosaic dispensation, and the Scriptures on which it was founded. This accounts for their rejecting the Old Testament. Dr. Lardner contends, however, that they received generally the books of the New Testament, though they objected to particular passages as corrupted, which they could not reconcile to their system. On Rom. vii, Mani founded the doctrine of two souls in man, two active principles; one, the source and cause of vicious passions, deriving its origin from matter; the other, the cause of the ideas of just and right, and of inclinations to follow those ideas, deriving its origin from God. Considering all sensual enjoyments to be in some degree criminal, they were enemies to marriage; though, at the same time, knowing that all men cannot receive this saying, they allowed it to the second class of their disciples, called auditors; but by no means to the perfect or confirmed believers. Another absurd consequence of believing the moral evil of matter was, that they denied the real existence of Christ’s human nature, and supposed him to suffer and die in appearance only. According to them, he took the form only of man; a notion that was afterward adopted by Mohammed, and which necessarily excludes all faith in the atonement. Construing too literally the assertion that flesh and blood could not inherit the kingdom of God, they denied the doctrine of the resurrection. Christ came, they said, to save the souls of men, and not the bodies. No part of matter, according to them, could be worthy of salvation. In many leading principles they thus evidently agreed with the Gnostics, of whom, indeed, they may be considered a branch.

MANNA, , Exod. xvi, 15, 33, 35; Num. xi, 6, 7, 9; Josh. v, 12; Neh. ix, 20; Psa. lxxviii, 24; µa, John vi, 31, 49, 58; Heb. ix, 4; Rev. ii, 17; the food which God gave the children of Israel during their continuance in the deserts of Arabia, from the eighth encampment in the wilderness of Sin. Moses describes it as white like hoar frost, round, and of the bigness of coriander seed. It fell every morning upon the dew; and when the dew was exhaled by the heat of the sun, the manna appeared alone, lying upon the rocks or the sand. It fell every day except on the Sabbath, and this only around the camp of the Israelites. Every sixth day there fell a double quantity; and though it putrefied and bred maggots when it was kept any other day, yet on the Sabbath there was no such alteration. The same substance which was melted by the heat of the sun when it was left abroad, was of so hard a consistence when brought into the tent, that it was beaten in mortars, and would even endure the fire, being made into cakes and baked in pans. It fell in so great quantities during the whole forty years of their journey, that it was sufficient to feed the whole multitude of above a million of souls. Every man, that is, every male or head of a family, was to gather each day the quantity of an omer, about three quarts English measure; and it is observed that he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack,” because his gathering was in proportion to the number of persons for whom he had to provide. Or every man gathered as much as he could; and then, when brought home and measured by an omer, if he had a surplus, it went to supply the wants of some other family that had not been able to collect a sufficiency, the family being large, and the time in which the manna might be gathered, before the heat of the day, not being sufficient to collect enough for so numerous a household, several of whom might be so confined as not to be able to collect for themselves. Thus there was an equality; and in this light the words of St. Paul lead us to view the passage, 2 Cor. viii, 15. To commemorate their living upon manna, the Israelites were directed to put one omer of it into a golden vase; and it was preserved for many generations by the side of the ark.

Our translators and others make a plain contradiction in the relation of this account of the manna, by rendering it thus: And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna; for they knew not what it was;” whereas the Septuagint, and several authors, both ancient and modern, have translated the text according to the original: “The Israelites seeing this, said one to another, What is it ; for they knew not what it was,” and therefore they could not give it a name. Moses immediately answers the question, and says, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.” From Exod. xvi, 31, we learn that this substance was afterward called , 619probably in commemoration of the question they had asked on its first appearance. What this substance was, we know not. It was nothing that was common in the wilderness. It is evident that the Israelites never saw it before; for Moses says, He fed thee with manna which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know,” Deut. viii, 3, 16; and it is very likely that nothing of the kind had ever been seen before; and by a pot of it being laid up in the ark, it is as likely that nothing of the kind ever appeared after the miraculous supply in the wilderness had ceased. The author of the book of Wisdom, xvi, 20, 21, says, that the manna so accommodated itself to every one’s taste that it proved palatable and pleasing to all. It has been remarked that at this day, what is called manna is found in several places; in Arabia, on Mount Libanus, Calabria, and elsewhere. The most famous is that of Arabia, which is a kind of condensed honey, which exudes from the leaves of trees, from whence it is collected when it has become concreted. Salmasius thinks this of the same kind which fed the children of Israel; and that the miracle lay, not in creating any new substance, but in making it fall duly at a set time every day throughout the whole year, and that in such plenty as to suffice so great a multitude. But in order for this, the Israelites must he supposed every day to have been in the neighbourhood of the trees on which this substance is formed; which was not the case, neither do these trees grow in those deserts. Beside, this kind of manna is purgative, and the stomach could not endure it in such quantity as is implied by its being eaten for food. The whole history of the giving the manna is evidently miraculous; and the manna was truly bread from heaven,” as sent by special interposition of God.

MANOAH, the father of Samson, was of the tribe of Dan, and a native of the city of Zorah, Judges xiii, 6–23. See Samson.

MARAH, or MARA, a word which signifies bitterness. When the Israelites came out of Egypt, and had arrived at the desert of Etham, they found the water so bitter that neither themselves nor their cattle could drink of it, Exod. xv, 23. On this account they gave the name of Marah to that encampment. And here their murmurings began against Moses; for they asked, What shall we drink” Moses prayed to the Lord, who instructed him to take a particular kind of wood, and cast it into the water, which he did; and immediately the water became palatable. According to the orientals, this wood was called Alnah.

MARANATHA. See Anathema.

MARBLE, , 1 Chron. xxix, 2; Esther i, 6; Canticles v, 15; a valuable kind of stone, of a texture so hard and compact, and of a grain so fine, as readily to take a beautiful polish. It is dug out of quarries in large masses, and is much used in buildings, ornamental pillars, &c. Marble is of different colours, black, white, &c; and is sometimes elegantly clouded and variegated. The stone mentioned in the places cited above is called the stone of sis or sish: the LXX and Vulgate render it Parian stone,” which was remarkable for its bright white colour. Probably the cliff Ziz, 2 Chron. xx, 16, was so called from being a marble crag: the place was afterward called Petra. The variety of stones, , , , , mentioned in the pavement of Ahasuerus, might be marble of different colours. The ancients sometimes made pavements wherein were set very valuable stones.

MARK was the nephew of Barnabas, being his sister’s son; and he is supposed to have been converted to the Gospel by St. Peter, who calls him his son, 1 Peter v, 13; but no circumstances of his conversion are recorded. The first historical fact mentioned of him in the New Testament is, that he went, in the year 44, from Jerusalem to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas. Not long after, he set out from Antioch with those Apostles upon a journey, which they undertook by the direction of the Holy Spirit, for the purpose of preaching the Gospel in different countries: but he soon left them, probably without sufficient reason, at Perga in Pamphylia, and went to Jerusalem, Acts xiii. Afterward, when Paul and Barnabas had determined to visit the several churches which they had established, Barnabas proposed that they should take Mark with them; to which Paul objected, because Mark had left them in their former journey. This produced a sharp contention between Paul and Barnabas, which ended in their separation. Mark accompanied his uncle Barnabas to Cyprus, but it is not mentioned whither they went when they left that island. We may conclude that St. Paul was afterward reconciled to St. Mark, from the manner in which he mentions him in his epistles written subsequently to this dispute; and particularly from the direction which he gives to Timothy: Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is profitable to me for the ministry,” 2 Tim. iv, 11. No farther circumstances are recorded of St. Mark in the New Testament; but it is believed, upon the authority of ancient writers, that soon after his journey with Barnabas he met Peter in Asia, and that he continued with him for some time; perhaps till Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome. Epiphanius, Eusebius, and Jerom, all assert that Mark preached the Gospel in Egypt; and the two latter call him bishop of Alexandria.

Dr. Lardner thinks that St. Mark’s Gospel is alluded to by Clement of Rome; but the earliest ecclesiastical writer upon record who expressly mentions it is Papias. It is mentioned, also, by Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerom, Augustine, Chrysostom, and many others. The works of these fathers contain numerous quotations from this Gospel; and, as their testimony is not contradicted by any ancient writer, we may safely conclude that the Gospel of St. Mark is genuine. The authority of this Gospel is not affected by the 620question concerning the identity of Mark the evangelist, and Mark the nephew of Barnabas; since all agree that the writer of this Gospel was the familiar companion of St. Peter, and that he was qualified for the work which he undertook, by having heard, for many years, the public discourses and private conversation of that Apostle.

Some writers have asserted that St. Peter revised and approved this Gospel, and others have not scrupled to call it the Gospel according to St. Peter; by which title they did not mean to question St. Mark’s right to be considered as the author of this Gospel, but merely to give it the sanction of St. Peter’s name. The following passage in Eusebius appears to contain so probable an account of the occasion of writing this Gospel, and comes supported by such high authority, that we think it right to transcribe it: “The lustre of piety so enlightened the minds of Peter’s hearers at Rome, that they were not contented with the bare hearing and unwritten instruction of his divine preaching, but they earnestly requested St. Mark, whose Gospel we have, being an attendant upon St. Peter, to leave with them a written account of the instructions which had been delivered to them by word of mouth; nor did they desist till they had prevailed upon him; and thus they were the cause of the writing of that Gospel, which is called according to St. Mark; and they say, that the Apostle being informed of what was done, by the revelation of the Holy Ghost, was pleased with the zeal of the men, and authorized the writing to be introduced into the churches. Clement gives this account in the sixth book of his Institutions; and Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, bears testimony to it.” Jerom also says, that St. Mark wrote a short Gospel from what he had heard from St. Peter, at the request of the brethren at Rome, which, when St. Peter knew, he approved, and published it in the church, commanding the reading of it by his own authority.

Different persons have assigned different dates to this Gospel; but there being almost a unanimous concurrence of opinion, that it was written while St. Mark was with St. Peter at Rome, and not finding any ancient authority for supposing that St. Peter was in that city till A. D. 64, we are inclined to place the publication of this Gospel about A. D. 65. St. Mark having written this Gospel for the use of the Christians at Rome, which was at that time the great metropolis and common centre of all civilized nations, we accordingly find it free from all peculiarities, and equally accommodated to every description of persons. Quotations from the ancient prophets, and allusions to Jewish customs, are, as much as possible, avoided; and such explanations are added as might be necessary for Gentile readers at Rome; thus, when Jordan is first mentioned in this Gospel, the word river is prefixed, Mark i, 5; the oriental word corban is said to mean a gift, Mark vii, 11; the preparation is said to be the day before the Sabbath, Mark xv, 42; and defiled hands are said to mean unwashed hands, Mark vii, 2; and the superstition of the Jews upon that subject is stated more at large than it would have been by a person writing at Jerusalem.

Some learned men, from a collation of St. Matthew’s and St. Mark’s Gospels have pointed out the use of the same words and expressions in so many instances that it has been supposed St. Mark wrote with St. Matthew’s Gospel before him; but the similarity is not strong enough to warrant such a conclusion; and seems no greater than might have arisen from other causes. St. Peter would naturally recite in his preaching the same events and discourses which St. Matthew recorded in his Gospel; and the same circumstances might be mentioned in the same manner by men who sought not after excellency of speech,” but whose minds retained the remembrance of facts or conversations which strongly impressed them, even without taking into consideration the idea of supernatural guidance. We may farther observe that the idea of St. Mark’s writing from St. Matthew’s Gospel does not correspond with the account given by Eusebius and Jerom as stated above.


MARONITES, a sect of eastern Christians who follow the Syrian rite, and are subject to the pope; their principal habitation being on Mount Libanus, or between the Ansarians to the north and the Druses to the south. Mosheim informs us, that the Monothelites, condemned and exploded by the council of Constantinople, found a place of refuge among the Mardaites, signifying in Syriac rebels, a people who took possession of Lebanon, A. D. 676, which became the asylum of vagabonds, slaves, and all sorts of rabble; and about the conclusion of the seventh century they were called Maronites, after Maro, their first bishop; a name which they still retain. None, he says, of the ancient writers, give any certain account of the first person who instructed these mountaineers in the doctrine of the Monothelites; it is probable, however, from several circumstances, that it was John Maro, whose name they have adopted; and that this ecclesiastic received the name of Maro from his having lived in the character of a monk, in the famous convent of St. Maro, upon the borders of the Orontes, before his settlement among the Mardaites of Mount Libanus. One thing is certain, from the testimony of Tyrius, and other unexceptionable witnesses, as also from the most authentic records, namely, that the Maronites retained the opinions of the Monothelites until the twelfth century, when, abandoning and renouncing the doctrine of one will in Christ, they were reädmitted into the communion of the Roman church. The most learned of the modern Maronites have left no method unemployed to defend their church against this accusation; they have laboured to prove, by a variety of testimonies, that their ancestors always persevered in the Catholic faith, and in their attachment to the Roman pontiff, 621without ever adopting the doctrine of the Monophysites or Monothelites. But all their efforts are insufficient to prove the truth of these assertions, and the testimonies they allege will appear absolutely fictitious and destitute of authority.

The nation may be considered as divided into two classes, the common people and the shaiks, by whom must be understood the most eminent of the inhabitants, who, from the antiquity of their families, and the opulence of their fortunes are superior to the ordinary class. They all live dispersed in the mountains, in villages, hamlets, and even detached houses; which is never the case in the plains. The whole nation consists of cultivators. Every man improves the little domain he possesses, or farms, with his own hands. Even the shaiks live in the same manner, and are only distinguished from the rest by a bad peliss, a horse, and a few slight advantages in food and lodging; they all live frugally, without many enjoyments, but also with few wants, as they are little acquainted with the inventions of luxury. In general, the nation is poor, but no one wants necessaries; and if beggars are sometimes seen, they come rather from the sea coast than the country itself. Property is as sacred among them as in Europe; nor do we see there those robberies and extortions so frequent with the Turks. Travellers may journey there, either by night or by day, with a security unknown in any other part of the empire, and the stranger is received with hospitality, as among the Arabs: it must be owned, however, that the Maronites are less generous, and rather inclined to the vice of parsimony. Conformably to the doctrines of Christianity, they have only one wife, whom they frequently espouse without having seen, and always without having been much in her company. Contrary to the precepts of that same religion, however, they have admitted, or retained, the Arab custom of retaliation, and the nearest relation of a murdered person is bound to avenge him. From a habit founded on distrust, and the political state of the country, every one, whether shaik or peasant, walks continually armed with a musket and poinards. This is, perhaps, an inconvenience; but this advantage results from it, that they have no novices in the use of arms among them, when it is necessary to employ them against the Turks. As the country maintains no regular troops, every man is obliged to join the army in time of war; and if this militia were well conducted, it would be superior to many European armies. From accounts taken in late years, the number of men fit to bear arms, amounts to thirty-five thousand.

In religious matters the Maronites are dependent on Rome. Though they acknowledge the supremacy of the pope, their clergy continue, as heretofore, to elect a head, with the title of batrak, or patriarch of Antioch. Their priests marry, as in the first ages of the church; but their wives must be maidens, and not widows; nor can they marry a second time. They celebrate mass in Syriac, of which the greatest part of them comprehend not a word. The Gospel, alone, is read aloud in Arabic, that it may be understood by the people. The communion is administered in both kinds. In the small country of the Maronites there are reckoned upward of two hundred convents for men and women. These religious are of the order of St. Anthony, whose rules they observe with an exactness which reminds us of earlier times. The court of Rome, in affiliating the Maronites, has granted them a hospitium at Rome, to which they may send several of their youth to receive a gratuitous education. It should seem that this institution might introduce among them the ideas and arts of Europe; but the pupils of this school, limited to an education purely monastic, bring home nothing but the Italian language, which is of no use, and a stock of theological learning, from which as little advantage can be derived; they accordingly soon assimilate with the rest. Nor has a greater change been operated by the three or four missionaries maintained by the French capuchins at Gazir, Tripoli, and Bairout. Their labours consist in preaching in their church, in instructing children in the catechism, Thomas a Kempis, and the Psalms, and in teaching them to read and write. Formerly, the Jesuits had two missionaries at their house at Antoura, and the Lazarites have now succeeded them in their mission. The most valuable advantage that has resulted from these labours is, that the art of writing has become more common among the Maronites, and rendered them, in this country, what the Copts are in Egypt, that is, they are in possession of all the posts of writers, intendants, and kaiyas among the Turks, and especially of those among their allies and neighbours, the Druses.

Mosheim observes, that the subjection of the Maronites to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff was agreed to with this express condition, that neither the popes nor their emissaries should pretend to change or abolish any thing that related to the ancient rites, moral precepts, or religious opinions of this people; so that, in reality, there is nothing to be found among the Maronites that savours of popery, if we except their attachment to the Roman pontiff. It is also certain that there are Maronites in Syria, who still behold the church of Rome with the greatest aversion and abhorrence; nay, what is still more remarkable, great numbers of that nation residing in Italy, even under the eye of the pontiff, opposed his authority during the seventeenth century, and threw the court of Rome into great perplexity. One body of these non-conforming Maronites retired into the valleys of Piedmont, where they joined the Waldenses; another, above six hundred in number, with a bishop, and several ecclesiastics at their head, flew into Corsica, and implored the protection of the republic of Genoa, against the violence of the inquisitors.

MARRIAGE, a civil and religious contract, by which a man is joined and united to a woman, for the ends of procreation. The essence 622of marriage consists in the mutual consent of the parties. Marriage is a part of the law of nations, and is in use among all people. The public use of marriage institutions consists, according to Archdeacon Paley, in their promoting the following beneficial effects: 1. The private comfort of individuals. 2. The production of the greatest number of healthy children, their better education, and the making of due provision for their settlement in life. 3. The peace of human society, in cutting off a principal source of contention, by assigning one or more women to one man, and protecting his exclusive right by sanctions of morality and law. 4. The better government of society, by distributing the community into separate families, and appointing over each the authority of a master of a family, which has more actual influence than all civil authority put together. 5. The additional security which the state receives for the good behaviour of its citizens, from the solicitude they feel for the welfare of their children, and from their being confined to permanent habitations. 6. The encouragement of industry.

Whether marriage be a civil or a religious contract, has been a subject of dispute. The truth seems to be that it is both. It has its engagements to men, and its vows to God. A Christian state recognizes marriage as a branch of public morality, and a source of civil peace and strength. It is connected with the peace of society by assigning one woman to one man, and the state protects him, therefore, in her exclusive possession. Christianity, by allowing divorce in the event of adultery, supposes, also, that the crime must be proved by proper evidence before the civil magistrate; and lest divorce should be the result of unfounded suspicion, or be made a cover for license, the decision of the case could safely be lodged no where else. Marriage, too, as placing one human being more completely under the power of another than any other relation, requires laws for the protection of those who are thus so exposed to injury. The distribution of society into families, also, can only be an instrument for promoting the order of the community, by the cognizance which the law takes of the head of a family, and by making him responsible, to a certain extent, for the conduct of those under his influence. Questions of property are also involved in marriage and its issue. The law must, therefore, for these and many other weighty reasons, be cognizant of marriage; must prescribe various regulations respecting it; require publicity of the contract; and guard some of the great injunctions of religion in the matter by penalties. In every well ordered society marriage must be placed under the cognizance and control of the state. But then those who would have the whole matter to lie between the parties themselves, and the civil magistrate, appear wholly to forget that marriage is also a solemn religious act, in which vows are made to God by both persons, who, when the rite is properly understood, engage to abide by all those laws with which he has guarded the institution; to love and cherish each other; and to remain faithful to each other until death. For if, at least, they profess belief in Christianity, whatever duties are laid upon husbands and wives in Holy Scripture, they engage to obey, by the very act of their contracting marriage. The question, then, is whether such vows to God as are necessarily involved in marriage, are to be left between the parties and God privately, or whether they ought to be publicly made before his ministers and the church. On this the Scriptures are silent; but though Michaëlis has shown that the priests under the law were not appointed to celebrate marriage; yet in the practice of the modern Jews it is a religious ceremony, the chief rabbi of the synagogue being present, and prayers being appointed for the occasion. This renders it probable that the character of the ceremony under the law, from the most ancient times, was a religious one. The more direct connection of marriage with religion in Christian states, by assigning its celebration to the ministers of religion, appears to be a very beneficial custom, and one which the state has a right to enjoin. For since the welfare and morals of society are so much interested in the performance of the mutual duties of the married state; and since those duties have a religious as well as a civil character, it is most proper that some provision should be made for explaining those duties; and for this a standing form of marriage is best adapted. By acts of religion, also, they are more solemnly impressed upon the parties. When this is prescribed in any state, it becomes a Christian cheerfully, and even thankfully, to comply with a custom of so important a tendency, as matter of conscientious subjection to lawful authority, although no Scriptural precept can be pleaded for it. That the ceremony should be confined to the clergy of an established church, is a different consideration. We think that the religious effect would be greater, were the ministers of each religious body to be authorized by the state to celebrate marriages among their own people, due provision being previously made by the civil magistrate for the regular and secure registry of them, and to prevent the laws respecting marriage from being evaded; which is indeed his business. The offices of religion would then come in by way of sanction and moral enforcement.

When this important contract is once made, then certain rights are acquired by the parties mutually, who are also bound by reciprocal duties, in the fulfilment of which the practical virtue of each consists. And here the superior character of the morals of the New Testament, as well as their higher authority, is illustrated. It may, indeed, be within the scope of mere moralists to show that fidelity,and affection, and all the courtesies necessary to maintain affection, are rationally obligatory upon those who are connected by the nuptial bond; but in Christianity nuptial fidelity is guarded by the express law, Thou shalt not commit adultery;” and by our Lord’s exposition of the spirit of that 623law which forbids the indulgence of loose thoughts and desires, and places the purity of the heart under the guardianship of that hallowed fear which his authority tends to inspire. Affection, too, is made a matter of diligent cultivation upon considerations, and by a standard, peculiar to our religion. Husbands are placed in a relation to their wives, similar to that which Christ bears to his church, and his example is thus made their rule. As Christ loved the church, so husbands are to love their wives; as Christ gave himself,” his life, for the church,” Eph. v, 25, so are they to hazard life for their wives; as Christ saves his church, so is it the bounden duty of husbands to endeavour, by every possible means, to promote the religious edification and salvation of their wives. The connection is thus exalted into a religious one; and when love which knows no abatement, protection at the hazard of life, and a tender and constant solicitude for the salvation of a wife, are thus enjoined, the greatest possible security is established for the exercise of kindness and fidelity. The oneness of this union is also more forcibly stated in Scripture than any where beside. They twain shall be one flesh.” So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies; he that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” Precept and illustration can go no higher than this; and nothing evidently is wanting either of direction or authority to raise the state of marriage into the highest, most endearing, and sanctified relation in which two human beings can stand to each other.

2. We find but few laws in the books of Moses concerning the institution of marriage. Though the Mosaic law no where obliges men to marry, the Jews have always looked upon it as an indispensable duty implied in the words, Increase and multiply,” Gen. i, 28; so that a man who did not marry his daughter before she was twenty years of age, was looked upon as accessary to any irregularities the young woman might be guilty of for want of being timely married. Moses restrained the Israelites from marrying within certain degrees of consanguinity; which had till then been permitted, to prevent their taking wives from among the idolatrous nations among whom they lived. Abraham gave this as a reason for choosing a wife for Isaac from among his own kindred, Gen. xxxiv, 3, &c. But when his descendants became so exceedingly multiplied, this reason ceased; and the great lawgiver prohibited, under pain of death, certain degrees of kindred as incestuous. Polygamy, though not expressly allowed, is however tacitly implied in the laws of Moses, Gen. xxxi; Exod. xxi, 10. This practice likewise was authorized by the example of the patriarchs. Thus Jacob married both the daughters of Laban. In respect to which custom, Moses enjoins that, upon the marriage of a second wife, a man shall be bound to continue to the first her food, raiment, and the duty of marriage. The Jews did not always content themselves with the allowance of two wives, as may be seen in the examples of David, Solomon, and many others. However, they made a distinction between the wives of the first rank, and those of the second. The first they called nashim, and the other pilgashim; which last, though most versions render it by the words concubines,” harlots,” and prostitutes,” yet it has no where in Scripture any such bad sense. There is a particular law called the Levirate, which obliged a man, whose brother died without issue, to marry his widow, and raise up seed to his brother, Deut. xxv, 5, &c. But Moses in some measure left it to a man’s choice, whether he would comply with this law or not; for in case of a refusal, the widow could only summon him before the judges of the place, when, if he persisted, she untied his shoe, and spit in his face, and said, “Thus shall it be done unto the man who refuses to build up his brother’s house.” A man was at liberty to marry not only in the twelve tribes, but even out of them, provided it was among such nations as used circumcision; such were the Midianites, Ishmaelites, Edomites, Moabites, and Egyptians. Accordingly, we find Moses himself married to a Midianite, and Boaz to a Moabite. Amasa was the son of Jether, an Ishmaelite, by Abigail, David’s sister; and Solomon, in the beginning of his reign, married Pharaoh’s daughter. Whenever we find him and other kings blamed for marrying strange women, we must understand it of those nations which were idolatrous and uncircumcised.

It appears almost impossible to Europeans, says Mr. Hartley, that a deception like that of Laban’s could be practised. But the following extract, from a journal which I kept at Smyrna, presents a parallel case: “The Armenian brides are veiled during the marriage ceremony; and hence deceptions have occurred, in regard to the person chosen for wife. I am informed that, on one occasion, a young Armenian at Smyrna solicited in marriage a younger daughter, whom he admired. The parents of the girl consented to the request, and every previous arrangement was made. When the time for solemnizing the marriage arrived, the elder daughter, who was not so beautiful, was conducted by the parents to the altar, and the young man was unconsciously married to her. And ‘it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was the elder daughter.’ The deceit was not discovered, till it could not be rectified; and the manner in which the parents justified themselves was precisely that of Laban: ‘It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born.’ It is really the rule among the Armenians, that neither a younger son nor daughter be married, till their elder brother or sister have preceded them.” I was once present at the solemnization of matrimony among the Armenians; and some recollections of it may tend to throw light on this and other passages of Scripture. The various festivities attendant on these occasions continue for three days; 624and during the last night the marriage is celebrated. I was conducted to the house of the bride, where I found a very large assemblage of persons. The company was dispersed through various rooms; reminding me of the directions of our Saviour, in regard to the choice of the lowermost rooms at feasts. On the ground floor I actually observed that the persons convened were of an inferior order of the community, while in the upper rooms were assembled those of higher rank. The large number of young females who were present, naturally reminded me of the wise and foolish virgins in our Saviour’s parable. These being friends of the bride, the virgins, her companions, had come to meet the bridegroom, Psalm xlv, 14. It is usual for the bridegroom to come at midnight; so that, literally, at midnight the cry is made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh! go ye out to meet him,” Matt. xxv, 6. But, on this occasion the bridegroom tarried: it was two o’clock before he arrived. The whole party then proceeded to the Armenian church, where the bishop was waiting to receive them; and there the ceremony was completed. See Divorce and Bride.

MARTHA was sister of Lazarus and Mary, and mistress of the house where our Saviour was entertained, in the village of Bethany. Martha is always named before Mary, probably because she was the elder sister.

MARY, the mother of Jesus, and wife of Joseph. She is called by the Jews the daughter of Eli; and by the early Christian writers, the daughter of Joakim and Anna: but Joakim and Eliakim are sometimes interchanged, 2 Chron. xxxvi, 4; and Eli, or Heli, is therefore the abridgment of Eliakim, Luke iii, 23. She was of the royal race of David, as was also Joseph her husband; and she was also cousin to Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias the priest, Luke i, 5, 36. Mary being espoused to Joseph, the Angel Gabriel appeared to her, to announce to her that she should be the mother of the Messiah, Luke i, 26, 27, &c. To confirm his message, and to show that nothing is impossible to God, he added that her cousin Elizabeth, who was old, and had been hitherto barren, was then in the sixth month of her pregnancy. Mary answered, Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word;” and presently she conceived. She set out for Hebron, a city in the mountains of Judah, to visit her cousin Elizabeth. As soon as Elizabeth heard the voice of Mary, her child, John the Baptist, leaped in her womb; and she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake with a loud voice, saying, Blessed art thou among women,” &c. Then Mary praised God, saying, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour,” &c. Mary continued with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned to her own house. An edict of Cæsar Augustus having decreed, that all subjects of the empire should go to their own cities, to register their names according to their families, Joseph and Mary, who were both of the lineage of David, went to Bethlehem, from whence sprung their family. But while they were here, the time being fulfilled in which Mary was to be delivered, she brought forth her first-born son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in the manger of the stable or cavern whither they had retired, because there was no room in the inn. Angels made this event known to shepherds, who were in the fields near Bethlehem, and these came in the night to Joseph and Mary, and saw the child lying in the manger, and paid him their adoration. The presentation of Christ in the temple, the flight into Egypt, the slaughter of the innocents, and other events connected with the birth and infancy of our Lord, are plainly related in the Gospels.

Mary and Joseph went every year to Jerusalem to the passover; and when Jesus was twelve years of age, they took him with them. When they were returning, the youth continued at Jerusalem, without their perceiving it. Three days after, they found him in the temple, sitting among the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. Afterward, he returned with them to Nazareth, and lived in filial submission to them. But his mother laid up all these things in her heart, Luke ii, 51, &c. The Gospel speaks nothing more of the Virgin Mary till the marriage at Cana of Galilee, at which she was present with her son Jesus. She was at Jerusalem at the last passover our Saviour celebrated there. There she saw all that was transacted; followed him to Calvary; and stood at the foot of his cross with an admirable constancy and courage. Jesus seeing his mother, and his beloved disciple near, he said to his mother, Woman, behold thy son; and to the disciple, Behold thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her home to his own house.” No farther particulars of this favoured woman are mentioned, except that she was a witness of Christ’s resurrection. A veil is drawn over her character and history; as though with the design to reprove that wretched idolatry of which she was made the subject when Christianity became corrupt and paganized.

2. Mary, the mother of John Mark, a disciple of the Apostles. She had a house in Jerusalem, whither, it is thought, the Apostles retired after the ascension of our Lord, and where they received the Holy Ghost. After the imprisonment of St. Peter, the faithful assembled in this house, and were praying there when Peter, delivered by the ministry of an angel, knocked at the door of the house, Acts xii, 12.

3. Mary, of Cleophas. St. Jerom says, she bore the name of Cleophas, either because of her father, or for some other reason which cannot now be known. Others believe, with greater probability, that she was wife of Cleophas, as our version of the New Testament makes her, by supplying the word wife, John xix, 25, and mother of James the less, and of Simon, brethren of our Lord. These last mentioned authors take Mary mother of James, and Mary wife of Cleophas, to be the same person, Matthew xxvii, 56; Mark xv, 40, 41; 625Luke xxiv, 10; John xix, 25. St. John gives her the name of Mary of Cleophas; and the other evangelists, the name of Mary, mother of James. Cleophas and Alpheus are the same person; as James, son of Mary, wife of Cleophas, is the same as James, son of Alpheus. It is thought she was the sister of the Virgin Mary, and that she was the mother of James the less, of Joses, of Simon, and of Judas, who in the Gospel are named the brethren of Jesus Christ, Matt. xiii, 55; xxvii, 56; Mark vi, 3; that is, his cousin-germans. She was an early believer in Jesus Christ, and attended him on his journeys, to minister to him. She was present at the last passover, and at the death of our Saviour she followed him to Calvary; and during his passion she was with the mother of Jesus at the foot of the cross. She was also present at his burial; and on the Friday before had, in union with others, prepared the perfumes to embalm him, Luke xxiii, 56. But going to his tomb very early on the Sunday morning, with other women, they there learned from the mouth of an angel, that he was risen; of which they carried the news to the Apostles, Luke xxiv, 1–5; Matt. xxviii, 9. By the way, Jesus appeared to them; and they embraced his feet, worshipping him. This is all we know with certainty concerning Mary, the wife of Cleophas.

4. Mary, sister of Lazarus, who has been preposterously confounded with that female sinner spoken of, Luke vii, 37–39. She lived with her brother and her sister Martha at Bethany; and Jesus Christ, having a particular affection for this family, often retired to their house with his disciples. Six days before the passover, after having raised Lazarus from the dead, he came to Bethany with his disciples, and was invited to sup with Simon the leper, John xii, 1, &c; Matthew xxvi, 6, &c; Mark xiv, 3, &c. Martha attended at the table, and Lazarus was one of the guests. Upon this occasion, Mary, taking a pound of spikenard, which is the most precious perfume of its kind, poured it upon the head and feet of Jesus. She wiped his feet with her hair, and the whole house was filled with the odour of the perfume. Judas Iscariot murmured at this; but Jesus justified Mary in what she had done, saying, that by this action she had prevented his embalmment, and in a manner had declared his death and burial, which were at hand. From this period the Scriptures make no mention of either Mary or Martha.

5. Mary Magdalene, so called, it is probable, from Magdala, a town of Galilee, of which she was a native, or where she had resided during the early part of her life. Out of her, St. Luke tells us, Jesus had cast seven devils, Luke viii, 2. He informs us, also, in the same place, that Jesus, in company with his Apostles, preached the Gospel from city to city; and that there were several women with them, whom he had delivered from evil spirits, and healed of their infirmities; among whom was this Mary, whom some, without a shadow of proof, have supposed to be the sinful woman spoken of, Luke vii, 37–39; as others have as erroneously imagined her to be Mary, the sister of Lazarus. Mary Magdalene is mentioned by the evangelists as being one of those women that followed our Saviour, to minister to him, according to the custom of the Jews. She attended him in the last journey he made from Galilee to Jerusalem, and was at the foot of the cross with the holy virgin, John xix, 25; Mark xv, 47; after which she returned to Jerusalem, to buy and prepare with others certain perfumes, that she might embalm him after the Sabbath was over, which was then about to begin. All the Sabbath day she remained in the city; and the next day, early in the morning, went to the sepulchre along with Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, Mark xvi, 1, 2; Luke xxiv, 1, 2. For other particulars respecting her, see also Matt. xxviii, 1–5; John xx, 11–17. In Dr. Townley’s Essays, there is one of considerable research on Mary Magdalene; and his conclusion is, that it is probable that the woman mentioned by St. Luke, and called in the English translation a sinner,” had formerly been a Heathen; but whether subsequently a proselyte to Judaism or not, is uncertain; and that, having been brought to the knowledge of Christian truth, and having found mercy from the Redeemer, she pressed into Simon’s house, and gave the strongest proofs of her gratitude and veneration by anointing the Saviour’s feet, bedewing them with her tears, and wiping them with the hairs of her head:--that by a wilful and malicious misrepresentation, the Jews confounded Mary Magdalene with Mary the mother of Jesus, and represented her as an infamous character:--and that, from the blasphemous calumny of the Jews, a stigma of infamy has been affixed to the name of Mary Magdalene, and caused her to be regarded in the false light of a penitent prostitute. There is no doubt but that Mary Magdalene, both in character and circumstances, was a woman of good reputation.

MASCHIL, a title, or inscription, at the head of several psalms of David and others, in the book of Psalms. Thus Psalm xxxii is inscribed, A Psalm of David, Maschil;” and Psalm xlii, To the chief musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.” The word Maschil, in the Hebrew, signifies, he that instructs;” though some interpreters take it for the name of a musical instrument. Some of the rabbins believe that, in repeating the psalms which have this inscription, it was usual to add an interpretation or explication to them. Others, on the contrary, think it shows the clearness and perspicuity of such psalms, and that they needed no particular explication. The most probable opinion is, that Maschil means an instructive song.

MASS, MISSA, in the church of Rome, the office of prayers used at the celebration of the eucharist; or, in other words, the consecrating the bread and wine so that it is transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ, and offer them as an expiatory sacrifice for the quick and the dead. Nicod, after Baronius, observes that the word comes from the Hebrew 626missach, (oblatum,) or from the Latin missa missorum; because in former times the catechumens and excommunicated were sent out of the church, when the deacons said, Ite, missa est,” after sermon and reading of the epistle and Gospel; they not being allowed to assist at the consecration. Menage derives the word from missio, dismissing;” others, from missa, sending;” because in the mass the prayers of men on earth are sent up to heaven.

As the mass is in general believed to be a representation of the passion of our blessed Saviour, so every action of the priest, and every particular part of the service, are supposed to allude to the particular circumstances of his passion and death. The general division of masses is into high and low mass. The first is that sung by the choristers, and celebrated with the assistance of a deacon and sub-deacon: low masses are those in which the prayers are barely rehearsed without singing. There are a great number of different or occasional masses in the Romish church, many of which have nothing peculiar but the name. Such are the masses of the saints: that of St. Mary of the Snow, celebrated on the fifth of August; that of St. Margaret, patroness of lying-in women; that at the feast of St. John the Baptist, at which are said three masses; that of the Innocents, at which the Gloria in excelsis and Hallelujah are omitted; and, it being a day of mourning, the altar is of a violet colour. As to ordinary masses, some are said for the dead, and, as is supposed, contribute to extricate the soul out of purgatory. At these masses the altar is put in mourning, and the only decorations are a cross in the middle of six yellow wax lights; the dress of the celebrant, and the very mass book, are black; many parts of the office are omitted, and the people are dismissed without the benediction. If the mass be said for a person distinguished by his rank or virtues, it is followed with a funeral oration; they erect a chapelle ardente, that is, a representation of the deceased, with branches and tapers of yellow wax, either in the middle of the church, or near the deceased’s tomb, where the priest pronounces a solemn absolution of the deceased. There are likewise private masses said for stolen or strayed goods or cattle, for health, for travellers, &c, which go under the name of votive masses. There is still a farther distinction of masses, denominated from the countries in which they were used: thus the Gothic mass, or missa mosarabum, is that used among the Goths when they were masters of Spain, and which is still observed at Toledo and Salamanca; the Ambrosian mass is that composed by St. Ambrose, and used only at Milan, of which city he was bishop; the Gallic mass, used by the ancient Gauls; and the Roman mass, used by almost all the churches in the Roman communion.

MATERIALISM, the doctrine which resolves the thinking principle in man, or the immaterial and immortal soul with which God was pleased to endue Adam at his creation, into mere matter, or into a faculty resulting from its organization. Much has been written of late years against this doctrine, and the different modifications which it has assumed; but in substance nothing new has been said on either side; and the able and condensed argument of Wollaston in his Religion of Nature Delineated,” if well considered, will furnish every one with a most clear and satisfactory refutation of this antiscriptural and irrational error:--The soul cannot be mere matter: for if it is, then either all matter must think; or the difference must arise from the different modification, magnitude, figure, or motion of some parcels of matter in respect of others; or a faculty of thinking must be superadded to some systems of it, which is not superadded to others. But in the first place, that position, which makes all matter to be cogitative, is contrary to all the apprehensions and knowledge we have of the nature of it; nor can it be true, unless our senses and faculties be contrived only to deceive us. We perceive not the least symptom of cogitation or sense in our tables, chairs, &c. Why doth the scene of thinking lie in our heads, and all the ministers of sensation make their reports to something there, if all matter be apprehensive and cogitative For in that case there would be as much thought and understanding in our heels, and every where else, as in our heads. If all matter be cogitative, then it must be so quatenus [so far forth as] matter, and thinking must be of the essence and definition of it; whereas by matter no more is meant than a substance extended and impenetrable to other matter. And since, for this reason, it cannot be necessary for matter to think, (because it may be matter without this property,) it cannot think as matter only; if it did, we should not only continue to think always, till the matter of which we consist is annihilated, and so the asserter of this doctrine would stumble upon immortality unawares; but we must also have thought always in time past, ever since that matter was in being; nor could there be any the least intermission of actual thinking; which does not appear to be our case. If thinking, self-consciousness, &c, were essential to matter, every part of it must have them; and then no system could have them. For a system of material parts would be a system of things conscious, every one by itself of its own existence and individuality, and, consequently, thinking by itself; but there could be no one act of self-consciousness or thought common to the whole. Juxtaposition, in this case, could signify nothing; the distinction and individuation of the several particles would be as much retained in their vicinity, as if they were separated by miles.

In the next place, the faculties of thinking, &c, cannot arise from the size, figure, texture, or motion of it; because bodies by the alteration of these only become greater or less, round or square, &c, rare or dense, translated from one place to another with this or that new direction or velocity, or the like; all which ideas are quite different from that of thinking; 627there can be no relation between them. These modifications and affections of matter are so far from being principles or causes of thinking and acting, that they are themselves but effects, proceeding from the action of some other matter or thing upon it, and are proofs of its passivity, deadness and utter incapacity of becoming cogitative: this is evident to sense. They who place the essence of the soul in a certain motion given to some matter, (if any such men there really be,) should consider, among many other things, that to move the body spontaneously, is one of the faculties of the soul; and that this, which is the same with the power of beginning motion, cannot come from motion already begun, and impressed ab extra. Let the materialist examine well, whether he does not feel something within himself that acts from an internal principle; whether he does not experience some liberty, some power of governing himself, and choosing; whether he does not enjoy a kind of invisible empire in which he commands his own thoughts, sends them to this or that place, employs them about this or that business, forms such and such designs and schemes; and whether there is any thing like this in bare matter, however fashioned or proportioned; which, if nothing should protrude or communicate motion to it, would for ever remain fixed to the place where it happens to be, an eternal monument of its own being dead. Can such an active being as the soul is, the subject of so many powers, be itself nothing but an accident When I begin to move myself, I do it for some reason, and with respect to some end, the means to effect which I have, if there be occasion for it, concerted within myself; and this does not at all look like motion merely material, or in which matter is only concerned, which is all mechanical. Who can imagine matter to be moved by arguments, or ever placed syllogisms and demonstrations among levers and pullies We not only move ourselves upon reasons which we find in ourselves, but upon reasons imparted by words or writings from others, or perhaps merely at their desire or bare suggestion: in which case, again, nobody surely can imagine that the words spoken or written, the sound in the air, or the strokes on the paper, can, by any natural or mechanical efficience, cause the reader or hearer to move in any determinate manner, or at all. The reason, request, or friendly admonition, which is the true motive, can make no impression upon matter. It must be some other kind of being that apprehends the force and sense of them. Do not we see in conversation, how a pleasant thing said makes people break out into laughter, a rude thing into passion, and so on These affections cannot be the physical effects of the words spoken; because then they would have the same effect, whether they were understood or not. And this is farther demonstrable from hence, that though the words do really contain nothing which is either pleasant or rude, or perhaps words are thought to be spoken which are not spoken; yet if they are apprehended to do that, or the sound to be otherwise than it was, the effect will be the same. It is therefore the sense of the words, which is an immaterial thing, that by passing through the understanding, and causing that which is the subject of the intellectual faculties to influence the body, produces these motions in the spirits, blood, and muscles.

They who can fancy that matter may come to live, think, and act spontaneously, by being reduced to a certain magnitude, or having its parts placed after a certain manner, or being invested with such a figure, or excited by such a particular motion; they, I say, would do well to discover to us that degree of fineness, that alteration in the situation of its parts, &c, at which matter may begin to find itself alive and cogitative; and which is the critical minute, that introduces these important properties. If they cannot do this, nor have their eye upon any particular crisis, it is a sign that they have no good reason for what they say. For if they have no reason to charge this change upon any particular degree or difference, one more than another, they have no reason to charge it upon any degree or difference at all; and then they have no reason by which they can prove that such a change is made at all. Beside all which, since magnitude, figure, and motion are but accidents of matter, not matter, and only the substance is truly matter; and since the substance of any one part of matter does not differ from that of another, if any matter can be by nature cogitative, all must be so: but this we have seen cannot be. So then, in conclusion, if there is any such thing as matter that thinks, &c, this must be a particular privilege granted to it; that is, a faculty of thinking must be superadded to certain parts or parcels of it; which, by the way, must infer the existence of some being able to confer this faculty; who, when the ineptness of matter has been well considered, cannot appear to be less than omnipotent, or God. But the truth is, matter seems not to be capable of such improvement, of being made to think. For since it is not the essence of matter, it cannot be made to be so without making matter another kind of substance from what it is. Nor can it be made to arise from any of the modifications or accidents of matter; and in respect of what else can any matter be made to differ from other matter.

The accidents of matter are so far from being made by any power to produce cogitation, that some even of them show it incapable of having a faculty of thinking superadded. The very divisibility of it does this. For that which is made to think must either be one part, or more parts joined together. But we know no such thing as a part of matter purely one, or indivisible. It may, indeed, have pleased the Author of nature, that there should be atoms, whose parts are actually indiscerptible, and which may be the principles of other bodies; but still they consist of parts, though firmly adhering together. And if the seat of cogitation be in more parts than one, whether they lie close together, or are loose, or in a state of fluidity, it is the same thing, how can 628it be avoided, but that either there must be so many several minds, or thinking substances, as there are parts, and then the consequence which has been mentioned would return upon us again; or else that there must be something else superadded for them to centre in, to unite their acts, and make their thoughts to be one And then what can this be but some other substance, which is purely one

Matter by itself can never entertain abstracted and general ideas, such as many in our minds are. For could it reflect upon what passes within itself, it could possibly find there nothing but material and particular impressions; abstractions and metaphysical ideas could not be printed upon it. How could one abstract from matter who is himself nothing but matter

If the soul were mere matter, external visible objects could only be perceived within us according to the impressions they make upon matter, and not otherwise. For instance: the image of a cube in my mind, or my idea of a cube, must be always under some particular prospect, and conform to the rules of perspective; nor could I otherwise represent it to myself; whereas now I can form an idea of it as it is in itself, and almost view all its hedræ at once, as it were encompassing it with my mind. I can within myself correct the external appearances and impressions of objects, and advance, upon the reports and hints received by my senses, to form ideas of things that are not extant in matter. By seeing a material circle I may learn to form the idea of a circle, or figure generated by the revolution of a ray about its centre; but then, recollecting what I know of matter upon other occasions, I can conclude there is no exact material circle. So that I have an idea, which perhaps was raised from the hints I received from without, but is not truly to be found there. If I see a tower at a great distance, which, according to the impressions made upon my material organs, seems little and round, I do not therefore conclude it to be either; there is something within that reasons upon the circumstances of the appearance, and as it were commands my sense, and corrects the impression; and this must be something superior to matter, since a material soul is no otherwise impressible itself but as material organs are: instances of this kind are endless. If we know any thing of matter, we know that by itself it is a lifeless thing, inert and passive only; and acts necessarily, or rather is acted, according to the laws of motion and gravitation. This passiveness seems to be essential to it. And if we know any thing of ourselves, we know that we are conscious of our own existence and acts, that is, that we live; that we have a degree of freedom; that we can move ourselves spontaneously; and, in short, that we can, in many instances, take off the effect of gravitation, and impress new motions upon our spirits, or give them new directions, only by a thought. Therefore, to make mere matter do all this is to change the nature of it; to change death into life, incapacity of thinking into cogitativity, necessity into liberty. And to say that God may superadd a faculty of thinking, moving itself, &c, to matter, if by this be meant, that he may make matter to be the suppositum of these faculties, that substance in which they inhere, is the same in effect as to say, that God may superadd a faculty of thinking to incogitativity, of acting freely to necessity, and so on. What sense is there in this And yet so it must be, while matter continues to be matter.

That faculty of thinking, so much talked of by some as superadded to certain systems of matter, fitly disposed, by virtue of God’s omnipotence, though it be so called, must in reality amount to the same thing as another substance with the faculty of thinking. For a faculty of thinking alone will not make up the idea of a human soul, which is endued with many faculties; apprehending, reflecting, comparing, judging, making deductions and reasoning, willing, putting the body in motion, continuing the animal functions by its presence, and giving life; and therefore, whatever it is that is superadded, it must be something which is endued with all those other faculties. And whether that can be a faculty of thinking, and so these other faculties be only faculties of a faculty, or whether they must not all be rather the faculties of some substance, which, being by their own concession, superadded to matter, must be different from it, we leave the unprejudiced to determine. If men would but seriously look into themselves, the soul would not appear to them as a faculty of the body, or a kind of appurtenance to it, but rather as some substance, properly placed in it, not only to use it as an instrument, and act by it, but also to govern it, or the parts of it, as the tongue, hands, feet, &c, according to its own reason. For I think it is plain enough, that the mind, though it acts under great limitations, doth, however, in many instances govern the body arbitrarily; and it is monstrous to suppose this governor to be nothing but some fit disposition or accident, superadded, of that matter which is governed. A ship, it is true, would not be fit for navigation, if it was not built and provided in a proper manner; but then, when it has its proper form, and is become a system of materials fitly disposed, it is not this disposition that governs it: it is the man, that other substance, who sits at the helm, and they who manage the sails and tackle, that do this. So our vessels without a proper organization and conformity of parts would not be capable of being acted as they are; but still it is not the shape, or modification, or any other accident, that can govern them. The capacity of being governed or used can never be the governor, applying and using that capacity. No, there must be at the helm something distinct, that commands the body, and without which the vessel would run adrift or rather sink.

For the foregoing reasons it is plain, that matter cannot think, cannot be made to think. 629But if a faculty of thinking can be superadded to a system of matter, without uniting an immaterial substance to it; yet a human body is not such a system, being plainly void of thought, and organized in such a manner as to transmit the impressions of sensible objects up to the brain, where the percipient, and that which reflects upon them, certainly resides; and therefore that which there apprehends, thinks, and wills, must be that system of matter to which a faculty of thinking is superadded. All the premises then well considered, judge whether, instead of saying that this inhabitant of our heads (the soul) is a system of matter to which a faculty of thinking is superadded, it might not be more reasonable to say, it is a thinking substance intimately united to some fine material vehicle, which has its residence in the brain. Though I understand not perfectly the manner how a cogitative and spiritual substance can be thus closely united to such a material vehicle, yet I can understand this union as well as how it can be united to the body in general, perhaps as how the particles of the body itself cohere together, and much better than how a thinking faculty can be superadded to matter; and beside, several phenomena may more easily be solved by this hypothesis; which, in short, is this, that the human soul is a cogitative substance united to a material vehicle; that these act in conjunction, that which affects the one affecting the other; that the soul is detained in the body till the habitation is spoiled, and their mutual tendency interrupted, by some hurt or disease, or by the decays and ruins of old age, or the like.

But many a man, says Mr. Rennell, has maintained, that the brain has the power of thought, from the conclusions which his own experience, and, perhaps, his extended knowledge of the human frame, have enabled him to draw. He has observed the action of the brain, has watched the progress of its diseases, and has seen the close connection which exists between many of its afflictions, and the power of thought. But in this, as in most other cases, partial knowledge leads him to a more mistaken view of the matter than total ignorance. Satisfied with the correctness of his observations, he hastily proceeds to form his opinion, forgetting that it is not on the truth only, but on the whole truth, that he should rest his decision. By an accidental blow, the scull is beaten in, the brain is pressed upon, and the patient lies without sense or feeling. No sooner is the pressure removed than the power of thought immediately returns. It is known, again, that the phenomena of fainting arise from a temporary deficiency of blood in the brain; the vessels collapse, and the loss of sense immediately ensues. Restore the circulation, and the sense is as instantly recovered. On the contrary, when the circulation in the brain is too rapid, and inflammation of the organ succeeds, we find that delirium, frenzy, and other disorders of the mind arise in proportion to the inflammatory action, by which they are apparently produced. It is observed, also, that when the stomach is disordered by an excess of wine, or of ardent spirits, the brain is also affected through the strong sympathies of the nervous system, the intellect is disordered, and the man has no longer a rational command over himself or his actions. From these, and other circumstances of a similar nature, it is concluded, that thought is a quality or function of the brain, that it is inseparable from the organ in which it resides, and as Mr. Lawrence, after the French physiologists, represents it, that medullary matter thinks.”

Now it must certainly be inferred from all these circumstances, that there is a close connection between the power of thinking and the brain; but it by no means follows, that they are, therefore, one and the same. Allowing, however, for a moment, the justice of the inference, from the premises which have been stated, we must remember, that we have not as yet taken in all the circumstances of the case. We have watched the body rather than the mind, and that only in a diseased state; and from this partial and imperfect view of the subject, our conclusions have been deduced. Let us take a healthy man in a sound sleep. He lies without sense or feeling, yet no part of his frame is diseased, nor is a single power of his life of vegetation suspended. All within his body is as active as ever. The blood circulates as regularly, and, almost as rapidly, in the sleeping as in the waking subject. Digestion, secretion, nutrition, and all the functions of the life of vegetation proceed, and yet the understanding is absent. Sleep, therefore, is an affection of the mind, rather than of the body; and the refreshment which the latter receives from it, is from the suspension of its active and agitating principle. Now if thought was identified with the brain, when the former was suspended, the latter would undergo a proportionate change. Memory, imagination, perception, and all the stupendous powers of the human intellect are absent; and yet the brain is precisely the same, the same in every particle of matter, the same in every animal function. Of not a single organ is the action suspended. When, again, the man awakens, and his senses return, no change is produced by the recovery; the brain, the organs of sense, and all the material parts of his frame remain precisely in the same condition. Dreaming may perhaps be adduced as an exception to this statement. But it is first to be remarked, that this affection is by no means general. There are thousands who never dream at all, and thousands who dream only occasionally. Dreaming therefore, even though it were to be allowed as an exception, could not be admitted to invalidate the rule. And if there be a circumstance, which to any philosophic mind will clearly intimate the independency of thought upon matter, it is the phenomenon of dreaming. Perception, that faculty of the soul which unites it with the external world, is then suspended, and the avenues of sense are closed. All communication with outward objects being thus removed, 630the soul is transported, as it were, into a world of its own creation. There appears to be an activity in the motions, and a perfection in the faculties, of the mind, when disengaged from the body, and disencumbered of its material organs. The slumber of its external perception seems to be but the awakening of every other power. The memory is far more keen, the fancy far more vividvivid, in the dreaming than in the waking man. Ideas rise in rapid succession, and are varied in endless combination; so that the judgment, which, next to the perception, depends most upon external objects, is unable to follow the imagination in all its wild and unwearied flights. A better notion of the separate and independent existence of the soul cannot be formed, than that which we derive from our observations on the phenomena of dreaming. Again: when the mind is anxiously engaged in any train of thought, whether in company or alone, it frequently neglects the impressions made upon the external organs. When a man is deeply immersed in meditation, or eagerly engaged in a discussion, he often neither hears a third person when he speaks, nor observes what he does, nor even when gently touched does he feel the pressure. Yet there is no defect either in the ear, the eye, or the nervous system; the brain is not disordered, for if his mind were not so fully occupied, he would perceive every one of those impressions which he now neglects. In this case, therefore, as in sleep, the independence of mind upon the external organ is clearly shown.

But let us take the matter in another point of view. We have observed the action of the brain upon thought, and have seen that when the former is unnaturally compressed, the latter is immediately disordered or lost. Let us now turn our attention to the action of thought upon the brain. A letter is brought to a man containing some afflicting intelligence. He casts his eye upon its contents, and drops down without sense or motion. What is the cause of this sudden affection It may be said that the vessels have collapsed, that the brain is consequently disordered, and that loss of sense is the natural consequence. But let us take one step backward, and inquire what is the cause of the disorder itself, the effects of which are thus visible. It is produced by a sheet of white paper distinguished by a few black marks. But no one would be absurd enough to suppose, that it was the effect of the paper alone, or of the characters inscribed upon it, unless those characters conveyed some meaning to the understanding. It is thought then which so suddenly agitates and disturbs the brain, and makes its vessels to collapse. From this circumstance alone we discover the amazing influence of thought upon the external organ; of that thought which we can neither hear, nor see, nor touch, which yet produces an affection of the brain fully equal to a blow, a pressure, or any other sensible injury. Now this very action of thought upon the brain clearly shows that the brain does not produce it, while the mutual influence which they possess over each other, as clearly shows that there is a strong connection between them. But it is carefully to be remembered, that connection is not identity. While we acknowledge then, on the one side, the mutual connection of the understanding and the brain, we must acknowledge, on the other, their mutual independence. The phenomena which we daily observe lead us of necessity to the recognition of these two important principles. If then from the observations which we are enabled to make on the phenomena of the understanding and of the brain, we are led to infer mutual independence, we shall find our conclusions still farther strengthened by a consideration of the substance and composition of the latter. Not only is the brain a material substance, endowed with all those properties of matter which we have before shown to be inconsistent with thought, but it is a substance, which, in common with the rest of our body, is undergoing a perpetual change. Indeed experiments and observations give us abundant reason for concluding that the brain undergoes within itself precisely the same change with the remainder of the body. A man will fall down in a fit of apoplexy, and be recovered; in a few years he will be attacked by another, which will prove fatal. Upon dissection it will be found that there is a cavity formed by the blood effused from the ruptured vessel, and that a certain action had been going on, which gradually absorbed the coagulated blood. If then an absorbent system exists in the brain, and the organ thereby undergoes, in the course of a certain time, a total change, it is impossible that this flux and variable substance can be endowed with consciousness or thought. If the particles of the brain, either separately or in a mass, were capable of consciousness, then after their removal the consciousness which they produced must for ever cease. The consequence of which would be, that personal identity must be destroyed, and that no man could be the same individual being that he was ten years ago. But our common sense informs us, that as far as our understanding and our moral responsibility are involved, we are the same individual beings that we ever were. If the body alone, or any substance subject to the laws of body, were concerned, personal identity might reasonably be doubted: but it is something beyond the brain that makes the man at every period of his life the same: it is consciousness, that, amidst the perpetual change of our material particles, unites every link of successive being in one indissoluble chain. The body may be gradually changed, and yet by the deposition of new particles, similar to those which absorption has removed, it may preserve the appearance of identity. But in consciousness there is real, not an apparent, individuality, admitting of no change or substitution.

So inconsistent with reason is every attempt which has been made to reduce our thoughts to a material origin, and to identify our understanding with any part of our corporeal frame! 631The more carefully we observe the operation, both of the mind and of the brain, the more clearly we shall distinguish, and the more forcibly shall we feel, the independence of the one upon the other. We know that the brain is the organ or instrument by which the mind operates on matter, and we know that the brain again is the chain of communication between the mind and the material world. That certain disorders therefore in the chain should either prevent or disturb this communication is reasonably to be expected; but nothing more is proved from thence than we knew before, namely, that the link is imperfect. And when that link is again restored, the mind declares its identity, by its memory of things which preceded the injury or the disease; and where the recovery is rapid, the patient awakes as it were from a disturbed dream. How indeed the brain and the thinking principle are connected, and in what manner they mutually affect each other, is beyond the reach of our faculties to discover. We must, for the present, be contented with our ignorance of the cause, while from the effects we are persuaded both of their connection on the one hand, and of their independence on the other.

MATTHEW, called also Levi, was the son of Alpheus, but probably not of that Alpheus who was the father of the Apostle James the less. He was a native of Galilee; but it is not known in what city of that country he was born, or to what tribe of the people of Israel he belonged. Though a Jew, he was a publican or tax-gatherer under the Romans; and his office seems to have consisted in collecting the customs due upon commodities which were carried, and from persons who passed, over the lake of Gennesareth. Our Saviour commanded him, as he was sitting at the place where he received these customs, to follow him. He immediately obeyed; and from that time he became a constant attendant upon our Saviour, and was appointed one of the twelve Apostles. St. Matthew, soon after his call, made an entertainment at his house, at which were present Christ and some of his disciples, and also several publicans. After the ascension of our Saviour, he continued, with the other Apostles, to preach the Gospel for some time in Judea; but as there is no farther account of him in any writer of the first four centuries, we must consider it as uncertain into what country he afterward went, and likewise in what manner and at what time he died.

In the few writings which remain of the apostolical fathers, Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, there are manifest allusions to several passages in St. Matthew’s Gospel; but the Gospel itself is not mentioned in any one of them. Papias, the companion of Polycarp, is the earliest author on record who has expressly named St. Matthew as the writer of a Gospel; and we are indebted to Eusebius for transmitting to us this valuable testimony. The work itself of Papias is lost; but the quotation in Eusebius is such as to convince us that in the time of Papias no doubt was entertained of the genuineness of St. Matthew’s Gospel. This Gospel is repeatedly quoted by Justin Martyr, but without mentioning the name of St. Matthew. It is both frequently quoted, and St. Matthew mentioned as its author, by Irenæus, Origen, Athanasius, Cyril, Epiphanius, Jerom, Chrysostom, and a long train of subsequent writers. It was, indeed, universally received by the Christian church; and we do not find that its genuineness was controverted by any early profane writer. We may therefore conclude, upon the concurrent testimony of antiquity, that this Gospel is rightly ascribed to St. Matthew. It is generally agreed, upon the most satisfactory evidence, that St. Matthew’s Gospel was the first which was written; but though this is asserted by many ancient authors, none of them, except Irenæus and Eusebius, have said any thing concerning the exact time at which it was written. The only passage in which the former of these fathers mentions this subject, is so obscure, that no positive conclusion can be drawn from it; Dr. Lardner, and Dr. Townson, understand it in very different senses; and Eusebius, who lived a hundred and fifty years after Irenæus, barely says, that Matthew wrote his Gospel just before he left Judea to preach the religion of Christ in other countries; but when that was, neither he nor any other ancient author informs us with certainty. The impossibility of settling this point upon ancient authority has given rise to a variety of opinions among moderns. Of the several dates assigned to this Gospel, which deserve any attention, the earliest is A.D. 38, and the latest, A.D. 64.

It appears very improbable that the Christians should be left any considerable number of years without a written history of our Saviour’s ministry. It is certain that the Apostles, immediately after the descent of the Holy Ghost, which took place only ten days after the ascension of our Saviour into heaven, preached the Gospel to the Jews with great success; and surely it is reasonable to suppose, that an authentic account of our Saviour’s doctrines and miracles would very soon be committed to writing, for the confirmation of those who believed in his divine mission, and for the conversion of others; and, more particularly, to enable the Jews to compare the circumstances of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus with their ancient prophecies relative to the Messiah; and we may conceive that the Apostles would be desirous of losing no time in writing an account of the miracles which Jesus performed, and of the discourses which he delivered, because the sooner such an account was published, the easier it would be to inquire into its truth and accuracy; and, consequently, when these points were satisfactorily ascertained, the greater would be its weight and authority. We must own that these arguments are so strong in favour of an early publication of some history of our Saviour’s ministry, that we cannot but accede to the opinion of Jones, Wetstein, and Dr. Owen, that St. Matthew’s Gospel was written A.D. 38.

632There has also of late been great difference of opinion concerning the language in which this Gospel was originally written. Among the ancient fathers, Papias, as quoted by Eusebius, Irenæus, Origen, Cyril, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, and Jerom, positively assert that it was written by St. Matthew in Hebrew, that is, in the language then spoken in Palestine; and indeed Dr. Campbell says, that this point was not controverted by any author for fourteen hundred years. Erasmus was one of the first who contended that the present Greek is the original; and he has been followed by Le Clerc, Wetstein, Basnage, Whitby, Jortin, Hug, and many other learned men. On the other hand, Grotius, Du Pin, Simon, Walton, Cave, Hammond, Mill, Michaëlis, Owen, and Campbell have supported the opinion of the ancients. In a question of this sort, which is a question of fact, the concurrent voice of antiquity is decisive. Though the fathers are unanimous in declaring that St. Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, yet they have not informed us by whom it was translated into Greek. No writer of the first three centuries makes any mention whatever of the translator; nor does Eusebius: and Jerom tells us, that in his time it was not known who was the translator. It is, however, universally allowed, that the Greek translation was made very early, and that it was more used than the original. This last circumstance is easily accounted for. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the language of the Jews, and every thing which belonged to them, fell into great contempt; and the early fathers, writing in Greek, would naturally quote and refer to the Greek copy of St. Matthew’s Gospel, in the same manner as they constantly used the Septuagint version of the Old Testament. There being no longer any country in which the language of St. Matthew’s original Gospel was commonly spoken, that original would soon be forgotten; and the translation into Greek, the language then generally understood, would be substituted in its room. This early and exclusive use of the Greek translation is a strong proof of its correctness, and leaves us but little reason to lament the loss of the original.

As the sacred writers,” says Dr. Campbell, “especially the evangelists, have many qualities in common, so there is something in every one of them, which, if attended to, will be found to distinguish him from the rest. That which principally distinguishes St. Matthew, is the distinctness and particularity with which he has related many of our Lord’s discourses and moral instructions. Of these, his sermon on the mount, his charge to the Apostles, his illustrations of the nature of his kingdom, and his prophecy on Mount Olivet, are examples. He has also wonderfully united simplicity and energy in relating the replies of his Master to the cavils of his adversaries. Being early called to the apostleship, he was an eye-witness and ear-witness of most of the things which he relates; and though I do not think it was the scope of any of these historians to adjust their narratives to the precise order of time wherein the events happened, there are some circumstances which incline me to think, that St. Matthew has approached at least as near that order as any of them.” And this, we may observe, would naturally be the distinguishing characteristic of a narrative, written very soon after the events had taken place. The most remarkable things recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel, and not found in any other, are the following: the visit of the eastern magi; our Saviour’s flight into Egypt; the slaughter of the infants at Bethlehem; the parable of the ten virgins; the dream of Pilate’s wife; the resurrection of many saints at our Saviour’s crucifixion; and the bribing of the Roman guard appointed to watch at the holy sepulchre by the chief priests and elders.

MATTHIAS the Apostle was first in the rank of our Saviour’s disciples, and one of those who continued with him from his baptism to his ascension, Acts i, 21, 22. It is very probable he was of the number of the seventy, as Clemens Alexandrinus and other ancients inform us. We have no particulars of his youth or education, for we may reckon as nothing what is read in Abdias, or Obadiah, concerning this matter. After the ascension of our Lord, the Apostles retiring to Jerusalem in expectation of the effusion of the Holy Ghost, as had been promised, Peter proposed to fill up the place of Judas: to this the disciples agreed. They then presented two persons, Joseph Barsabas, surnamed Justus, and Matthias. The lot falling on Matthias, he was from that time associated with the eleven Apostles. The Greeks believe that Matthias preached and died at Colchis.

MEASURE, that by which any thing is measured, or adjusted, or proportioned, Prov. xx, 10; Micah vi, 10. Tables of Scripture measures of length and capacity are found at the end of this volume.

MEATS. The Hebrews had several kinds of animals which they refused to eat. Among domestic animals they only ate the cow, the sheep, and the goat; the hen and pigeon, among domestic birds; beside several kinds of wild animals. To eat the flesh with the blood was forbidden them, much more to eat the blood without the flesh. We may form a judgment of their taste by what the Scripture mentions of Solomon’s table, 1 Kings iv, 22, 23. Thirty measures of the finest wheat flour were provided for it every day, and twice as much of the ordinary sort; twenty stall-fed oxen, twenty pasture oxen, a hundred sheep, beside the venison of deer and roebucks, and wild fowls. It does not appear that the ancient Hebrews were very nice about the seasoning and dressing of their food. We find among them roast meat, boiled meat, and ragouts. They roasted the paschal lamb.

At the first settling of the Christian church, very great disputes arose concerning the use of meats offered to idols. Some newly converted Christians, convinced that an idol was nothing, and that the distinction of clean and unclean creatures was abolished by our Saviour, ate indifferently of whatever was served up to 633them, even among Pagans, without inquiring whether these meats had been first offered to idols. They took the same liberty in buying meat sold in the markets, not regarding whether it was pure or impure according to the Jews, or whether it was that which had been offered to idols. But other Christians, weaker or less instructed, were offended at this liberty; and thought to eat of meat that had been once offered to idols, was a kind of partaking of that wicked and sacrilegious offering. This diversity in opinion produced some scandal, to which St. Paul thought it behoved him to provide a suitable remedy, Rom. xiv, 20; Titus i, 15. He determined, therefore, that all things were clean to such as were clean, and that an idol was nothing at all; that a man might safely eat of whatever was sold in the shambles, and though it might be a part of what had been previously offered in the temple, and there exposed to sale, he need not scrupulously inquire whence it came; that if an unbeliever should invite a believer to eat with him, the believer might eat of whatever was set before him, &c, 1 Cor. x, 25–27. But at the same time he enjoins, that the law of charity and prudence should be observed; that men should be cautious of scandalizing or offending weak minds; that though all things may be lawful, yet all things are not always expedient; that no one ought to seek his own accommodation or satisfaction, but that of his neighbour; that if any one should say to us, This has been offered to idols,” we may not then eat of it, for the sake of him who gives the information; not so much for fear of wounding our own conscience, but his; in a word, that he who is weak, and thinks he may not indifferently use all sorts of food, should forbear, and eat herbs, rather than offend a brother, Rom. xiv, 1, 2. Yet it is certain, that generally Christians abstained from eating meat that had been offered to idols.

MEDIA. It has been commonly thought that Media was peopled by the descendants of Madai, son of Japheth, Gen. x, 2. The Greeks maintain that this country took its name from Medus, the son of Medea. If, however, Madai and his immediate descendants did not people this country, some of his posterity might have carried his name thither, since we find it so often given to Media, from the times of the Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, and from the transportation of the ten tribes, and the destruction of Samaria under Salmaneser, A. M. 3283. Media Proper was bounded by Armenia and Assyria Proper on the west, by Persia on the east, by the Caspian provinces on the north, and by Susiana on the south. It was an elevated and mountainous country, and formed a kind of pass between the cultivated parts of eastern and western Asia. Hence, from its geographical position, and from the temperature, verdure, and fertility of its climate, Media was one of the most important and interesting regions of Asia. Into this country the ten tribes who composed the kingdom of Israel were transplanted, in the Assyrian captivity, by Tiglath-pileser and Salmaneser. The former prince carried away the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh, on the east side of Jordan, to Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river of Gozan. His successor carried away the remaining seven tribes and a half, to the same places, which are said to be cities of the Medes, by the river of Gozan,” 1 Chron. v, 26; 2 Kings xvii, 6. The geographical position of Media was wisely chosen for the distribution of the great body of the captives; for, it was so remote, and so impeded and intersected with great mountains and numerous and deep rivers, that it would be extremely difficult for them to escape from this natural prison, and return to their own country. They would also be opposed in their passage through Kir, or Assyria Proper, not only by the native Assyrians, but also by their enemies, the Syrians, transplanted thither before them. The superior civilization of the Israelites, and their skill in agriculture and in the arts, would tend to civilize and improve those wild and barbarous regions.

MEDIATOR, one who stands in a middle office or capacity between two differing parties, and has a power of transacting every thing between them, and of reconciling them to each other. Hence a mediator between God and man is one whose office properly is to mediate and transact affairs between them relating to the favour of almighty God, and the duty and happiness of man. No sooner had Adam transgressed the law of God in paradise, and become a sinful creature, than the Almighty was pleased in mercy to appoint a Mediator or Redeemer, who, in due time should be born into the world, to make an atonement both for his transgression, and for all the sins of men. This is what is justly thought to be implied in the promise, that “the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head;” that is, that there should some time or other be born, of the posterity of Eve, a Redeemer, who, by making satisfaction for the sins of men, and reconciling them to the mercy of almighty God, should by that means bruise the head of that old serpent, the devil, who had beguiled our first parents into sin, and destroy his empire and dominion among men. Thus it became a necessary part of Adam’s religion after the fall, as well as that of his posterity after him, to worship God through hope in this Mediator. To keep up the remembrance of it God was pleased, at this time, to appoint sacrifices of expiation or atonement for sin, to be observed through all succeeding generations, till the Redeemer himself should come, who was to make the true and only proper satisfaction and atonement.

The particular manner in which Christ interposed in the redemption of the world, or his office as Mediator between God and man, is thus represented to us in the Scripture. He is the light of the world, John i; viii, 12; the revealer of the will of God in the most eminent sense. He is a propitiatory sacrifice, Rom. iii, 25; v, 11; 1 Cor. v, 7; Eph. v, 2; 1 John ii, 2; Matt. xxvi, 28; John i, 29, 36; and, as 634because of his peculiar offering, of a merit transcending all others, he is styled our High Priest. He was also described beforehand in the Old Testament, under the same character of a priest, and an expiatory victim, Isa. liii; Dan. ix, 24; Psa. cx, 4. And whereas it is objected, that all this is merely by way of allusion to the sacrifices of the Mosaic law, the Apostle on the contrary affirms, that the law was a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things,” Heb. x, 1; and that the priests that offer gifts according to the law, serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God, when he was about to make the tabernacle: for see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount,” Heb. viii, 4, 5; that is, the Levitical priesthood was a shadow of the priesthood of Christ; in like manner as the tabernacle made by Moses was according to that showed him in the mount. The priesthood of Christ, and the tabernacle in the mount, were the originals; of the former of which, the Levitical priesthood was a type; and of the latter, the tabernacle made by Moses was a copy. The doctrine of this epistle, then, plainly is, that the legal sacrifices were allusions to the great atonement to be made by the blood of Christ; and not that it was an allusion to those. Nor can any thing be more express or determinate than the following passage: It is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin. Wherefore when he [Christ] cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering,” that is, of bulls and of goats, thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. Lo, I come to do thy will, O God! By which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,” Heb. x, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10. And to add one passage more of the like kind: Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin;” that is, without bearing sin, as he did at his first coming, by being an offering for it; without having our iniquities again laid upon him; without being any more a sin-offering:--“And unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation,” Heb. ix, 28. Nor do the inspired writers at all confine themselves to this manner of speaking concerning the satisfaction of Christ; but declare that there was an efficacy in what he did and suffered for us, additional to and beyond mere instruction and example. This they declare with great variety of expression: that he suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,” 1 Peter iii, 18; that he gave his life a ransom,” Matt. xx, 28; Mark x, 45; 1 Tim. ii, 6; that we are bought with a price,” 2 Pet. ii, 1; Rev. xiv, 4; 1 Cor. vi, 20; that he redeemed us with his blood,” redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,” 1 Peter i, 19; Rev. v, 9; Gal. iii, 13; that he is our advocate, intercessor, and propitiation,” Heb. vii, 25; 1 John ii, 1, 2; that he was made perfect, through sufferings; and being thus made perfect, he became the author of salvation,” Heb. ii, 10; v, 9; that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them,” 2 Cor. v, 19; Rom. v, 10; Eph. ii, 16; and that through death he destroyed him that had the power of death,” Heb. ii, 14. Christ, then, having thus humbled himself, and become obedient to death, even the death of the cross; God, also, hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name;” hath commanded us to pray in his name; constituted him man’s advocate and intercessor; distributes his grace only through him, and in honour of his death; hath given all things into his hands; and hath committed all judgment unto him; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,” and that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father,” Phil. ii, 8–10; John iii, 35; v, 22, 23.

All the offices of Christ, therefore, arise out of his gracious appointment, and voluntary undertaking, to be the Mediator between God and man;” between God offended, and man offending; and therefore under the penalty of God’s violated law, which denounces death against every transgressor. He is the Prophet who came to teach us the extent and danger of our offences, and the means which God had appointed for their remission. He is the great High Priest of our profession,” who, having offered himself without spot to God,” has entered the holiest to make intercession for us, and to present our prayers and services to God, securing to them acceptance by virtue of his own merits. He is King, ruling over the whole earth, for the maintenance and establishment and enlargement of his church, and for the punishment of those who reject his authority; and he is the final Judge of the quick and the dead, to whom is given the power of distributing the rewards and penalties of eternity. See Atonement and Jesus Christ.

There is an essential connection between the mediation of our Lord and the covenant of grace. (See Covenant.) He is therefore called the Mediator of a better covenant,” and of a new covenant.” The word µest literally means a person in the middle,” between two parties; and the fitness of there being a Mediator of the covenant of grace arises from this, that the nature of the covenant implies that the two parties were at variance. Those who hold the Socinian principles understand a mediator to mean nothing more than a messenger sent from God to give assurance of forgiveness to his offending creatures. Those who hold the doctrine of the atonement understand, that Jesus is called the Mediator of the new covenant, because he reconciles the two parties, by having appeased the wrath of God which man had deserved, and by subduing that enmity to God by which their hearts were alienated from him. It is plain that this is being a mediator in the strict and proper sense of the word; and there seems to be no reason for resting in a meaning less proper and emphatical. This sense of the term mediator coincides with the 635meaning of another phrase applied to him, Heb. vii, 22, where he is called ett da . If he is a Mediator in the last sense, then he is also , the sponsor, the surety, of the covenant. He undertook, on the part of the supreme Lawgiver, that the sins of those who repent shall be forgiven; and he fulfilled this undertaking by offering, in their stead, a satisfaction to divine justice. He undertook, on their part, that they should keep the terms of the covenant; and he fulfils this undertaking by the influence of his Spirit upon their hearts.

If a mediator be essential to the covenant of grace, and if all who have been saved from the time of the first transgression were saved by that covenant, it follows that the Mediator of the new covenant acted in that character before he was manifested in the flesh. Hence the importance of that doctrine respecting the person of Christ; that all the communications which the Almighty condescended to hold with the human race were carried on from the beginning by this person; that it is he who spake to the patriarchs, who gave the law by Moses, and who is called in the Old Testament, the angel of the covenant.” These views open to us the full importance of a doctrine which manifestly unites in one faith all who obtain deliverance from that condition; for, according to this doctrine, not only did the virtue of the blood which he shed as a priest extend to the ages past before his manifestation, but all the intimations of the new covenant established in his blood were given by him as the great Prophet, and the blessings of the covenant were applied in every age by the Spirit, which he, as the King of his people, sends forth. The Socinians, who consider Jesus as a mere man, having no existence till he was born of Mary, necessarily reject the doctrine now stated: and the church of Rome, although they admit the divinity of our Saviour, yet, by the system which they hold with regard to the mediation of Christ, agree with the Socinians in throwing out of the dispensations of the grace of God that beautiful and complete unity which arises from their having been conducted by one person. The church of Rome considers Christ as Mediator only in respect of his human nature. As that nature did not exist till he was born of Mary, they do not think it possible that he could exercise the office of Mediator under the Old Testament; and as they admit that a mediator is essential to the covenant of grace, they believe that those who lived under the Old Testament, not enjoying the benefit of his mediation, did not obtain complete remission of sins. They suppose, therefore, that persons in former times who believed in a Saviour that was to come, and who obtained justification with God by this faith, were detained after death in a place of the infernal regions, which received the name of limbus patrum; a kind of prison where they did not endure punishment, but remained without partaking of the joys of heaven, in earnest expectation of the coming of Christ, who, after suffering on the cross, descended to hell that he might set them free. This fanciful system has no other foundation than the slender support which it appears to receive from some obscure passages of Scripture that admit of another interpretation. But if Christ acted as the Mediator of the covenant of grace from the time of the first transgression, this system becomes wholly unnecessary; and we may believe, according to the general strain of Scripture, and what we account the analogy of faith, that all who died in faith,” since the world began, entered immediately after death into that heavenly country which they desired.”

Although the members of the church of Rome adopt the language of Scripture, in which Jesus is styled the Mediator of the new covenant, they differ from all Protestants in acknowledging other mediators; and the use which they make of the doctrine that Christ is Mediator only in his human nature is to justify their admitting those who had no other nature to share that office with him. Saints, martyrs, and especially the Virgin Mary, are called mediatores secundarii, because it is conceived that they hold this character under Christ, and that, by virtue of his mediation, the superfluity of their merits may be applied to procure acceptance with God for our imperfect services. Under this character, supplications and solemn addresses are presented to them; and the mediatores secundarii receive in the church of Rome, not only the honour due to eminent virtue, but a worship and homage which that church wishes to vindicate from the charge of idolatry, by calling it the same kind of inferior and secondary worship which is offered to the man Christ Jesus, who in his human nature acted as Mediator. In opposition to all this, we hold that Jesus Christ was qualified to act as Mediator by the union between his divine and his human nature; that his divine nature gave an infinite value to all that he did, rendering it effectual for the purpose of reconciling us to God, while the condescension by which he approached to man, in taking part of flesh and blood, fulfilled the gracious intention for which a Mediator was appointed; that the introducing any other mediator is unnecessary, derives no warrant from Scripture, and is derogatory to the honour of him who is there called the one Mediator between God and men;” and that as the union of the divine to the human nature is the foundation of that worship which in Scripture is often paid to the Mediator of the new covenant, this worship does not afford the smallest countenance to the idolatry and will worship of those who ascribe divine honours to any mortal.

MEGIDDO, a city of the tribe of Manasseh, famous for the battle fought there between Pharaoh-Necho and King Josiah, in which the latter was defeated and mortally wounded, Josh. xvii, 11; Judges i, 27; 2 Kings xxiii, 29.

MELCHIZEDEK. When Abram returned from the slaughter of the Assyrians, in his way to Hebron, he was met at Shaveh, or King’s Dale, afterward the valley of Jehoshaphat, 636between Jerusalem and Mount Olivet, by Melchizedek, king of Salem, the most ancient quarter of Jerusalem, a priest of the most high God, who gave him bread and wine, and blessed him in the name of the most high God, Creator of heaven and earth;” to whom Abram in return piously gave tithes, or the tenth part of all the spoils as an offering to God, Heb. vii, 2. This Canaanitish prince was early considered as a type of Christ in the Jewish church: Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek,” Psalm cx, 4. He resembled Christ in the following particulars: 1. In his name, Melchizedek, King of Righteousness;” 2. In his city, Salem, Peace;” 3. In his offices of king and priest of the most high God; and 4. In the omission of the names of his parents and genealogy, the time of his birth and length of his life, exhibiting an indefinite reign and priesthood, according to the Apostle’s exposition, Heb. vii, 5. The import of this is, that he came not to his office by right of primogeniture, (which implies a genealogy,) or by the way of succession, but was raised up and immediately called of God to it. In that respect Christ is said to be a priest after his order.” Then, again, that he had no successor, nor could have; for there was no law to constitute an order of succession, so that he was a priest only upon an extraordinary call. In this respect our Lord’s priesthood answers to his, because it is wholly in himself, who has no successor. An infinite number of absurd opinions have been at different times held respecting this mystic personage, as that he was Shem, or Ham; or, among those who think he was more than human, that he was the Holy Ghost, or the Son of God himself; absurdities which are too obsolete to need refutation.

MELITA, now called Malta, an island in the African or Mediterranean Sea, between Africa and Sicily, twenty miles in length and twelve in breadth, formerly reckoned a part of Africa, but now belonging to Europe. St. Paul suffered shipwreck upon the coast of Malta, Acts xviii, 1–3. In the opinion of Dr. Hales, the island where this happened was not Malta, but Meleda. His words are: “That this island was Meleda, near the Illyrian coast, not Malta, on the southern coast of Sicily, may appear from the following considerations: 1. It lies confessedly in the Adriatic Sea, but Malta a considerable distance from it. 2. It lies nearer the mouth of the Adriatic than any other island of that sea; and would of course, be more likely to receive the wreck of any vessel driven by tempests toward that quarter. And it lies north-west by north of the south-west promontory of Crete; and came nearly in the direction of a storm from the south-east quarter. 3. An obscure island called Melite, whose inhabitants were ‘barbarous,’ was not applicable to the celebrity of Malta at that time, which Cicero represents as abounding in curiosities and riches, and possessing a remarkable manufacture of the finest linen; and Diodorus Siculus more fully: ‘Malta is furnished with many and very good harbours, and the inhabitants are very rich; for it is full of all sorts of artificers, among whom there are excellent weavers of fine linen. Their houses are very stately and beautiful, adorned with graceful eaves, and pargetted with white plaster. The inhabitants are a colony of Phenicians, who, trading as merchants, as far as the western ocean, resorted to this place on account of its commodious ports and convenient situation for maritime commerce; and by the advantage of this place, the inhabitants frequently became famous both for their wealth and their merchandise.’ 4. The circumstance of the viper, or venomous snake, which fastened on St. Paul’s hand, agrees with the damp and woody island of Meleda, affording shelter and proper nourishment for such, but not with the dry and rocky island of Malta, in which there are no serpents now, and none in the time of Pliny. 5. The disease with which the father of Publius was affected, dysentery combined with fever, probably intermittent, might well suit a country woody and damp, and probably, for want of draining, exposed to the putrid effluvia of confined moisture; but was not likely to affect a dry, rocky, and remarkably healthy island like Malta.”

MELON, , Numbers xi, 5, a luscious fruit so well known that a description of it would be superfluous. It grows to great perfection, and is highly esteemed in Egypt, especially by the lower class of people, during the hot months. The juice is peculiarly cooling and agreeable in that sultry climate, where it is justly pronounced one of the most delicious refreshments that nature, amidst her constant attention to the wants of man, affords in the season of violent heat. There are varieties of this fruit; but that more particularly referred to in the text must be the water melon. It is cultivated, says Hasselquist, on the banks of the Nile, in the rich clayey earth, which subsides during the inundation. This serves the Egyptians for meat, drink, and physic. It is eaten in abundance during the season, even by the richer sort of people; but the common people, on whom Providence has bestowed nothing but poverty and patience, scarcely eat any thing but these, and account this the best time of the year, as they are obliged to put up with worse fare at other seasons. This fruit sometimes serves them for drink, the juice refreshing these poor creatures, and they have less occasion for water than if they were to live on more substantial food in this burning climate. This well explains the regret expressed by the Israelites for the loss of this fruit, whose pleasant liquor had so often quenched their thirst, and relieved their weariness in their servitude, and which would have been exceedingly grateful in a dry scorching desert.

MEMPHIS. See Noph.

MENNONITES, a society of Baptists in Holland, so called from Menno Simon of Friesland, who lived in the sixteenth century. He was originally a Romish priest, but joined a party of the Anabaptists, and, becoming their leader, cured them of many extravagancies, 637and reduced the system to consistency and moderation. The Mennonites maintain that practical piety is the essence of religion, and that the surest mark of the true church is the sanctity of its members. They plead for universal toleration in religion, and debar none from their societies who lead pious lives, and own the Scriptures for the word of God. They teach that infants are not the proper subjects of baptism; that ministers of the Gospel ought to receive no salary. They also object to the terms person and trinity, as not consistent with the simplicity of the Scriptures. They are, like the Society of Friends, utterlyutterly averse to oaths and war, and to capital punishments, as contrary to the spirit of the Christian dispensation. In their private meetings every one has the liberty to speak, to expound the Scriptures, and to pray. They assemble, or used to do so, twice every year from all parts of Holland, at Rynsbourg, a village two leagues from Leyden, at which time they receive the communion, sitting at a table in the manner of the Independents; but in their form of discipline they are said more to resemble the Presbyterians. The ancient Mennonites professed a contempt of erudition and science, and excluded all from their communion who deviated in the least from the most rigorous rules of simplicity and gravity: but this primitive austerity is greatly diminished in their most considerable societies. Those who adhere to their ancient discipline are called Flemings or Flandrians. The whole sect were formerly called Waterlandians, from the district in which they lived. The Mennonites in Pennsylvania do not baptize by immersion, though they administer the ordinance to none but adult persons. Their common method is this: The person to be baptized kneels, the minister holds his hands over him, into which the deacon pours water, so that it runs on the head of the baptized; after which follow imposition of hands and prayer.

Divine worship is conducted among the Mennonites much as among the churches of the reformed, or among the Dissenters in England, only with this peculiarity, that collections are made every Sabbath day, sometimes in the middle of the sermon, in two bags, one for the poor, and the other for the expenses of public worship. They have a Mennonite college at Amsterdam, and the ministers are chosen in some places by the congregation, and in others by the elders only. As they reject infant baptism, they refuse to commune at the Lord’s table with any who administer the ordinance to children, unless resprinkled. They train up catechumens under their ministers, and, about the age of sixteen, baptize them, taking from the candidate, before the minister and elders, an account of his repentance and faith. In some parts of North Holland, young people are baptized on the day of their marriage. They baptize by pouring or sprinkling thrice.

With respect to their confession of faith, as it is stated by one of their ministers, Mr. Gan, of Ryswick, they believe that in the fall man lost his innocence, and that all his posterity are born with a natural propensity to evil, and with fleshly inclinations, and are exposed to sickness and death. The posterity of Adam derive no moral guilt from his fall: sin is personal, and the desert of punishment cannot be inherited. The incarnate Son of God is set forth to us as inferior to the Father, not only in his state of humiliation, but in that of his exaltation, and as subject to the Father: he is nevertheless an object of religious trust and confidence in like manner as the Father. With respect to the number of Mennonites in Holland, they are calculated at only thirty thousand, including children, and form about a hundred and thirty churches. In the United States of America, it appears, there are more than two hundred Mennonite churches, some of which contain as many as three hundred members in each. They are mostly the descendants of the Mennonites who emigrated in great numbers from Paltz.

MERCY SEAT, a, propitiatory. This word is properly an adjective, agreeing with peµa, a lid, understood, which is expressed by the LXX, Exod. xxv, 17. In that version, a generally answers to the Hebrew , from the verb , to cover, expiate, and was the lid or covering of the ark of the covenant, made of pure gold, on and before which the high priest was to sprinkle the blood of the expiatory sacrifices on the great day of atonement, and where God promised to meet his people, Exod. xxv, 17, 22; xxix, 42; xxx, 36; Lev. xvi, 2, 14. St. Paul, by applying this name to Christ, Rom. iii, 25, assures us that he is the true mercy seat, the reality of what the represented to the ancient believers; by him our sins are covered or expiated, and through him God communes with us in mercy. The mercy seat also represents our approach to God through Christ; we come to the throne of grace;” which is only a variation of the term mercy seat.”

MEROM, Waters of, or lacus Samechonitis: the most northern and the smallest of the three lakes which are supplied by the waters of the Jordan. Indeed the numerous branches of this river, descending from the mountains, unite in this small piece of water; out of which issues the single stream which may be considered as the Jordan Proper. It is at present called the lake of Houle; and is situated in a hollow or valley, about twelve miles wide, called the Ard Houle, formed by the Djebel Heish on the west, and Djebel Safat on the east, the two branches into which the mountains of Hasbeya, or Djebel Esheikh, the ancient Hermon, divides itself about fifteen miles to the north.

MEROZ, a place in the neighbourhood of the brook Kishon, whose inhabitants, refusing to come to the assistance of their brethren, when they fought with Sisera, were put under an anathema, Judges v, 23.

MESHECH, Country of. Meshech was the sixth son of Japheth, and is generally mentioned in conjunction with his brother Tubal; and both were first seated in the northeastern 638angle of Asia Minor, from the shores of the Euxine, along to the south of Caucasus; where were the Montes Moschisi, and where, in after times, were the Iberi, Tibareni, and Moschi; near to whom also, or mingled with them, were the Chalybes, who, it is probable, derived their Grecian appellation from the general occupation of the families of Tubal and Meshech, as workers in brass and iron, as the inhabitants of the same countries have been in all ages, for the supply of Tyre, Persia, Greece, and Armenia. There appears also to have been in the same neighbourhood, namely, in Armenia, a river and country termed Rosh: for so, Bochart says, the river Araxes is called by the Arabs; and that there was a people in the adjoining country called Rhossi. That passage in Ezekiel, xxxviii, also, which in our Bibles is rendered the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal,” is, in the Septuagint, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.” These Rossi and Moschi, who were neighbours in Asia, dispersed their colonies jointly over the vast empire of Russia; and preserve their names still in those of Russians and Muscovites.

MESOPOTAMIA, an extensive province of Asia, the Greek name of which denotes between the rivers,” and on this account Strabo says, t eta µeta t ft a t , that it was situated between the Euphrates and the Tigris.” In Scripture this country is called Aram, and Aramea. But as Aram also signifies Syria, it is denominated Aram Naharaim, or the Syria of the rivers. This province, which inclines from the south-east to the north-west, commenced at 33° 20´ N. lat., and terminated near 37° 30´ N. lat. Toward the south it extended as far as the bend formed by the Jordan at Cunaxa, and to the wall of Semiramis which separated it from Messene. Toward the north, it comprehended part of Taurus and the Mesius, which lay between the Euphrates and the Tigris. The modern name, given by the Arabs to this part, is of the same import with the ancient appellation; they call it isle,” or, in their language, Al-Dgezera. In this northern part is found Osrhoene, which seems to have been the same place with Anthemusir. The northern part of Mesopotamia is occupied by chains of mountains passing from north-west to south-east, in the situation of the rivers. The central parts of these mountains were called Singaræ Montes. The principal rivers were Chaboras, (Al Kabour,) which commenced at Charræ, (Harran,) east of the mountains, and discharged itself into the Euphrates at Circesium (Kirkisieh;) the Mygdonius, (Hanali,) the source of which was near Nisibis, and its termination in the Chaboras. The principal towns in the eastern part along the Tigris and near it, are Nisibis, (Nisibin,) Bezabde, (Zabda,) Singora, (Sindja,) Labbana on the Tigris, (Mosul,) Hatru, (Harder,) and Apamea-Mesenes. At some distance to the south, upon the Tigris and on the borders of Mesopotamia, was the town of Antiochia, near which commenced the wall that passed from the Tigris to the Euphrates, under the name of Murus Mediæ, or Semiramidis. In the western part were Edessa, called also Callin-Rhæ, (Orfa,) Charræ, (Harran,) Nicephorium, (Racca,) Circesium at the mouth of the Chaboras, Anatho, (Anah,) Neharda, (Hadith Unnour,) upon the right of the Euphrates. There are several other towns of less importance. According to Strabo, this country was fertile in vines, and afforded abundance of good wine. According to Ptolemy, Mesopotamia had on the north a part of Armenia, on the west the Euphrates on the side of Syria, on the east the Tigris on the borders of Assyria, and on the south the Euphrates which joined the Tigris. Mesopotamia was a satrapy under the kings of Syria.

In the earliest accounts we have of this country, subsequent to the time of Abraham, it was subject to a king, called Cushan-Rishathaim, then perhaps the most powerful potentate of the east, and the first by whom the Israelites were made captive, which happened soon after the death of Joshua, and about B. C. 1400, Judges iii, 8. The name of this king bespeaks him a descendant of Nimrod; and it was probably of the Lower Mesopotamia only, or Babylonia, of which he was sovereign; the northern parts being in the possession of the Arameans. This is implied in the history of Abraham; who, when ordered to depart from his country, namely, Chaldea, in the southern part of Mesopotamia, removed to Charran, still in Mesopotamia, but beyond the boundary of the Chaldees, and in the territory of Aram. About four hundred years after Cushan-Rishathaim, we find the northern parts of Mesopotamia in the hands of the Syrians of Zobah; as we are told, in 2 Sam. x, that Hadarezer, king of Zobah, after his defeat by Joab, sent and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river” Euphrates. The whole country was afterward seized by the Assyrians; to whom it pertained till the dissolution of their empire, when it was divided between the Medes and the Babylonians. It subsequently formed a part of the Medo-Persian, second Syrian or Macedonian, and Parthian empires, as it does at the present day of the modern Persian. The southern part of Mesopotamia answers nearly to the country anciently called the land of Shinar; to which the Prophet Daniel, i, 2, refers, and Zechariah v, 11.

On the fifth or sixth day after leaving Aleppo,” says Campbell in his Overland Journey to India, “we arrived at the city of Diarbeker, the capital of the province of that name; having passed over an extent of country of between three and four hundred miles, most of it blessed with the greatest fertility, and abounding with as rich pastures as I ever beheld, covered with numerous herds and flocks. The air was charmingly temperate in the day time, but, to my feeling, extremely cold at night. Yet notwithstanding the extreme fertility of this country, the bad administration of government, conspiring with the indolence of the inhabitants, leaves it unpeopled and uncultivated. 639Diarbeker Proper, called also Mesopotamia from its lying between two famous rivers, and by Moses called Padanaram, that is, ‘the fruitful Syria,’ abounds with corn, wine, oil, fruits, and all the necessaries of life. It is supposed to have been the seat of the earthly paradise; and all geographers agree that here the descendants of Noah settled immediately after the flood. To be treading that ground which Abraham trod, where Nahor the father of Rebecca lived, where holy Job breathed the pure air of piety and simplicity, and where Laban the father-in-law of Jacob resided, was to me a circumstance productive of delightful sensations. As I rode along, I have often mused upon the contemptible stratagems to which I was reduced, in order to get through this country, for no other reason than because I was a Christian; and I could not avoid reflecting with sorrow on the melancholy effects of superstition, and regretting that this fine tract of country, which ought to be considered above all others as the universal inheritance of mankind, should now be cut off from all except a horde of senseless bigots, barbarous fanatics, and inflexible tyrants.”

MESSIAH. The Greek word , from whence comes Christ and Christian, exactly answers to the Hebrew Messiah, which signifies him that hath received unction, a prophet, a king, or a priest. See Jesus Christ.

Our Lord warned his disciples that false messiahs should arise, Matt. xxiv, 24; and the event has verified the prediction. No less than twenty-four false Christs have arisen in different places and at different times: Caziba was the first of any note who made a noise in the world. Being dissatisfied with the state of things under Adrian, he set himself up as the head of the Jewish nation, and proclaimed himself their long expected messiah. He was one of those banditti that infested Judea, and committed all kinds of violence against the Romans; and had become so powerful that he was chosen king of the Jews, and by them acknowledged their messiah. However, to facilitate the success of this bold enterprise, he changed his name from Caziba, which it was at first, to that of Barchocheba, alluding to the star foretold by Balaam; for he pretended to be the star sent from heaven to restore his nation to its ancient liberty and glory. He chose a forerunner, raised an army, was anointed king, coined money inscribed with his own name, and proclaimed himself messiah and prince of the Jewish nation. Adrian raised an army, and sent it against him; he retired into a town called Bither, where he was besieged. Barchocheba was killed in the siege, the city was taken, and a dreadful havoc succeeded. The Jews themselves allow, that, during this short war against the Romans in defence of this false messiah, they lost five or six hundred thousand souls. This was in the former part of the second century. In the reign of Theodosius the younger, A. D. 434, another impostor arose, called Moses Cretensis. He pretended to be a second Moses, sent to deliver the Jews who dwelt in Crete, and promised to divide the sea, and give them a safe passage through it. Their delusion proved so strong and universal, that they neglected their lands, houses, and other concerns, and took only so much with them as they could conveniently carry. And on the day appointed, this false Moses, having led them to the top of a rock, men, women, and children threw themselves headlong down into the sea, without the least hesitation or reluctance, till so great a number of them were drowned as opened the eyes of the rest, and made them sensible of the cheat. They then began to look for their pretended leader; but he had disappeared, and escaped out of their hands. In the reign of Justin, about A. D. 520, another impostor appeared, who called himself the son of Moses. His name was Dunaan. He entered into a city of Arabia Felix, and there he greatly oppressed the Christians; but he was taken prisoner, and put to death by Elesban, an Ethiopian general. The Jews and Samaritans rebelled against the Emperor Justinian, A. D. 529, and set up one Julian for their king, and accounted him the messiah. The emperor sent an army against them, killed great numbers of them, took their pretended messiah prisoner, and immediately put him to death. In the time of Leo Isaurus, about A. D. 721, arose another false messiah in Spain; his name was Serenus. He drew great numbers after him, to their no small loss and disappointment; but all his pretensions came to nothing. The twelfth century was fruitful in messiahs. About A. D. 1137, there appeared one in France, who was put to death, and numbers of those who followed him. In A. D. 1138, the Persians were disturbed with a Jew, who called himself the messiah. He collected a vast army; but he too was put to death, and his followers treated with great inhumanity. A false messiah stirred up the Jews at Corduba in Spain, A. D. 1157. The wiser and better sort looked upon him as a madman, but the great body of the Jews in the nation believed in him. On this occasion nearly all the Jews in Spain were destroyed. Another false messiah arose in the kingdom of Fez, A. D. 1167, which brought great troubles and persecutions upon the Jews that were scattered throughout that country. In the same year, an Arabian professed to be the messiah, and pretended to work miracles. When search was made for him, his followers fled, and he was brought before the Arabian king. Being questioned by him, he replied, that he was a prophet sent from God. The king then asked him what sign he could show to confirm his mission. Cut off my head,” said he, and I will return to life again.” The king took him at his word, promising to believe him if his prediction was accomplished. The poor wretch, however, never came to life again, and the cheat was sufficiently discovered. Those who had been deluded by him were grievously punished, and the nation condemned to a very heavy fine. Not long after this, a Jew who dwelt 640beyond the Euphrates, called himself the messiah, and drew vast multitudes of people after him. He gave this for a sign of it, that he had been leprous, and had been cured in the course of one night. He, like the rest, perished, and brought great persecution on his countrymen. A magician and false christ arose in Persia, A. D. 1174, who seduced many of the common people, and brought the Jews into great tribulation. Another of these impostors arose, A. D. 1176, in Moravia, who was called David Almusser. He pretended he could make himself invisible; but he was soon taken and put to death, and a heavy fine laid upon the Jews. A famous cheat and rebel exerted himself in Persia, A. D. 1199, called David el David. He was a man of learning, a great magician, and pretended to be the messiah. He raised an army against the king, but was taken and imprisoned; and, having made his escape, was afterward retaken and beheaded. Vast numbers of the Jews were butchered for taking part with this impostor. Rabbi Lemlem, a German Jew of Austria, declared himself a forerunner of the messiah, A. D. 1500, and pulled down his own oven, promising his brethren that they should bake their bread in the holy land next year. A false christ arose in the East Indies, A. D. 1615, and was greatly followed by the Portuguese Jews who are scattered over that country. Another in the Low Countries declared himself to be the messiah of the family of David, and of the line of Nathan, A. D. 1624. He promised to destroy Rome, and to overthrow the kingdom of antichrist, and the Turkish empire. In A. D. 1666, appeared the false messiah Sabatai Tzevi, who made a great noise, and gained a great number of proselytes. He was born at Aleppo, and imposed on the Jews for a considerable time; but afterward, with a view of saving his life, he turned Mohammedan, and was at last beheaded. The last false christ that made any considerable number of converts was one rabbi Mordecai, a Jew of Germany: he appeared, A. D. 1682. It was not long before he was found out to be an impostor, and was obliged to flee from Italy to Poland to save his life: what became of him afterward does not seem to be recorded.

METEMPSYCHOSIS, the doctrine of the transmigration of souls into other bodies. This tenet has been attributed to the sect of the Pharisees. Josephus, who was himself a Pharisee, gives this account of their doctrine in these points: Every soul is immortal; those of the good only enter into another body, but those of the bad are tormented with everlasting punishment.” From whence it has been pretty generally concluded, that the resurrection they held was only a Pythagorean one, namely, the transmigration of the soul into another body; from which they excluded all that were notoriously wicked, who were doomed at once to eternal punishment; but their opinion was, that those who were guilty only of lesser crimes were punished for them in the bodies into which their souls were next sent. It is also supposed, that it was upon this notion the disciples asked our Lord, Did this man sin, or his parents, that he was born blind” John ix, 2; and that some said, Christ was John the Baptist, some Elias, others Jeremias, or one of the prophets,” Matt. xvi, 14. The transmigration of souls into other bodies was undoubtedly the opinion of the Pythagoreans and Platonists, and was embraced by some among the Jews; as by the author of the Book of Wisdom, who says, that being good, he came into a body undefiled,” viii, 20. Nevertheless, it is questioned by some persons, whether the words of Josephus, before quoted, are a sufficient evidence of this doctrine of the metempsychosis being received by the whole sect of the Pharisees; for passing into another or different body,” may only denote its receiving a body at the resurrection; which will be another, not in substance, but in quality; as it is said of Christ at his transfiguration, t ed t psp at te, the fashion of his countenance was” another, or, as we render it, was altered,” Luke ix, 29. As to the opinion which some entertained concerning our Saviour, that he was either John the Baptist, or Elias, or Jeremias, or one of the prophets, Matt. xvi, 14, it is not ascribed to the Pharisees in particular, and if it were, one cannot see how it could be founded on the doctrine of the metempsychosis; since the soul of Elias, now inhabiting the body of Jesus, would no more make him to be Elias, than several others had been, in whose bodies the soul of Elias, according to this doctrine, is supposed to have dwelt since the death of that ancient prophet, near a thousand years before. Beside, how was it possible any person that saw Christ, who did not appear to be less than thirty years old, should, according to the notion of the metempsychosis, conceive him to be John the Baptist, who had been so lately beheaded Surely this apprehension must be grounded on the supposition of a proper resurrection. It was probably, therefore, upon the same account, that others took him to be Elias, and others Jeremias. Accordingly, St. Luke expresses it thus: Others say, that one of the old prophets is risen from the dead,” Luke ix, 19. It may farther be observed, that the doctrine of the resurrection, which St. Paul preached, was not a present metempsychosis, but a real future resurrection, which he calls the hope and resurrection of the dead,” Acts xxiii, 6. This he professed as a Pharisee, and for this profession the partisans of that sect vindicated him against the Sadducees, Acts xxiii, 7–9. Upon the whole, therefore, it appears most reasonable to adopt the opinion of Reland, though in opposition to the sentiments of many other learned men, that the Pharisees held the doctrine of the resurrection in a proper sense.

METHODISTS, a name given in derision at different times to religious persons and parties which have appeared in this country; but which now principally designates the followers of the Rev. John Wesley. The societies raised up by the instrumentality of the Rev. George Whitefield were also called Methodists, 641and in Wales especially are still known by that appellation. For distinction’s sake, therefore, and also because a number of smaller sects have broken off from the Methodist societies since Mr. Wesley’s death, the religious body which he raised up and left organized under his rules, have of late been generally denominated the Wesleyan Methodists. In the year 1729, Mr. John Wesley, being then fellow of Lincoln College, began to spend some evenings in reading the Greek Testament with Charles Wesley, student, and Mr. Morgan, commoner of Christ Church, and Mr. Kirkham, of Merton College. Not long after, two or three of the pupils of Mr. John Wesley, and one pupil of Mr. Charles Wesley, obtained leave to attend these meetings. They then began to visit the sick in different parts of the town, and the prisoners also, who were confined in the castle. Two years after, they were joined by Mr. Ingham, of Queen’s College, Mr. Broughton, and Mr. Hervey; and in 1735, by the celebrated Mr. George Whitefield, then in his eighteenth year. At this time their number in Oxford amounted to about fourteen. They obtained the name of Methodists, from the exact regularity of their lives, and the manner of spending their time. In October, 1735, John and Charles Wesley, Mr. Ingham, and Mr. Delamotte, son of a merchant in London, embarked for Georgia, having been engaged by the trustees of that colony as chaplains; but their ultimate design was to preach the Gospel to the Indians. No favourable opportunity offering itself for this pious work, and the strict and faithful preaching of the Wesleys having involved them in much persecution, and many disputes with the colonists, they returned to England, Mr. Charles Wesley in 1737, Mr. John Wesley in 1738. On the passage to America, and while in Georgia, Mr. John had met with several pious Moravians; whose doctrines of justification by faith alone, conscious pardon of sin, and peace with God, confirmed by their own calmness in danger and freedom from the fear of death, greatly impressed him. On his return to England, he was more fully instructed in these views by Bohler, a Moravian minister; and having proved their truth in his own experience, he began to preach in the churches of the metropolis, and other places, and then in rooms, fields, and streets, the doctrine of salvation by faith. In this his brother Charles was his zealous coadjutor; and the effect was the awakening of great multitudes to a religious concern, and the commencement of a great revival of religion throughout the land, which has in its effects extended itself to the most distant parts of the world. At the time of Mr. Wesley’s death, the societies in connection with him in Europe, America, and the West Indies, amounted to eighty thousand members; they are now [1831] upward of three hundred thousand, beside about half a million in the United States of America, who since the acquisition of independence by that country have formed a separate church. The rules of this religious society were drawn up by Messrs. John and Charles Wesley in 1743, and continue to be in force. They state the nature and design of a Methodist society in the following words: “Such a society is no other than a company of men, having the form and seeking the power of godliness: united, in order to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to watch over one another in love, that they may help each other to work out their own salvation. That it may the more easily be discerned whether they are indeed working out their own salvation, each society is divided into smaller companies, called classes, according to their respective places of abode. There are about twelve persons, sometimes fifteen, twenty, or even more, in each class; one of whom is styled the leader. It is his business, 1. To see each person in his class once a week, at least, in order to inquire how their souls prosper; to advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, as occasion may require; to receive what they are willing to give to the poor, or toward the support of the Gospel. 2. To meet the minister and the stewards of the society once a week, to inform the minister of any that are sick, or of any that walk disorderly and will not be reproved; to pay to the stewards what they have received of their several classes in the week preceding; and to show their account of what each person has contributed. There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies, namely, a desire to flee from the wrath to come; to be saved from their sins: but wherever this is really fixed in the soul, it will be shown by its fruits. It is therefore expected of all who continue therein, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, 1. By doing no harm; by avoiding evil in every kind, especially that which is most generally practised, such as taking the name of God in vain; profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work thereon, or by buying or selling; drunkenness; buying and selling spirituous liquors, or drinking them, unless in cases of extreme necessity; fighting, quarrelling, brawling; brother going to law with brother; returning evil for evil, or railing for railing; the using many words in buying or selling; the buying or selling uncustomed goods; the giving or taking things on usury, that is, unlawful interest; uncharitable or unprofitable conversation, particularly speaking evil of magistrates or of ministers; doing to others as we would not they should do unto us; doing what we know is not for the glory of God, as the putting on of gold or costly apparel; the taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus; singing those songs, or reading those books, which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God; softness, or needless self-indulgence; laying up treasure upon earth; borrowing without a probability of paying; or taking up goods, without a probability of paying for them. It is expected of all who continue in these societies, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, 2. By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power, 642as they have opportunity; doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all men; to their bodies, of the ability which God giveth, by giving food to the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting or helping them that are sick or in prison; to their souls, by instructing, reproving, or exhorting all we have any intercourse with; trampling under foot that enthusiastic doctrine of devils,--that we are not to do good unless our hearts be free to it: by doing good, especially to them that are of the household of faith, or groaning so to be; employing them preferably to others; buying one of another; helping each other in business, and so much the more as the world will love its own, and them only; by all possible diligence and frugality, that the Gospel be not blamed; by running with patience the race set before them, denying themselves, and taking up their cross daily; submitting to bear the reproach of Christ; to be as the filth and off-scouring of the world, and looking that men should say all manner of evil of them falsely for the Lord’s sake. It is expected of all who continue in these societies, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation, 3. By attending on all the ordinances of God: such are, the public worship of God; the ministry of the word either read or expounded; the supper of the Lord; family and private prayer; searching the Scriptures, and fasting and abstinence. These are the general rules of our societies, all which we are taught of God to observe, even in his written word, the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of our faith and practice; and all these we know his Spirit writes on every truly awakened heart. If there be any among us who observe them not, who habitually breaks any of them, let it be made known to them who watch over that soul, as they that must give an account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways; we will bear with him for a season; but then, if he repent not, he hath no more place among us: we have delivered our own souls.”

The effect produced by the preaching of the two brothers in various parts of the kingdom, and those frequently the most populous and rude, rendered it necessary to call out preachers to their assistance, and especially since the clergy generally remained negligent, and rather opposed and persecuted, than encouraged, the Wesleys in their endeavours to effect a national reformation. The association of preachers with themselves in the work led to an annual meeting of the ministers, then and since called the conference. The first conference was held in June 1744, at which Mr. Wesley met his brother, two or three other clergymen, and a few of the preachers, whom he had appointed to come from various parts, to confer with them on the affairs of the societies. Monday, June 25,” observes Mr. Wesley, and the five following days, we spent in conference with our preachers, seriously considering by what means we might the most effectually save our own souls, and them that heard us; and the result of our consultations we set down to be the rule of our future practice.” Since that time a conference has been annually held; Mr. Wesley himself having presided at forty-seven. The subjects of their deliberations were proposed in the form of questions, which were amply discussed; and the questions, with the answers agreed upon, were afterward printed under the title of Minutes of several Conversations between the Rev. Mr. Wesley and others,” commonly called Minutes of Conference.

As the kingdom had been divided into circuits, to each of which several preachers were appointed for one or two years, a part of the work of every conference was to arrange these appointments and changes. In the early conferences various points of doctrine were discussed with reference to the agreement of all in a common standard; and when this was settled, and the doctrinal discussions discontinued, new regulations continued to be adopted, as the state of the societies, and the enlarging opportunities of doing good, required. The character of all those who were engaged in the ministry was also annually examined; and those who had passed the appointed term of probation, were solemnly received into the ministry. All the preachers were itinerants, and, animated by the example of Mr. Wesley, went through great labours, and endured many privations and persecutions, but with such success that societies and congregations were in a few years raised up in almost every part of England, and in a very considerable number of places in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. The doctrines held by the Methodists, Mr. Wesley declared repeatedly in his writings to be those contained in the Articles of the church of England; for he understood the article on predestination, as many others have done, in a sense not contrary to the doctrine of the redemption and the possible salvation of the whole human race. It will, therefore, be merely necessary to state those views of certain doctrines which it has been thought the Wesleyan Methodists hold in a somewhat peculiar way, or on which they have been most liable to misrepresentation.

They maintain the total fall of man in Adam, and his utter inability to recover himself, or take one step toward his recovery, without the grace of God preventing him, that he may have a good will, and working with him when he has that good will.” They assert that Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man.” This grace they call free, as extending itself freely to all. They say that Christ is the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe;” and that, consequently, they are authorized to offer salvation to all, and to preach the Gospel to every creature.” They hold justification by faith. Justification,” says Mr. Wesley, “sometimes means our acquittal at the last day, Matt. xii, 37: but this is altogether out of the present question; for that justification whereof our Articles and Homilies speak, signifies present forgiveness, pardon of sins, and consequently acceptance with God, who therein declares his righteousness, or justice, and mercy, by or for the remission 643of sins that are past, Romans iii, 25, saying, ‘I will be merciful to thy unrighteousness, and thine iniquities I will remember no more.’ I believe the condition of this is faith, Rom. iv, 5, &c; I mean, not only that without faith we cannot be justified, but also that as soon as any one has true faith, in that moment he is justified. Faith, in general, is a divine supernatural evidence, or conviction, of things not seen, not discoverable by our bodily senses, as being either past, future, or spiritual. Justifying faith implies, not only a divine evidence, or conviction, that ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,’ but a full reliance on the merits of his death, a sure confidence that Christ died for my sins; that he loved me, and gave himself for me: and the moment a penitent sinner believes this, God pardons and absolves him.” This faith, Mr. Wesley affirms, “is the gift of God. No man is able to work it in himself. It is a work of Omnipotence. It requires no less power thus to quicken a dead soul, than to raise a body that lies in the grave. It is a new creation; and none can create a soul anew but He who at first created the heavens and the earth. It is the free gift of God, which he bestows not on those who are worthy of his favour, not on such as are previously holy, and so fit to be crowned with all the blessings of his goodness; but on the ungodly and unholy, on those who till that hour were fit only for everlasting destruction; those in whom is no good thing, and whose only plea was, ‘God be merciful to me, a sinner!’ No merit, no goodness, in man, precedes the forgiving love of God. His pardoning mercy supposes nothing in us but a sense of mere sin and misery; and to all who see and feel and own their wants, and their utter inability to remove them, God freely gives faith, for the sake of Him in whom he is always well pleased. Good works follow this faith, Luke vi, 43, but cannot go before it; much less can sanctification, which implies a continued course of good works springing from holiness of heart.” As to repentance he insisted that it is conviction of sin, and that repentance, and works meet for repentance, go before justifying faith; but he held, with the church of England, that all works, before justification, had the nature of sin;” and that, as they had no root in the love of God, which can only arise from a persuasion of his being reconciled to us, they could not constitute a moral worthiness preparatory to pardon. That true repentance springs from the grace of God, is most certain; but, whatever fruits it may bring forth, it changes not man’s relation to God. He is a sinner, and is justified as such; for it is not a saint, but a sinner, that is forgiven, and under the notion of a sinner.” God justifieth the ungodly, not the godly. Repentance, according to his statement, is necessary to true faith; but faith alone is the direct and immediate instrument of pardon. They hold also the direct internal testimony of the Holy Spirit to the believer’s adoption; for an exposition of which see Holy Spirit.

They maintain also that, by virtue of the blood of Jesus Christ, and the operations of the Holy Spirit, it is their privilege to arrive at that maturity in grace, and participation of the divine nature, which excludes sin from the heart, and fills it with perfect love to God and man. This they denominate Christian perfection. On this doctrine Mr. Wesley observes, “Christian perfection does not imply an exemption from ignorance or mistake, infirmities or temptations; but it implies the being so crucified with Christ, as to be able to testify, ‘I live not, but Christ liveth in me,’ Gal. ii, 23, and ‘hath purified their hearts by faith,’ Acts xv, 9.” Again: To explain myself a little farther on this head: 1. Not only sin, properly so called, that is, a voluntary transgression of a known law; but sin, improperly so called, that is, an involuntary transgression of a divine law known or unknown, needs the atoning blood. 2. I believe there is no such perfection in this life as excludes these involuntary transgressions, which I apprehend to be naturally consequent on the ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mortality. 3. Therefore, sinless perfection is a phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contradict myself. 4. I believe a person filled with the love of God is still liable to these involuntary transgressions. 5. Such transgressions you may call sins, if you please; I do not, for the reasons above mentioned.”

The rules of the Methodist societies have been already given; but, in order to have a general view of their ecclesiastical economy, it must be remarked, that a number of these societies united together form what is called a circuit. A circuit generally includes a large market town, and the circumjacent villages to the extent of ten or fifteen miles. To one circuit two or three, and sometimes four, preachers are appointed, one of whom is styled the superintendent; and this is the sphere of their labour for at least one year, or not more than three years. Once a quarter the preachers meet all the classes, and speak personally to each member. Those who have walked orderly the preceding quarter then receive a ticket. These tickets are in some respects analogous to the tesseræ of the ancients, and answer all the purposes of the commendatory letters spoken of by the Apostle. Their chief use is to prevent imposture. After the visitation of the classes a meeting is held, consisting of all the preachers, leaders, and stewards in the circuit. At this meeting the stewards deliver their collections to a circuit steward, and every thing relating to temporal matters is publicly settled. At this meeting the candidates for the ministry are proposed, and the stewards, after officiating a definite period, are changed. A number of circuits, from five to ten, more or fewer, according to their extent, form a district, the preachers of which meet annually. Every district has a chairman, who fixes the time of meeting. These assemblies have authority, 1. To examine candidates for the ministry, and probationers, and to try and suspend preachers who are found immoral, erroneous in doctrine, or deficient in abilities. 6442. To decide concerning the building of chapels. 3. To examine the demands from the poorer circuits respecting the support of the preachers and of their families, from the public funds. 4. To elect a representative to attend and form a committee to sit previously to the meeting of the conference, in order to prepare a draught of the stations of all the preachers for the ensuing year. The judgment of this meeting is conclusive until conference, to which an appeal is allowed in all cases.

The conference, strictly speaking, consists only of a hundred of the senior preachers, according to the arrangements prescribed in a deed of declaration, executed by Mr. Wesley, and enrolled in chancery. But the preachers elected at the preceding district meetings as representatives, the superintendents of the circuits, and such preachers as the districts allow to attend, sit and vote usually as one body. At the conference, every preacher’s character undergoes the strictest scrutiny; and if any charge be proved against him, he is dealt with accordingly. The preachers are also stationed, the proceedings of the subordinate meetings reviewed, and the state of the connection at large is considered. The conference is commonly held in London, Leeds, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, and Sheffield, in rotation, at the latter end of July.

By the minutes of the last conference, 1831, it appears that this religious body had three hundred and sixty-three circuits in England, Wales, and Scotland; forty-five in Ireland; and a hundred and fifty-six mission stations, most of them being also circuits, in Sweden, France, the Mediterranean, Continental India, Ceylon, the South Seas, Africa, the West Indies, and British America. The number of members in the societies were, in Great Britain, two hundred and forty-nine thousand one hundred and nineteen; in Ireland, twenty-two thousand four hundred and seventy; in the foreign stations, forty-two thousand seven hundred and forty-three. Their regular preachers were eight hundred and forty-six in Great Britain; in Ireland, a hundred and forty-six; in foreign stations, exclusive of catechists, a hundred and eighty-seven.

[The preceding account, so far as it respects the original history, the doctrines, and the moral discipline of Wesleyan Methodists, is equally applicable to those in America and in Europe. The Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, however, which became a distinct and independent church in the year 1784, differs considerably in its organization, and in the details of its ecclesiastical economy, from the British Wesleyan connection. The circuits, into which the whole field of labour occupied by the itinerant ministry is divided, are in general much larger, nor is any preacher allowed to remain on them more than two years successively. Of these circuits, from five or six to fifteen or more, according to circumstances, constitute a district. Of the districts, from four or five to six or eight, usually, comprise the tract of country embraced within the boundaries of an annual conference; and of annual conferences, the whole of the United States and Territories, agreeably to the minutes of the last year, (1831,) were divided into nineteen. From all these annual conferences, delegates, in a certain prescribed ratio, are sent once in four years to constitute a general conference, the highest ecclesiastical assemblage among American Wesleyan Methodists. The minister or preacher first named of those appointed to each circuit or station, is thereby invested with the pastoral charge thereof, and is usually denominated the preacher in charge. Each district is committed to the care of an elder, denominated the presiding elder, who is appointed annually, and may remain four years successively on a district, but not longer; and all the districts comprising the whole extent of the church, are under the general superintendence of the bishops. These at present, (April, 1832,) are four in number, and like all others of our stated ministry, are required to be itinerant. If they cease to travel at large, without the consent of the general conference, they forfeit the exercise of their episcopal functions. Their visitations are annual and alternate, on a preconcerted plan, through the bounds of the entire work. They preside in the annual and general conferences, station the preachers, with (by established usage) the counsel of the presiding elders, and are jointly and severally responsible to the general conference for their administration and conduct. (See also the articles Episcopalians,” and Imposition of Hands.”)

For a more minute detail of the ecclesiastical economy, spiritual and temporal, of American Wesleyan Methodists, (which would lead us too far for a work of this sort,) reference may be had to the small volume published at the Conference Office, entitled ‘The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church.’

By the minutes of the annual conferences for the last year, (1831,) there were in the communion of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, five hundred and thirteen thousand one hundred and twenty-four members; of whom four hundred and thirty-seven thousand and twenty-four were whites, seventy-one thousand five hundred and eighty-nine coloured, and four thousand five hundred and one Indians. The number of itinerant ministers was two thousand and ten, of whom one hundred and thirty four were superannuated, or worn out. In addition to these, there are also several thousand local ministers and preachers, many of whom were once itinerant; and who, though not statedly devoted to the work of the ministerial office, as the itinerant ministers are, yet, by their valuable services on the Sabbath, or at other times occasionally in their respective vicinities, constitute an important auxiliary branch of the system, and contribute much to its compactness and efficiency.

Beside the above, there are in the United States several smaller associations of persons bearing the name of Methodists, who hold and teach, in general, the doctrines of Wesleyan Methodists, but are not in connection with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and differ from 645it in various points of ecclesiastical economy and discipline.

The Wesleyan Methodists in Upper Canada, who were formerly in connection with the church in the United States, have recently, with the consent of the general conference of the latter body, been constituted a distinct church, under an episcopal form. Its organization, however, has not yet been completed by the consecration of a bishop, though we understand that a reverend individual has been selected, who will probably shortly be set apart for that holy office. This branch of the American Wesleyan Methodists, agreeably to their minutes for the year 1831, consisted of sixty-five itinerant ministers, and twelve thousand five hundred and sixty-three members; of whom one thousand two hundred and thirty-three were Indians.]

METHUSELAH, the son of Enoch, and father of Lamech, Gen. v, 21. He was born A. M. 687, and died A. M. 1656, being the very year of the deluge, at the age of nine hundred and sixty-nine, the greatest age to which any mortal man ever attained.

MICAH, the seventh in order of the twelve lesser prophets, is supposed to have prophesied about B. C. 750. He was commissioned to denounce the judgments of God against both the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, for their idolatry and wickedness. The principal predictions contained in this book are, the invasions of Shalmanezer and Sennecharib; the destruction of Samaria and of Jerusalem, mixed with consolatory promises of the deliverance of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, and of the downfall of the power of their Assyrian and Babylonian oppressors; the cessation of prophecy in consequence of their continued deceitfulness and hypocrisy; and a desolation in a then distant period, still greater than that which was declared to be impending. The birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem is also expressly foretold; and the Jews are directed to look to the establishment and extent of his kingdom, as an unfailing source of comfort amidst general distress. The style of Micah is nervous, concise, and elegant, often elevated, and poetical, but sometimes obscure from sudden transitions of subject; and the contrast of the neglected duties of justice, mercy, humility, and piety, with the punctilious observance of the ceremonial sacrifices, affords a beautiful example of the harmony which subsists between the Mosaic and Christian dispensations, and shows that the law partook of that spiritual nature which more immediately characterizes the religion of Jesus.

The prophecy of Micah, contained in the fifth chapter, is, perhaps the most important single prophecy in all the Old Testament, and the most comprehensive respecting the personal character of the Messiah, and his successive manifestations to the world. It crowns the whole chain of predictions respecting the several limitations of the promised seed: to the line of Shem; to the family of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; to the tribe of Judah; and to the royal house of David, terminating in his birth at Bethlehem, the city of David.” It carefully distinguishes his human nativity from his divine nature and eternal existence; foretels the casting off of the Israelites and Jews for a season; their ultimate restoration; and the universal peace which should prevail in the kingdom and under the government of the Messiah. This prophecy, therefore, forms the basis of the New Testament revelation which commences with the birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem, the miraculous circumstances of which are recorded by St. Matthew and St. Luke in the introduction to their respective histories; the eternal subsistence of Christ as the Word,” in the sublime introduction to St. John’s Gospel; his prophetic character and second coming, illustrated in the four Gospels and in the apostolic epistles.

MICHAEL. See Archangel.

MIDIAN, Land of, a country of the Midianites, derived its name and its inhabitants from Midian, the son of Abraham by Keturah. This country extended from the east of the land of Moab, on the east of the Dead Sea, southward, along the Elanitic gulf of the Red Sea, stretching some way into Arabia. It farther passed to the south of the land of Edom, into the peninsula of Mount Sinai, where Moses met with the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian, whom he married. The Midianites, together with their neighbours, the Ishmaelites, were early engaged in the trade between the east and the west, as we find the party to whom Joseph was sold, carrying spices, the produce of the east, into Egypt; and, taking Gilead in their way, to add the celebrated and highly prized balm of that country to their merchandise. It appears that, at the time of the passage of the Israelites through the country of the Amorites, the Midianites had been subdued by that people, as the chiefs or kings of their five principal tribes are called dukes of Sihon, and dwelt in his country, Joshua xiii, 21. It was at this time that the Midianites, alarmed at the numbers and the progress of the Israelites, united with the Moabites in sending into Syria for Balaam, the soothsayer; thinking to do that by incantation which they despaired of effecting by force. The result of this measure, the constraint imposed on Balaam to bless instead of to curse, and the subsequent defeat and slaughter of the Midianites, forms one of the most interesting narratives in the early history of the Jews, Num. xxii-xxv, xxxi. About two hundred years after this, the Midianites, having recovered their numbers and their strength, were permitted by God to distress the Israelites for the space of seven years, as a punishment for their relapse into idolatry. But at length their armies, like grasshoppers for multitude, with camels out of number as sand by the sea side for multitude,” which had encamped in the valley of Jezreel, were miraculously defeated by Gideon, Judges vi-viii. The Midianites appear not to have survived this second discomfiture as a nation; but their remains became gradually incorporated with the Moabites and Arabians.

646MIGDOL. Moses writes, that when the Israelites came out of Egypt, the Lord commanded them to encamp over against Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-Zephon, Exod. xiv, 2. It is not known whether this Migdol was a city, or only a fortress: probably the latter, in which a garrison was stationed.

MILE, a measure of length, containing a thousand paces. Eight stadia or furlongs make a mile. The Romans commonly measured by miles, and the Greeks by furlongs. The furlong was a hundred and twenty-five paces; the pace was five feet. The ancient Hebrews had neither miles, furlongs, nor feet, but only the cubit, the reed, and the line. The rabbins make a mile to consist of two thousand cubits, and four miles make a parasang.

MILETUS, a city on the continent of Asia Minor, and in the province of Caria, memorable for being the birthplace of Thales, one of the seven wise men of Greece, of Anaximander and Anaximines, the philosophers, and of Timotheus, the musician. It was about thirty-six miles south of Ephesus, and the capital of both Caria and Ionia. The Milesians were subdued by the Persians, and the country passed successively into the power of the Greeks and Romans. At present the Turks call it Molas, and it is not far distant from the true Meander, which encircles all the plain with many mazes, and innumerable windings. It was to this place that St. Paul called the elders of the church of Ephesus, to deliver his last charge to them, Acts xx, 15, &c. There was another Miletus in Crete, mentioned 2 Tim. iv, 20.

MILL. In the first ages they parched or roasted their grain; a practice which the people of Israel, as we learn from the Scriptures, long continued: afterward they pounded it in a mortar, to which Solomon thus alludes: Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him,” Prov. xxvii, 22. This was succeeded by mills, similar to the hand mills formerly used in this country, of which there were two sorts: the first were large, and turned by the strength of horses or asses; the second were smaller, and wrought by men, commonly by slaves condemned to this hard labour, as a punishment for their crimes. Chardin remarks, in his manuscript, that the persons employed are generally female slaves, who are least regarded, or are least fitted for any thing else; for the work is extremely laborious, and esteemed the lowest employment about the house. Most of their corn is ground by these little mills, although they sometimes make use of large mills, wrought by oxen or camels. Near Ispahan, and some of the other great cities of Persia, he saw water mills; but he did not meet with a single wind mill in the east. Almost every family grind their wheat and barley at home, having two portable mill stones for that purpose; of which the uppermost is turned round by a small handle of wood or iron that is placed in the rim. When this stone is large, or expedition is required, a second person is called in to assist; and as it is usual for the women only to be concerned in this employment, who seat themselves over against each other, with the mill stone between them, we may see the propriety of the expression in the declaration of Moses: And all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill,” Exod. xi, 5. The manner in which the hand mills are worked is well described by Dr. E. D. Clarke, in his Travels: “Scarcely had we reached the apartment prepared for our reception, when, looking from the window into the court yard belonging to the house, we beheld two women grinding at the mill, in a manner most forcibly illustrating the saying of our Saviour: ‘Two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken and the other left.’ They were preparing flour to make our bread, as it is always customary in the country when strangers arrive. The two women, seated upon the ground opposite to each other, held between them two round flat stones, such as are seen in Lapland, and such as in Scotland are called querns. In the centre of the upper stone was a cavity for pouring in the corn, and by the side of this an upright wooden handle for moving the stone. As this operation began, one of the women opposite received it from her companion, who pushed it toward her, who again sent it to her companion; thus communicating a rotatory motion to the upper stone, their left hands being all the while employed in supplying fresh corn, as fast as the bran and flour escaped from the sides of the machine.” When they are not impelled, as in this instance, to premature exertions by the arrival of strangers, they grind their corn in the morning at break of day: the noise of the mill is then to be heard every where, and is often so great as to rouse the inhabitants of the cities from their slumbers; for it is well known they bake their bread every day, and commonly grind their corn as it is wanted. The noise of the mill stone is therefore, with great propriety, selected by the prophet as one of the tokens of a populous and thriving country: Moreover, I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of mill stones and the light of a candle, and their whole land shall be a desolation,” Jer. xxv, 10. The morning shall no more be cheered with the joyful sound of the mill, nor the shadows of evening by the light of a candle; the morning shall be silent, and the evening dark and melancholy, where desolation reigns. At the earliest dawn of the morning,” says Mr. Forbes, in all the Hindoo towns and villages, the hand mills are at work, when the menials and widows grind meal for the daily consumption of the family: this work is always performed by women, who resume their task every morning, especially the forlorn Hindoo widows, divested of every ornament, and with their heads shaved, degraded 647to almost a state of servitude.” How affecting, then, is the call to the daughter of Babylon!--“Come down, and sit in the dust, O daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. Take the mill stones, and grind meal; uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers,” Isaiah xlvii, 1, 2.

The custom of daily grinding their corn for the family, shows the propriety of the law: “No man shall take the nether or the upper mill stone to pledge, for he taketh a man’s life to pledge;” because if he take either the upper or the nether mill stone, he deprives him of his daily provision, which cannot be prepared without them. That complete and perpetual desolation which, by the just allotment of Heaven, is ere long to overtake the mystical Babylon, is clearly signified by the same precept: The sound of the mill stone shall be heard no more at all in thee,” Rev. xviii, 22. The means of subsistence being entirely destroyed, no human creature shall ever occupy the ruined habitations more. In the book of Judges, the sacred historian alludes, with characteristic accuracy, to several circumstances implied in that custom, where he describes the fall of Abimelech. A woman of Thebez, driven to desperation by his furious attack on the tower, started up from the mill at which she was grinding, seized the upper mill stone, , and, rushing to the top of the gate, cast it on his head, and fractured his skull. This was the feat of a woman, for the mill is worked only by females; it was not a piece of a mill stone, but the rider, the distinguishing name of the upper mill stone, which literally rides upon the other, and is a piece or division of the mill: it was a stone of two feet broad, and therefore fully sufficient, when thrown from such a height, to produce the effect mentioned in the narrative. It displays, also, the vindictive contempt which suggested the punishment of Samson, the captive ruler of Israel, that the Philistines, with barbarous contumely, compelled him to perform the meanest service of a female slave; they sent him to grind in the prison, Judges xvi, 21, but not for himself alone; this, although extremely mortifying to the hero, had been more tolerable; they made him grinder for the prison, perhaps while the vilest malefactor was permitted to look on, and join in the mockery. Samson, the ruler and avenger of Israel, labours, as Isaiah foretold the virgin daughter of Babylon should labour: Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon: there is no throne,” no seat for thee, O daughter of the Chaldeans. Take the mill stones and grind meal,” but not with the wonted song; Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness,” there to conceal thy vexation and disgrace, Isaiah xlvii, 1, 2, 5. The females engaged in this operation, endeavoured to beguile the lingering hours of toilsome exertion with a song. We learn from an expression of Aristophanes, preserved by Athenæus, that the Grecian maidens accompanied the sound of the mill stones with their voices. This circumstance imparts force to the description of the prophet, the light of a candle was no more to be seen in the evening; the sound of the mill stones, the indication of plenty, and the song of the grinders, the natural expression of joy and happiness, were no more to be heard at the dawn. The grinding of corn at so early an hour throws light on a passage of considerable obscurity: And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon; and they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat, and they smote him under the fifth rib; and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped,” 2 Sam. iv, 5–7. It is still a custom in the east, according to Dr. Perry, to allow their soldiers a certain quantity of corn, with other articles of provisions, together with some pay; and as it was the custom, also, to carry their corn to the mill at break of day, these two captains very naturally went to the palace the day before to fetch wheat, in order to distribute it to the soldiers, that it might be sent to the mill at the accustomed hour in the morning. The princes of the east in those days, as the history of David shows, lounged in their divan, or reposed on their couch, till the cool of the evening began to advance. Rechab and Baanah, therefore, came in the heat of the day, when they knew that Ishbosheth, their master, would be resting on his bed; and as it was necessary, for the reason just given, to have the corn the day before it was needed, their coming at that time, though it might be a little earlier than usual, created no suspicion, and attracted no notice.

MILLENARIANS are those who believe, according to an ancient tradition in the church, grounded on some doubtful texts in the book of Revelation and other scriptures, that our Saviour shall reign a thousand years with the faithful upon earth after the first resurrection, before the full completion of final happiness; and their name, taken from the Latin word mille, a thousand,” has a direct allusion to the duration of this spiritual empire, which is styled the millennium. A millennium, or a future paradisaical state of the earth, is viewed by some as a doctrine not of Christian, but of Jewish, origin. The tradition which fixes the duration of the world, in its present imperfect state, to six thousand years, and announces the approach of a Sabbath of one thousand years of universal peace and plenty, to be ushered in by the glorious advent of the Messiah, has been traced up to Elias, a rabbinical writer, who flourished about two centuries before the birth of Christ. It certainly obtained among the Chaldeans from the earliest times; and it is countenanced by Barnabas, Irenæus, and other primitive writers, and also by the Jews at the present day. But though the theory may not be very improbable, yet, as it has not the sanction of Scripture to support it, we are not bound to respect it any farther 648than as a doubtful tradition. The Jews understood several passages of the prophets, as Zechariah xiv, 16, &c, of the millennium; in which, according to their carnal apprehensions, the Messiah is to reign on earth, and to bring all nations within the pale, and under subjection to the ordinances, of the Jewish church.

Justin Martyr, the most ancient of the fathers, was a great supporter of the doctrine of the millennium, or that our Saviour shall reign with the faithful upon earth, after the resurrection, for a thousand years; which he declares was the belief of all orthodox Christians. But this opinion is not generally followed; for, though there has been, perhaps, no age of the church in which this doctrine was not admitted by one or more divines of the first eminence, it yet appears, from the writings of Eusebius, Irenæus, and others among the ancients, as well as from the histories of Dupin, Mosheim, and other moderns, that it was never adopted by the whole church, nor formed an article of the established creed in any nation. Origen, the most learned of the fathers, and Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, usually, for his immense erudition, surnamed the Great, both opposed the doctrine that prevailed on the subject in their day; and Dr. Whitby, in his learned treatise on the subject, proves, first, that the millennium was never generally received in the church of Christ; and, secondly, that there is no just ground to think it was derived from the Apostles.

On the other hand, Dr. T. Burnet and others maintain that it was very generally admitted till the Nicene council, in 325, or till the fourth century. The doctor supposes Dionysius of Alexandria, who wrote against Nepos, an Egyptian bishop, before the middle of the third century, to have been the first that attacked this doctrine; but Origen had previously assailed it in many of his fictitious additions. The truth seems to be, as one well remarks, that a spiritual reign of Christ was believed by all who carefully examined the Scriptures, though the popular notions of the millennium were often rejected; and ancient as well as modern writers assailed the extravagant superstructure, not the Scriptural foundation of the doctrine.” During the interregnum in England, in the time of Cromwell, there arose a set of enthusiasts sometimes called Millenarians, but more frequently Fifth Monarchy Men, who expected the sudden appearance of Christ, to establish on earth a new monarchy or kingdom. In consequence of this, some of them aimed at the subversion of all human government. In ancient history we read of four great monarchies; the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, and the Roman; and these men, believing that this new spiritual kingdom of Christ was to be the fifth, obtained the name by which they were called. They claimed to be the saints of God, and to have the dominion of saints, Dan. vii, 27; expecting that, when Christ was come into this kingdom, to begin his reign on earth, they, as his deputies, were to govern all things under him. They went so far as to give up their own Christian names, and assume others from Scripture, like the Manicheans of old.

The opinions of the moderns on this subject may be reduced to two: 1. Some believe that Christ will reign personally on the earth, and that the prophecies of the millennium point to a resurrection of martyrs and other just men, to reign with him a thousand years in a visible kingdom. 2. Others are inclined to believe that, by the reign of Christ and the saints for a thousand years on earth, nothing more is meant than that, before the general judgment, the Jews shall be converted, genuine Christianity be diffused through all nations, and mankind enjoy that peace and happiness which the faith and precepts of the Gospel are calculated to confer on all by whom they are sincerely embraced.” The state of the Christian church, say they, will be, for a thousand years before the general judgment, so pure and so widely extended, that, when compared with the state of the world in the ages preceding, it may, in the language of Scripture, be called a resurrection from the dead. In support of this interpretation, they quote two passages from St. Paul, in which a conversion from Paganism to Christianity, and a reformation of life is called a resurrection from the dead,” Rom. vi, 13; Ephesians v, 14. There is, indeed, an order in the resurrection, 1 Cor. xv, 24; but we no where observe mention made of a first and second resurrection at the distance of a thousand years from each other: yet, were the millenarian hypothesis well founded, the words should rather have run thus: Christ, the first-fruits, then the martyrs at his coming, and a thousand years afterward the residue of mankind,--then cometh the end,” &c.

Mr. Joseph Mede, Dr. Gill, Bishop Newton, Mr. Winchester, Mr. Eyre, Mr. Kett, and a host of writers recently, are advocates for the first of these opinions, and contend for the personal reign of Christ on earth. When these great events shall come to pass,” says Bishop Newton, “of which we collect from the prophecies this to be the proper order,--the Protestant witnesses shall be greatly exalted, and the twelve hundred and sixty years of their prophesying in sackcloth, and of the tyranny of the beast, shall end together; the conversion and restoration of the Jews succeed; then follows the ruin of the Ottoman empire; and then the total destruction of Rome and of antichrist. When these great events, I say, shall come to pass, then shall the kingdom of Christ commence, or the reign of saints upon earth. So Daniel expressly informs us that the kingdom of Christ and the saints will be raised upon the ruins of the kingdom of antichrist, Daniel vii, 26, 27. So likewise St. John saith, that, upon the final destruction of the beast and of the false prophet, ‘Satan is bound,’ &c, Rev. xx, 2–6. It is, I conceive, to these great events, the fall of antichrist, the reëstablishment of the Jews, and the beginning of the glorious millennium, that the three different dates in Daniel, of twelve hundred and sixty years, twelve hundred 649and ninety years, and thirteen hundred and thirty-five years, are to be referred. And, as Daniel saith, ‘Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thirteen hundred and thirty-five years,’ Daniel xii, 12: so St. John saith, ‘Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection,’ Rev. xx, 6. Blessed and happy, indeed, will be this period; and it is very observable, that the martyrs and confessors of Jesus, in papist as well as Pagan times, will be raised to partake of this felicity. Then shall all those gracious promises in the Old Testament be fulfilled, of the amplitude and extent of the peace and prosperity, of the glory and happiness, of the church in the latter days. Then, in the full sense of the words, ‘shall the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever,’ Rev. xi, 15. According to tradition, these thousand years of the reign of Christ and the saints will be the seventh millenary of the world; for, as God created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh, so the world, it is argued, will continue six thousand years, and the seventh thousand will be the great sabbatism, or holy rest of the people of God; ‘one day being with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,’ 2 Pet. iii, 8. According to tradition, too, these thousand years of the reign of Christ and the saints are the great day of judgment, in the morning or beginning whereof shall be the coming of Christ in flaming fire, and the particular judgment of antichrist, and the first resurrection; and in the evening or conclusion whereof shall be the general resurrection of the dead, small and great; ‘and they shall be judged every man according to his works.’”

Such is the representation of the millennium, as given by those who embrace the opinion of Christ’s reigning personally on earth during the period of one thousand years. But Dr. Whitby, Mr. Lowman, &c, contend against the literal interpretation of the millennium, both as to its nature and duration. Mr. Faber observes that, “respecting the yet future and mysterious millennium, the less that is said upon the subject the better. Unable myself to form the slightest conception of its specific nature, I shall weary neither my own nor my reader’s patience with premature remarks upon it. That it will be a season of great blessedness, is certain; farther than this we know nothing definitely.” The millenarians do not form a sect distinct from others; but their distinguishing tenet, in one view or other, prevails, in a greater or less degree, among most denominations into which the Christian world is divided.

The following observations from Jones’s Biblical Cyclopædia are worthy great attention for their sobriety:--Some have supposed that the passage, Rev. xx, 4, is to be taken literally, as importing that at that time Jesus Christ will come, in his human nature, from heaven to earth, and set his kingdom up here, reigning visibly and personally, with distinguished glory on earth; that the bodies of the martyrs, and of other eminent Christians will then be raised from the dead, in which they shall live and reign with Christ here on earth a thousand years. And some suppose, that all the saints, the true friends to God and Christ, who have lived before that time, will then be raised from the dead, and live on earth perfectly holy, during this thousand years. And this they suppose is meant by the first resurrection. Those who agree in general in this notion of the millennium differ with respect to many circumstances, which it is needless to mention here. Others have understood this paragraph of Scripture in a figurative sense: that by this reign of Christ on earth, is not meant his coming from heaven to earth in his human visible nature; but his taking to himself his power, and utterly overthrowing the kingdom of Satan, and setting up his own kingdom throughout the world which, before this, had been confined to very narrow bounds; subduing all hearts to a willing subjection, and thus reigning generally over the men who shall then be in the world, and live in that thousand years. And by the souls of them which were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands,” living again and reigning with Christ a thousand years; they suppose, is not meant a literal resurrection, or the resurrection of their bodies, which is not asserted here, as there is nothing said of their bodies, or of their being raised to life; but that they shall live again, and reign with Christ, in the revival, prosperity, reign, and triumph of that cause and interest in which they lived, and for the promotion of which they died; and in whose death the cause seemed to languish and become extinct. Thus they shall live again in their successors, who shall arise and stand up with the same spirit, and in the same cause, in which they lived and died, agreeable to ancient prophecies. The meek shall inherit the earth.” And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve him.” And they suppose that this revival of the cause of Christ, by the numerous inhabitants of the earth rising up to a new and holy life, is that which is here called the first resurrection, in distinction from the second, which will consist in the resurrection of the body; whereas this is a spiritual resurrection; a resurrection of the cause of Christ, which had been, in a great degree, dead and lost; a resurrection of the souls of men, by the renovation of the Holy Spirit. That this important passage of Scripture is to be understood in the figurative sense, last mentioned, is probable, and the following considerations are thought sufficient to support it:--

1. Most if not all the prophecies in this book are delivered in figurative language, referring to types and events recorded in the Old Testament; and in imitation of the language 650of the ancient prophets. And this was proper, and even necessary, in the best manner to answer the ends of prophecy, as might easily be shown were it necessary. The first part of this passage, all must allow, is figurative. Satan cannot be bound with a literal, material chain. The key, the great chain, and the seal, cannot be understood literally. The whole is a figure, and can mean no more than, that, when the time of the millennium arrives, or rather previous to it, Jesus Christ will lay effectual restraints on Satan, so that his powerful and prevailing influence, by which he had before deceived and destroyed a great part of mankind, shall be wholly taken from him for a thousand years. And it is most natural to understand the other part of the description of this remarkable event to be represented in the same figurative language, as the whole is a representation of one scene; especially, since no reason can be given why it should not be so understood.

2. To suppose that Christ shall come in his human nature to this earth, and live here in his whole person visible a thousand years before the day of judgment, appears to be contrary to several passages of Scripture. The coming of Christ, and his appearing at the day of judgment in his human nature, is said to be his second appearance, answering to his first appearance, in his human nature on earth, from his birth to his ascension into heaven, which was past. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them who look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation,” Heb. ix, 27, 28. The appearance here spoken of is the appearance of Christ at the day of judgment, to complete the salvation of his church. This could not be his appearing the second time, were he thus to appear, and to be bodily present in his human nature on earth, in the time of the millennium, which is to take place before the day of judgment. The coming of Christ does not always intend his coming visibly in his human nature; but he is said to come, when he destroyed the temple and nation of the Jews, and appeared in favour of his church. So his destruction of Heathen Rome, and delivering his church from that persecuting power, was an instance of his coming. And he will, in the same way, come to destroy antichrist, and the kingdom of Satan in the world, and introduce the millennium; and in these instances, and others, he may be said to appear. But his coming to judgment, and appearing to complete the final destruction of all his enemies, and to perfect the salvation of his church, is his last coming and appearance. But if he were here on earth, visible in his human nature, and reigning in his glorified body, during the millennium, he would be already here to attend the last judgment, and he could not be properly said to come from heaven, and to be revealed from heaven, because this was done a thousand years before. Beside, that Christ should come from heaven, and appear and reign in his human nature and presence before the day of judgment, seems to be contrary to the following scriptures: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God,” &c. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints,” 1 Thess. iv, 16; 2 Thess. i, 7, 8, 10. This is evidently his appearing the second time, for the salvation of all them that look for him; but were he on earth before this, in the human nature, during the time of the millennium, how could he be said to be revealed, to descend and come from heaven to judge the world

3. There is nothing expressly said of the resurrection of the body in this passage. The Apostle John saw the souls of them which were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, &c, and they lived and reigned with Christ. The resurrection of the body is no where expressed in Scripture by the soul’s living. And as there is nothing said of the body, and he only saw their souls to live: this does not appear to be a proper expression to denote the resurrection of the body, and their living in that. As this, therefore, does not seem to be the natural meaning of the words, and certainly is not the necessary meaning, we are warranted to look for another meaning, and to acquiesce in it, if one can be found which is more easy and natural, and more agreeable to the whole passage and to the Scripture in general. Therefore,

4. The most easy and probable meaning is, that the souls of the martyrs, and all the faithful followers of Christ, who have lived in the world, and have died before the millennium shall commence, shall revive and live again in their successors, who shall rise up in the same spirit, and in the same character, in which they lived and died; and in the revival and flourishing of that cause which they espoused, and spent their lives in promoting. This is therefore a spiritual resurrection, denoting that all Christ’s people shall appear in the spirit and power of those martyrs and holy men, who had before lived in the world, and who shall live again in these their successors, and in the revival of their cause, or in the resurrection of the church, from the very low state in which it had been before the millennium, to a state of great prosperity and glory. This is agreeable to the way of representing things in Scripture in other instances. John the Baptist was Elijah, because he rose in the spirit of Elijah, and promoted the same cause in which Elijah lived and died; and Elijah revived and lived in John the Baptist, because he went before Christ, in the spirit and power of Elijah, Luke i, 17. Therefore Christ says of John, This is Elijah who was to come,” Matt. xi, 14.

With regard to the nature of the millennial state, or the blessings which shall be more 651particularly enjoyed during that period, the following things seem to be marked out in prophecy:--

1. It is expressly said of those who shall partake of this first resurrection, that they shall be blessed and holy;” by which the inspired writer seems to denote that it will be a time of eminent holiness. This will constitute the peculiar glory and the source of the happiness of the millennium state, Zech. xiv, 20, 21. And that such will be the case, we may infer, also, from the consideration, that,

2. There is reason to expect a remarkable effusion of the Spirit, about the commencement of this happy period, even as there was at the first setting up of Christ’s kingdom in the world. Beside the promises of the Spirit which were accomplished in the apostolic age, there are others which from the connection appear to refer to the time we are now speaking of. Thus Isaiah, after having described Christ’s kingdom which was set up at his first coming, and then the succeeding desolate state of the Jews, represents this as continuing until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest,” Isa. xxxii, 15–19. The Apostle Paul, speaking of the conversion of the Jews at this period, refers to a passage in Isaiah where a promise of the Spirit is made to them: “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord: My Spirit which is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever,” Isa. lix, 20, 21; Rom. xi, 26, 27. The Lord having mentioned the forlorn dispersed state of Israel throughout the nations, among whom they had profaned his name, promises to gather them, cleanse them, and give them a new heart and spirit, and adds, And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes; and ye shall keep my judgments and do them,” Ezek. xxxvi, 27; xxxix, 28, 29. The promise of pouring upon them the spirit of grace and supplication has also a view to this period, Zech. xii, 10. Though we are not to expect the miraculous gifts of the apostolic age, yet the work of the Spirit will abundantly appear in qualifying men for propagating the Gospel throughout the world, filling them with light, zeal, courage, and activity, in that work; in giving success and effect to the Gospel by converting multitudes to the faith, quickening the dead in trespasses and sins, and translating them into the kingdom of Christ; and in enlightening, quickening, purifying, and comforting the children of God, stirring them up to greater liveliness, love, zeal, activity, and fruitfulness in his service.

3. A universal spread of the Gospel, diffusing the knowledge of the Lord throughout the world in a more extensive and effectual manner than ever it was before. This is repeatedly promised: The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea;” and this shall take place in that day when the Gentiles shall seek to the branch of the root of Jesse, whose rest shall be glorious, and when the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, and shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth,” Isaiah xi, 9–12. The same promise of the universal knowledge of the glory of the Lord is repeated in the prophecy of Habakkuk, ii, 14. This will be attended with corresponding effects: All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him,” Psalm xxii, 27; yea, all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him,” Psalm lxxii, 11. And though we may not imagine that all the inhabitants of the globe will have the true and saving knowledge of the Lord; yet we may expect such a universal spread of light and religious knowledge as shall root up Pagan, Mohammedan, and antichristian delusions, and produce many good effects upon those who are not really regenerated, by awing their minds, taming their ferocity, improving their morals, and making them peaceable and humane.

4. The Jews will then be converted to the faith of the Messiah, and partake with the Gentiles of the blessings of his kingdom. The Apostle Paul, in the eleventh chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, treats of this at large, and confirms it from the prophecies of the Old Testament. He is speaking of Israel in a literal sense, the natural posterity of Abraham; for he distinguishes them both from the believing Gentiles and the Jewish converts of his time, and describes them as the rest who were blinded, had stumbled and fallen, and so had not obtained, but were broken off and cast away, Rom. xi, 7, 11, 12, 15, 17. Yet he denies that they have stumbled that they should fall, that is, irrecoverably, so as in no future period to be restored; but shows that God’s design in permitting this was, that through their fall salvation might come unto the Gentiles, and that this again might provoke them to jealousy or emulation, verse 11. He argues that if their fall and diminishing was the riches of the Gentiles, and the casting away of them was the reconciling of the world, their fulness will be much more so, and the receiving of them be life from the dead, verses 12, 15. He farther argues, that if the Gentiles were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these which be the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree” verse 24. Nor did he consider this event as merely probable, but as absolutely certain; for he shows that the present blindness and future conversion of that people is the mystery or hidden sense of prophecies concerning them; and he cites two of these prophecies where the context foretels both their rejection and recovery, Isaiah lix, 20, 21; xxvii, 9.

5. The purity of visible church communion, 652worship, and discipline, will then be restored according to the primitive apostolic pattern. During the reign of antichrist a corrupted form of Christianity was drawn over the nations, and established in the political constitutions of the kingdoms which were subject to that monstrous power. By this means the children of God were either mixed in visible religious communion with the profane world, in direct opposition to the word of God, or persecuted for their nonconformity. In reference to this state of things, the angel commands St. John to leave out the court which is without the temple, and not to measure it, for this reason, because it is given to the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months,” Rev. xi, 2; that is, they shall pollute and profane the worship and communion of the church during the one thousand two hundred and sixty years of antichrist’s reign, so that it cannot be measured by the rule of God’s word. But when the period we are speaking of shall arrive, the sanctuary shall be cleansed, Dan. viii, 14; the visible communion, worship, order, and discipline of the house of God will then be restored to their primitive purity, and accord with the rule of the New Testament. So it is promised to Zion, Henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean,” Isaiah lii, 1. Thy people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified,” Isaiah lx, 21. And in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts,” Zech. xiv, 21.

6. The Lord’s special presence and residence will then be in the midst of his people. Christ hath promised to be with his people in every period of the church, even unto the end of the world, Matt. xxviii, 20, and that he will be in the midst even of two or three of them when gathered together in his name, Matt. xviii, 20. He also calls them to purity of communion and personal holiness, and promiseth to dwell in them and walk in them, 2 Cor. vi, 16, 17; but this will be fulfilled in an eminent and remarkable manner during the millennial period. The Lord, having promised to raise Israel out of their graves, to gather them from among the Heathen, and bring them into the church and kingdom of Christ, as one fold having one shepherd, adds, And I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore; my tabernacle also shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people,” Ezek. xxxvii, 11–27. This alludes to his dwelling among Israel in the tabernacle and sanctuary of old, Lev. xxvi, 11, 12; and imports his manifesting himself unto them, admitting them into the most intimate correspondence and communion with himself in his ordinances, communicating light, life, and consolation to them by his Spirit; and also his protection and care of them as his peculiar people. It is intimated that there will be such visible tokens of the divine presence and residence among them as will fall under the notice of the world, and produce conviction and awe, as was in some measure the case in the first churches, Acts ii, 47; v, 11, 13; 1 Cor. xiv, 24, 25; for it is added, And the Heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore,” Ezek. xxxvii, 28. Indeed, this is that very promise which is represented to St. John as accomplished: And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God,” Rev. xxi, 3.

7. This will be a time of universal peace, tranquillity and safety. Persons naturally of the most savage, ferocious, and cruel disposition, will then be tame and harmless; so it is promised, Isaiah xi, 6–10. Whether we consider the persons represented by these hurtful animals to be converted or not, it is certain they will then be effectually restrained from doing harm, or persecuting the saints. There shall be no war nor bloodshed among the nations during this happy period; for we are told, that, in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it; the Lord shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,” Isaiah ii, 4. The same promise is repeated word for word in the prophecies of Micah, iv, 3. Much to the same purpose is that promise in Hosea ii, 18. Though war has hitherto deluged the world with human blood, and been a source of complicated calamities to mankind, yet, when Satan is bound, his influence upon wicked men restrained, and the saints bear rule, it must necessarily cease.

8. The civil rulers and judges shall then be all maintainers of peace and righteousness. Though Christ will put down all that rule, power, and authority which opposeth the peace and prosperity of his kingdom; yet as rulers are the ordinance of God, and his ministers for good; as some form of government seems absolutely necessary to the order and happiness of society in this world; it is thought that when the kingdoms of this world are become our Lord’s and his Christ’s, the promise will be accomplished, I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness;” and in consequence of this, violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls salvation, and thy gates praise,” Isaiah lx, 17, 18. Peace and righteousness are the two great ends of government: Christ himself is king of righteousness, and king of peace, and the civil rulers during that happy period will resemble him in their character and administration; for then shall that promise be fulfilled: In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from 653oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near thee,” Isaiah liv, 14.

9. The saints shall then have the dominion, and the wicked shall be in subjection. This is clear from the united voice of prophecy: The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High,” Dan. vii, 27. The saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever,” Dan. vii, 18. The meek shall inherit the earth,” Matt. v, 5; shall reign on the earth,” Rev. v, 10; shall reign with Christ a thousand years,” Rev. xx, 4; they shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years,” Rev. xx, 6. The saints are at present made kings and priests unto God, a kingly priesthood, 1 Peter ii, 9; but then they shall be more eminently so, when, by the holiness of their lives, the purity of their faith and worship, and their diligence in promoting pure and undefiled religion, the earth shall he filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Then shall that promise be fully accomplished, Ye shall be named the priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God,” Isaiah lxi, 6. With regard to the nature of their reign, it will undoubtedly correspond in all respects with the spiritual and heavenly nature of Christ’s kingdom, to the promotion of which all their power will be subservient. Those who cannot conceive of any reign upon earth, but such as consists in lordly and oppressive dominion, maintained by policy and force, and made subservient to the purposes of pride, ambition, avarice, and other worldly lusts, can have no idea at all of this reign of the saints with Christ, which is a reign of peace on earth and good will to men; a reign of truth and righteousness, of true godliness and universal humanity. In short, it is the prevalence and triumph of the cause of Christ in this world over that of Satan and all his instruments. How delightful then the prospects which open upon the eye of faith in the prophetic vision! Christianity prevails universally, and the consequences are most blissful. Our race assumes the appearance of one vast virtuous and peaceful family. Our world becomes the seat of one grand triumphant adoring assembly. At length the scene mingles with the heavens, and, rising in brightness, is blended with the glories on high. The mysteries of God on earth are finished, the times of the regeneration are fulfilled. The Son of God descends. The scene closes with divine grandeur: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of many thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

MILLET, , Ezek. iv, 9, a kind of plant so called from its thrusting forth such a quantity of grains. Thus in Latin it is called millium, as if one stalk bore a thousand seeds. It has been supposed that the dochan means what is now called in the east durra; which, according to Niebuhr, is a sort of millet, and when made into bad bread with camel’s milk, oil, butter, or grease, is almost the only food which is eaten by the common people in Arabia Felix. I found it so disagreeable,” says he, that I should willingly have preferred plain barley bread to it.” This illustrates the appointment of it to the Prophet Ezekiel as a part of his hard fare. Durra is also used in Palestine and Syria, and it is generally agreed that it yields much more than any other kind of grain. Hiller and Celsius insist that the dochan is the panic; but Forskal has expressly mentioned the dokn, holcus dochna, as a kind of maize, of considerable use in food; and Brown, in his Travels, describes the mode of cultivating it.

MILLO, a part or suburb of Jerusalem. David built round about from Millo and inward,” 2 Sam. v, 9; that is, he built round about from the place where Millo was afterward erected by Solomon, or where more probably the senate house, or Millo of the Jebusites, had stood, which was pulled down to make room for the more sumptuous edifice of Solomon, to his own house; so that David built from Mount Zion, quite round to the opposite point. Hence, the residence of David, even in the reign of that renowned monarch, began to assume the size and splendour of a city.

MINISTER, one who attends or waits on another; so we find Elisha was the minister of Elijah, and did him services of various kinds, 2 Kings iii, 11. So Joshua was the servant of Moses, Exod. xxiv, 13; xxxiii, 11. And these persons did not by any means feel themselves degraded by their stations, but in due time they succeeded to the offices of their masters. In like manner John Mark was minister to Paul and Barnabas, Acts xiii, 5. Christ is called a minister of the true, that is, the heavenly, sanctuary. The minister of the synagogue was appointed to keep the book of the law, to observe that those who read it, read it correctly, &c, Luke iv, 20. The rabbins say he was the same as the angel of the church, or overseer. Lightfoot says, Baal Aruch expounds the chazan, or minister of the congregation, by sheliach hatzibbor, or angel of the congregation; and from this common platform and constitution of the synagogue, we may observe the Apostle’s expression of some elders ruling and labouring in word and doctrine, others in the general affairs of the synagogue. Ministers were servants, yet servants not menial, but honourable; those who explain the word, and conduct the service of God; 654those who dispense the laws and promote the welfare of the community; the holy angels who in obedience to the divine commands protect, preserve, succour, and benefit the godly, are all ministers, beneficial ministers, to those who are under their charge, Heb. viii, 2; Exod. xxx, 10; Lev. xvi, 15; 1 Cor. iv, 1; Romans xiii, 6; Psalm civ, 4.

MINT, Matt. xxiii, 23; Luke xi, 42; a garden herb well known. The law did not oblige the Jews to give the tithe of this sort of herbs; it only required it of those things which could be comprehended under the name of income or revenue. But the Pharisees, desirous of distinguishing themselves by a more scrupulous and literal observance of the law than others, gave the tithes of mint, anise, and cummin,” Matt. xxiii, 23. Christ reproved them because that, while they were so precise in these lesser matters, they neglected the more essential commandments of the law, and substituted observances, frivolous and insignificant, in the place of justice, mercy, and truth.

MIRACLES. A miracle, in the popular sense, is a prodigy, or an extraordinary event, which surprises us by its novelty. In a more accurate and philosophic sense, a miracle is an effect which does not follow from any of the regular laws of nature, or which is inconsistent with some known law of it, or contrary to the settled constitution and course of things. Accordingly, all miracles presuppose an established system of nature, within the limits of which they operate, and with the order of which they disagree. Of a miracle in the theological sense many definitions have been given. That of Dr. Samuel Clarke is: A miracle is a work effected in a manner unusual, or different from the common and regular method of providence, by the interposition of God himself, or of some intelligent agent superior to man, for the proof or evidence of some particular doctrine, or in attestation of the authority of some particular person.” Mr. Hume has insidiously or erroneously maintained that a miracle is contrary to experience; but in reality it is only different from experience. Experience informs us that one event has happened often; testimony informs us that another event has happened once or more. That diseases should be generally cured by the application of external causes, and sometimes at the mere word of a prophet, and without the visible application of causes, are facts not inconsistent with each other in the nature of things themselves, nor irreconcilable according to our ideas. Each fact may arise from its own proper cause; each may exist independently of the other; and each is known by its own proper proof, whether of sense or testimony. As secret causes often produce events contrary to those we do expect from experience, it is equally conceivable that events should sometimes be produced which we do not expect. To pronounce, therefore, a miracle to be false, because it is different from experience is only to conclude against its general existence from the very circumstance which constitutes its particular nature; for if it were not different from experience, where would be its singularity or what particular proof could be drawn from it, if it happened according to the ordinary train of human events, or was included in the operation of the general laws of nature We grant that it does differ from experience; but we do not presume to make our experience the standard of the divine conduct. He that acknowledges a God must, at least, admit the possibility of a miracle. The atheist, that makes him inseparable from what is called nature, and binds him to its laws by an insurmountable necessity; that deprives him of will, and wisdom, and power, as a distinct and independent Being; may deny even the very possibility of a miraculous interposition, which can in any instance suspend or counteract those general laws by which the world is governed. But he who allows of a First Cause in itself perfect and intelligent, abstractedly from those effects which his wisdom and power have produced, must at the same time allow that this cause can be under no such restraints as to be debarred the liberty of controlling its laws as often as it sees fit. Surely, the Being that made the world can govern it, or any part of it, in such a manner as he pleases; and he that constituted the very laws by which it is in general conducted, may suspend the operation of those laws in any given instance, or impress new powers on matter, in order to produce new and extraordinary effects.

In judging of miracles there are certain criteria, peculiar to the subject, sufficient to conduct our inquiries, and warrant our determination. Assuredly they do not appeal to our ignorance, for they presuppose not only the existence of a general order of things, but our actual knowledge of the appearance which that order exhibits, and of the secondary material causes from which it, in most cases, proceeds. If a miraculous event were effected by the immediate hand of God, and yet bore no mark of distinction from the ordinary effects of his agency, it would impress no conviction, and probably awaken no attention. Our knowledge of the ordinary course of things, though limited, is real; and therefore it is essential to a miracle, both that it differ from that course, and be accompanied with peculiar and unequivocal signs of such difference. We have been told that the course of nature is fixed and unalterable, and therefore it is not consistent with the immutability of God to perform miracles. But, surely, they who reason in this manner beg the point in question. We have no right to assume that the Deity has ordained such general laws as will exclude his interposition; and we cannot suppose that he would forbear to interfere where any important end could be answered. This interposition, though it controls, in particular cases, the energy, does not diminish the utility, of those laws. It leaves them to fulfil their own proper purposes, and effects only a distinct purpose, for which they were not calculated. If 655the course of nature implies the general laws of matter and motion, into which the most opposite phenomena may be resolved, it is certain that we do not yet know them in their full extent; and, therefore, that events, which are related by judicious and disinterested persons, and at the same time imply no gross contradiction, are possible in themselves, and capable of a certain degree of proof. If the course of nature implies the whole order of events which God has ordained for the government of the world, it includes both his ordinary and extraordinary dispensations, and among them miracles may have their place, as a part of the universal plan. It is, indeed, consistent with sound philosophy, and not inconsistent with pure religion, to acknowledge that they might be disposed by the supreme Being at the same time with the more ordinary effects of his power; that their causes and occasions might be arranged with the same regularity; and that, in reference chiefly to their concomitant circumstances of persons and times, to the specific ends for which they were employed, and to our idea of the immediate necessity there is for a divine agent, miracles would differ from common events, in which the hand of God acts as efficaciously, though less visibly. On this consideration of the subject, miracles, instead of contradicting nature, might form a part of it. But what our limited reason and scanty experience may comprehend should never be represented as a full and exact view of the possible or actual varieties which exist in the works of God.

2. If we be asked whether miracles are credible, we reply, that, abstractedly considered, they are not incredible; that they are capable of indirect proof from analogy, and of direct, from testimony; that in the common and daily course of worldly affairs, events, the improbability of which, antecedently to all testimony, was very great, are proved to have happened, by the authority of competent and honest witnesses; that the Christian miracles were objects of real and proper experience to those who saw them; and that whatsoever the senses of mankind can perceive, their report may substantiate. Should it be asked whether miracles were necessary, and whether the end proposed to be effected by them could warrant so immediate and extraordinary an interference of the Almighty, as such extraordinary operations suppose; to this we might answer, that, if the fact be established, all reasonings à priori concerning their necessity must be frivolous, and may be false. We are not capable of deciding on a question which, however simple in appearance, is yet too complex in its parts, and too extensive in its object, to be fully comprehended by the human understanding. Whether God could or could not have effected all the ends designed to be promoted by the Gospel, without deviating from the common course of his providence, and interfering with its general laws, is a speculation that a modest inquirer would carefully avoid; for it carries on the very face of it a degree of presumption totally unbecoming the state of a mortal being. Infinitely safer is it for us to acquiesce in what the Almighty has done, than to embarrass our minds with speculations about what he might have done. Inquiries of this kind are generally inconclusive, and always useless. They rest on no solid principles, are conducted by no fixed rules, and lead to no clear conviction. They begin from curiosity or vanity, they are prosecuted amidst ignorance and error, and they frequently terminate in impious presumption or universal skepticism. God is the best and indeed the only judge how far miracles are proper to promote any particular design of his providence, and how far that design would have been left unaccomplished, if common and ordinary methods only had been pursued. So, from the absence of miracles, we may conclude, in any supposed case, that they were not necessary; from their existence, supported by fair testimony, in any given case, we may infer with confidence that they are proper. A view of the state of the world in general, and of the Jewish nation in particular, and an examination of the nature and tendency of the Christian religion, will point out very clearly the great expediency of a miraculous interposition; and when we reflect on the gracious and important ends that were to be effected by it, we shall be convinced that it was not an idle and useless display of divine power; but that while the means effected and confirmed the end, the end fully justified and illustrated the means. If we reflect on the almost irresistible force of prejudice, and the strong opposition it universally made to the establishment of a new religion on the demolition of rites and ceremonies, which authority had made sacred, and custom had familiarized; if we reflect on the extent and importance, as well as the singularity, of the Christian plan; what was its avowed purpose to effect, and what difficulties it was necessarily called to struggle with before that purpose could be effected; how much it was opposed by the opinions and the practice of the generality of mankind, by philosophy, by superstition, by corrupt passions and inveterate habits, by pride and sensuality, in short, by every engine of human influence, whether formed by craft, or aided by power;--if we seriously reflect on these things, and give them their due force, (and experience shows us that we can scarcely give them too much,) we shall be induced to admit even the necessity of a miraculous interposition, at a time when common means must inevitably, in our apprehensions, have failed of success.

The revelation of the divine will by inspired persons is, as such, miraculous; and therefore, before the adversaries of the Gospel can employ with propriety their objections to the particular miracles on which its credibility is based, they should show the impossibility of any revelation. In whatever age the revelation is given, succeeding ages can know it only from testimony; and, if they admit, on the report of their fellow creatures, that God had inspired any being with the preternatural knowledge of his will, why should they deny that he had enabled the same being to heal the sick, or to 656cleanse the leprous How, may it be asked, should the divine Teacher give a more direct and consistent proof of his preternatural commission, than by displaying those signs and wonders which mark the finger of God That the Apostles could not be deceived, and that they had no temptation to deceive, has been repeatedly demonstrated. So powerful, indeed, is the proof adduced in support of their testimony, that the infidels of these later days have been obliged to abandon the ground on which their predecessors stood; to disclaim all moral evidences arising from the character and relation of eye-witnesses; and to maintain, upon metaphysical, rather than historical, principles, that miracles are utterly incapable, in their own nature, of existing in any circumstances, or of being supported by any evidence.

Miracles may be classed under two heads: those which consist in a train or combination of events, which distinguish themselves from the ordinary arrangements of Providence; and those particular operations which are performed by instruments and agents incompetent to effect them without a preternatural power. In the conduct of Providence respecting the Jewish people, from the earliest periods of their existence, as a distinct class of society, to the present time, we behold a singularity of circumstance and procedure which we cannot account for on common principles. Comparing their condition and situation with that of other nations, we can meet with nothing similar to it in the history of mankind. So remarkable a difference, conspicuous in every revolution of their history, could not have subsisted through mere accident. There must have been a cause adequate to so extraordinary an effect. Now, what should this cause be, but an interposition of Providence in a manner different from the course of its general government For the phenomenon cannot be explained by an application of those general causes and effects that operate in other cases. The original propagation of Christianity was likewise an event which clearly discovered a miraculous interposition. The circumstances which attended it were such as cannot rationally be accounted for on any other postulatum. (See the article Christianity.) It may now be observed, that the institutions of the law and the Gospel may not only appeal for their confirmation to a train of events which, taken in a general and combined view, point out an extraordinary designation, and vindicate their claim to a divine authority; but also to a number of particular operations which, considered distinctly, or in a separate and detached light, evidently display a supernatural power, immediately exerted on the occasion.

Since Christ himself constantly appealed to these works as the evidences of his divine mission and character, we may briefly examine how far they justified and confirmed his pretensions. That our Lord laid the greatest stress on the evidence they afforded; nay, that he considered that evidence as sufficient to authenticate his claims to the office of the Messiah with all reasonable and well disposed inquirers, is manifest not only from his own words, John x, 25, but also from a great variety of other passages in the evangelists. Thus, when the disciples of John were sent to Christ, to receive from his own lips the most satisfactory proofs of his divine mission, he referred them to his miracles. Go,” said he, and show to John again those things which ye hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up,” Matt. xi, 4, 5. Again: If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not: but if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works,” John x, 37. This appeal to miracles was founded on the following just and obvious grounds:--

First: That they are visible proofs of divine approbation, as well as of divine power: for it would have been quite inconclusive to rest an appeal on the testimony of the latter, if it had not at the same time included an evidence of the former; and it was, indeed a natural inference, that working of miracles, in defence of a particular cause, was the seal of Heaven to the truth of that cause. To suppose the contrary, would be to suppose that God not only permitted his creatures to be deceived, but that he deviated from the ordinary course of his providence, purposely with a view to deceive them. The conclusion which the man whom our Saviour restored to sight drew from this miracle was exceedingly just, and founded on the common sentiments and impressions of the human heart. We know,” says he, that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing,” John ix, 31–33. If the cause which our Saviour was engaged in had not been approved of by God, it would not have been honoured with the seal of miracles: for the divine power can never be supposed to counteract the divine will. This would be to set his nature at variance with itself; and, by destroying his simplicity, would destroy his happiness, and terminate in confusion and misery. Hence we may justly reject, as incredible, those miracles which have been ascribed to the interposition of wicked spirits. The possibility of their interference is a mere hypothesis, depending upon gratuitous assumption, and leading to very dangerous consequences; and the particular instances in which credulous superstition, or perverted philosophy, has supposed them to interfere, are, as facts, destitute of any clear and solid evidence; or, as effects, often resolvable into natural causes.

Secondly: When our Lord appealed to his miracles, as proofs of his divine mission, it presupposed that those miracles were of such a nature as would bear the strictest examination; that they had all those criteria which could possibly distinguish them from the delusions of enthusiasm, and the artifices of imposture; else the appeal would have been fallacious and equivocal. He appealed to them with all the confidence of an upright mind, 657totally possessed with a consciousness of their truth and reality. This appeal was not drawn out into any laboured argument, nor adorned by any of the embellishments of language. It was short, simple, and decisive. He neither reasoned nor declaimed on their nature or their design: he barely pointed to them as plain and indubitable facts, such as spoke their own meaning, and carried with them their own authority. The miracles which our Lord performed were too public to be suspected of imposture; and, being objects of sense, they were secured against the charge of enthusiasm. An impostor would not have acted so absurdly as to have risked his credit on the performance of what, he must have known, it was not in his power to effect; and though an enthusiast, from the warmth of imagination, might have flattered himself with a full persuasion of his being able to perform some miraculous work; yet, when the trial was referred to an object of sense, the event must soon have exposed the delusion. The impostor would not have dared to say to the blind, Receive thy sight; to the deaf, Hear; to the dumb, Speak; to the dead, Arise; to the raging of the sea, Be still; lest he should injure the credit of his cause, by undertaking more than he could perform; and though the enthusiast, under the delusion of his passions, might have confidently commanded disease to fly, and the powers of nature to be subject to his control; yet their obedience would not have followed his command.

The miracles of Christ then were such as an impostor would not have attempted, and such as an enthusiast could not have effected. They had no disguise; and were in a variety of instances of such a nature as to preclude the very possibility of collusion. They were performed in the midst of his bitterest enemies; and were so palpable and certain, as to extort the following acknowledgment even from persons who were most eager to oppose his doctrines, and to discredit his pretensions: This man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him,” John xi, 47, 48. The miracles Christ performed were indeed sufficient to alarm the fears of those whose downfall was involved in his success. And it was impossible for them to deny the facts, which so many thousands were ready to attest on evidence too certain to admit even the possibility of mistake, delusion, or imposture. But his enemies, who admitted their reality and yet resisted their design, by not acknowledging the person who wrought them to be the Messiah, had recourse to the most impious and most absurd suppositions, in order to evade their evidence. The Heathen imputed them to some occult power of magic: and thus applied what has no existence in nature, in order to account for a phenomenon that existed out of its common course. The stories of the Jews, who confessed the miracles, but denied what they were intended to establish, are too ridiculous to be mentioned. We must not, however, omit to take notice of the wicked and blasphemous cavil of the Pharisees, and the noble reply which our Lord made to it. They could not deny the fact, but they imputed it to the agency of an infernal spirit: This fellow,” said they, doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand” Matt. xii, 24–26. The purity of the doctrine which was taught by our blessed Lord was totally adverse to the kingdom of darkness. It tended to overthrow it, by the introduction of principles far different from those which Satan would inspire, and by prosecuting objects totally opposite to those which that wicked and malignant spirit would tempt us to pursue: so that in proportion to the prevalence of the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of Satan would of course be diminished. Now, supposing miracles to be in the power of an infernal spirit, can it be imagined that he would communicate an ability of performing them to persons who were counteracting his designs Would he by them give credit to a cause that tended to bring his own into disgrace Thus, as our Saviour appealed to miracles as proofs of his power; so he appealed to the inherent worth and purity of the doctrines they were intended to bear witness to, as a proof that the power was of God. In this manner do the external and internal evidences give and receive mutual confirmation and mutual lustre.

The truth of the Christian religion does not, however, wholly depend on the miracles wrought by its divine Founder, though sufficient in themselves to establish his claims: but, in order to give the evidence of miracles the strongest force they could possibly acquire, that evidence was extended still farther; and the same power that our Lord possessed was communicated to his disciples, and their more immediate successors. While yet on earth he imparted to them this extraordinary gift, as the seal of their commission, when he sent them to preach the Gospel: and after his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, they were endowed with powers yet more stupendous. Sensible of the validity of this kind of evidence, the Apostles of our Lord, with the same artless simplicity, and the same boldness of conscious integrity, which distinguished their great Master, constantly insisted upon the miracles they wrought, as strong and undeniable proofs of the truth of their doctrines. Thus the miracles of our blessed Lord may be justly considered as the evidence of his divine mission and character. If we consider their nature, their greatness, and their number; and if to this consideration we add that which respects their end and design, we must acknowledge that no one could have performed them, unless God was with him. They were too public to be the artifices of imposture; too substantial and too numerous to afford the slightest suspicion of undesigned and fortuitous coincidence. 658In a word, supposing that the Most High should in any instance so far counteract the common laws of nature, as to produce a miracle; and should design that miracle as a monument to future times of the truth of any peculiar doctrine, we cannot conceive any mode of communicating it more effectual than that which he has chosen. Stronger proofs could not be afforded, consistently with the design of the Gospel, which is not to overpower our understandings by an irresistible and compulsory light, but to afford us such rational evidence as is sufficient to satisfy moral inquirers, who are endowed with faculties to perceive the truth; but at the same time who also have power totally to resist it, and finally to forfeit all its blessings. These miracles were of a nature too palpable to be mistaken. They were the objects of sense, and not the precarious speculations of reason concerning what God might do; or the chimerical suggestions of fancy concerning what he did. The facts were recorded by those who must have known whether they were true or false. The persons who recorded them were under no possible temptations to deceive the world. We can only account for their conduct on the supposition of their most perfect conviction and disinterested zeal. That they should assert what they knew to be false; that they should publish it with so much ardour; that they should risk every thing dear to humanity, in order to maintain it; and at last submit to death, in order to attest their persuasion of its truth in those moments when imposture usually drops its mask, and enthusiasm loses its confidence; that they should act thus in opposition to every dictate of common sense, and every principle of common honesty, every restraint of shame, and every impulse of selfishness, is a phenomenon not less irreconcilable to the moral state of things than miracles are to the natural constitution of the world. Falsehood naturally entangles men in contradiction, and confounds them with dismay: but the love of truth invigorates the mind; the consciousness of integrity anticipates the approbation of God; and conscience creates a fortitude, to which mere unsupported nature is often a stranger.

3. How long miracles were continued in the church, has been a matter of keen dispute, and has been investigated with as much anxiety as if the truth of the Gospel depended upon the manner in which it was decided. Assuming, as we are here warranted to do, that real miraculous power was conveyed in the way detailed by the inspired writers, it is plain, that it may have been exercised in different countries, and may have remained, without any new communication of it, throughout the first, and a considerable part of the second century. The Apostles, wherever they went to execute their commission, would avail themselves of the stupendous gift which had been imparted to them; and it is clear, not only that they were permitted and enabled to convey it to others, but that spiritual gifts, including the power of working miracles, were actually conferred on many of the primitive disciples. Allusions to this we find in the epistles of St. Paul; such allusions, too, as it is utterly inconceivable that any man of a sound judgment could have made, had he not known that he was referring to an obvious fact, about which there could be no hesitation. Of the time at which several of the Apostles died, we have no certain knowledge. St. Peter and St. Paul suffered at Rome about A. D. 66, or 67; and it is fully established, that the life of John was much longer protracted, he having died a natural death, A. D. 100, or 101. Supposing that the two former of these Apostles imparted spiritual gifts till the time of their suffering martyrdom, the persons to whom they were imparted might, in the course of nature, have lived through the earlier part of the second century; and if John did the same till the end of his life, such gifts as were derived from him might have remained till more than the half of that century had elapsed. That such was the fact, is asserted by ancient ecclesiastical writers. Whether, after the generation immediately succeeding the Apostles had passed away, the power of working miracles was anew communicated, is a question, the solution of which cannot be nearly so satisfactory. The probability is, that there was no such renewal; and this opinion rests upon the ground that natural causes were now sufficient to accomplish the end for which miracles were originally designed; and it does not appear to have been any part of the scheme of the blessed Author of our religion, that, solely for the purpose of hastening that conversion of the nations which might gradually be accomplished, miracles should be wrought, when these could be of no use in establishing after ages in the faith.

MIRACULOUS CONCEPTION. By this is meant, that the human nature of Jesus Christ was formed, not in the ordinary method of generation, but out of the substance of the Virgin Mary, by the immediate operation of the Holy Ghost. The evidence upon which this article of the Christian faith rests is found in Matt. i, 18–23, and in the more particular narration which St. Luke has given in the first chapter of his Gospel. If we admit this evidence of the fact, we can discern the emphatical meaning of the appellation given to our Saviour when he is called the seed of the woman,” Gen. iii, 15; we can perceive the meaning of a phrase which St. Luke has introduced into the genealogy of Jesus, Luke iii, 23, and of which, otherwise, it is not possible to give a good account, , eµet, sf; [being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph;] and we can discover a peculiar significancy in an expression of the Apostle Paul, Gal. iv, 4, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman.” The conception of Jesus is the point from which we date the union between his divine and human nature; and, this conception being miraculous, the existence of the person in whom they are united, was not physically derived from Adam. But, as Dr. Horsley speaks in his sermon on the 659incarnation, the union with the uncreated Word is the very principle of personality and individual existence in the son of Mary. According to this view of the matter, the miraculous conception gives a completeness and consistency to the revelation concerning Jesus Christ. Not only is he the Son of God, but, as the Son of man, he is exalted above his brethren, while he is made like them. He is preserved from the contamination adhering to the race whose nature he assumed; and when the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, was made flesh, the intercourse which, as man, he had with God, is distinguished, not in degree only, but in kind, from that which any prophet ever enjoyed, and it is infinitely more intimate, because it did not consist in communications occasionally made to him, but arose from the manner in which his human nature had its existence.

MIRIAM, sister of Moses and Aaron, and daughter of Amram and Jochebed, was born about A. M. 2424. She might be ten or twelve years old when her brother Moses was exposed on the banks of the Nile, since Miriam was watching there, and offered herself to Pharaoh’s daughter to fetch her a nurse. The princess accepting the offer, Miriam fetched her own mother, to whom the young Moses was given to nurse, Exod. ii, 4, 5, &c. It is thought that Miriam married Hur, of the tribe of Judah; but it does not appear that she had any children by him, Exod. xvii, 10, 11. Miriam had the gift of prophecy, as she intimates, Num. xii, 2: Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses hath he not spoken also by us” After the passage of the Red Sea, Miriam led the choirs and dances of the women, and sung with them the canticle, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea:” while Moses led the choir of men, Exod. xv, 21. When Zipporah, the wife of Moses, arrived in the camp of Israel, Miriam and Aaron disputed with her, speaking against Moses on her account, Num. xii. This conduct the Lord punished by visiting Miriam with a leprosy. Aaron interceded with Moses for her recovery, and besought the Lord, who ordered her to be shut out of the camp seven days. We are acquainted with no subsequent particulars of the life of Miriam. Her death happened in the first month of the fortieth year after the exodus, at the encampment of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, Num. xx, 1. The people mourned for her, and she was there buried.

MIRRORS, usually, but improperly, rendered looking glasses. The eastern mirrors were made of polished metal, and for the most part convex. So Callimachus describes Venus as taking the shining brass,” that is, to adjust her hair. If they were thus made in the country of Elihu, the image made use of by him will appear very lively: Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass” Job xxxvii, 18. Shaw informs us that “in the Levant, looking glasses are a part of female dress. The Moorish women in Barbary are so fond of their ornaments, and particularly of their looking glasses, which they bang upon their breasts, that they will not lay them aside, even when, after the drudgery of the day, they are obliged to go two or three miles with a pitcher or a goat’s skin, to fetch water.” The Israelitish women used to carry their mirrors with them, even to their most solemn place of worship. The word mirror should be used in the passages here referred to. To speak of looking glasses made of steel,” and glasses molten,” is palpably absurd; whereas the term mirror obviates every difficulty, and expresses the true meaning of the original.

MISHNA, or MISNA, , signifies repetition, and is properly the code of the Jewish civil law. The Mishna contains the text; and the Gemara, which is the second part of the Talmud, contains the commentaries: so that the Gemara is, as it were, a glossary on the Mishna. The Mishna consists of various traditions of the Jews, and of explanations of several passages of Scripture. These traditions, serving as an explication of the written law, and supplementary to it, are said to have been delivered to Moses during the time of his abode upon the mount; which he afterward communicated to Aaron, Eleazar, and his servant Joshua. By these they were transmitted to the seventy elders; by them to the prophets, who communicated them to the men of the great sanhedrim, from whom the wise men of Jerusalem and Babylon received them. According to Dr. Prideaux, they passed from Jeremiah to Baruch, from him to Ezra, and from Ezra to the men of the great synagogue, the last of whom was Simon the Just, who delivered them to Antigonus of Socho. From him they came down in regular succession to Simeon, who took our Saviour in his arms; to Gamaliel, at whose feet St. Paul was brought up; and last of all to rabbi Judah the holy, who committed them to writing in the Mishna. Dr. Prideaux, rejecting this Jewish fiction, observes, that after the death of Simon the Just, about B. C. 299, arose the Tannaim or Mishnical doctors, who by their comments and conclusions, added to the number of those traditions which had been received and allowed by Ezra and the men of the great synagogue. Hence toward the middle of the second century after Christ, under the reign of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, it was found necessary to commit these traditions to writing. This was requisite, because the traditions had been so much increased that they could no longer be preserved by the memory of man; and also because their country had suffered considerably in the reign of the Emperor Adrian, and many of their schools being dissolved, and their learned men cut off, the usual method of preserving their traditions had failed. Lest, therefore, the traditions should be forgotten and lost, it was resolved that they should be collected and committed to writing. Rabbi Judah, who was at that time rector of the school at Tiberias in Galilee, and president of the sanhedrim at that place, undertook the 660work. He compiled it in six books, each consisting of several tracts, which altogether form the number of sixty-three. Dr. Prideaux computes, that the Mishna was composed about A. D. 150. Dr. Lightfoot, however, says, that rabbi Judah compiled the Mishna about A. D. 190, in the latter end of the reign of Commodus; or, as some compute, A. D. 220. Dr. Lardner is of opinion, that this work could not have been finished before A. D. 190, or later. Thus the book called the Mishna was formed; a book which was received by the Jews with great veneration, and which has been always held in high esteem among them. Their opinion of it is, that all the particulars which it contains were dictated by God himself to Moses upon Mount Sinai, as well as the written word itself; and, consequently, that it must be of the same divine authority, and ought to be as religiously observed. See Cabbala, Gemara, Jews.

MITE. See Money.

MITYLENE, the capital of the island of Lesbos, through which St. Paul passed as he went from Corinth to Jerusalem, Acts xx, 14.

MIZPAH, or MIZPEH, a city of the tribe of Benjamin, situated in a plain, about eighteen miles west of Jerusalem. Here Samuel dwelt; and here he called Israel together, to observe a solemn fast for their sins, and to supplicate God for his assistance against the Philistines; after which they sallied out on their enemies, already discomfited by the thunders of heaven, and gave them a total defeat, 1 Sam. vii. Here, also, Saul was anointed king, 1 Sam. x, 17–25. It appears that between this and the time of Asa, king of Judah, Mizpah had suffered probably in some of the intervening wars, as we are told that Asa built it with the stones and timber of Ramah, 1 Kings xv, 22. There was another Mizpeh in Gilead; on the spot where Jacob set up the pillar or heap of stones, to commemorate the covenant there made between him and Laban, Gen. xxxi, 49. (See Gilead.) There was also a third Mizpeh, in the land of Moab, where David placed his father and mother, while he remained in his retreat at Adullam, 1 Sam. xxii, 3. It is to be observed, that Mizpeh implies a beacon or watch tower, a pillar or heap of commemoration; and at all the places bearing this name, it is probable that a single pillar, or a rude pile, was erected as the witness and the record of some particular event. These, subsequently, became altars and places of convocation on public occasions, religious and civil.

MIZRAIM, or MESRAIM, son of Ham, and father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, and Casluhim, Gen. x, 6. Meser or Misor was father of the Mizraim, the Egyptians; and he himself is commonly called Mizraim, although there is very strong probability that Mizraim, being of the plural number, signifies rather the Egyptians themselves, than the father of that people. Mizraim is also put for the country of Egypt: thus it has three significations, which are perpetually confounded and used promiscuously, sometimes denoting the land of Egypt, sometimes him who first peopled Egypt, and sometimes the inhabitants themselves. Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and even Egypt itself, are to this day called Mezer by the Arabians. But the natives call Egypt Chemi, that is, the land of Cham, or Ham, as it is also sometimes called in Scripture, Psalm lxxviii, 12; cv, 23; cvi, 22. The Prophet Micah, vii, 15, gives to Egypt the name of Mezor, or Matzor; and rabbi Kimchi, followed in this by several learned commentators, explains by Egypt what is said of the rivers of Mezor, 2 Kings xix, 24; Isaiah xix, 6; xxxvii, 25.

MOABMOAB was the son of Lot, and of his eldest daughter, Gen. xix, 31, &c. He was born about the same time as Isaac, A. M. 2108, and was father of the Moabites, whose habitation lay beyond Jordan and the Dead Sea, on both sides of the river Arnon. Their capital city was situated on that river, and was called Ar or Areopolis, or Ariol of Moab, or Rabbah Moab, that is, the capital of Moab, or Kir-haresh, that is, a city with brick walls. This country was originally possessed by a race of giants called Emim, Deut. ii, 11, 12. The Moabites conquered them, and afterward the Amorites took a part from the Moabites, Judges xi, 13. Moses conquered that part which belonged to the Amorites, and gave it to the tribe of Reuben. The Moabites were spared by Moses, for God had restricted him, Deut. ii, 9. But there always was a great antipathy between the Moabites and the Israelites, which occasioned many wars between them. Balaam seduced the Hebrews to idolatry and uncleanness, by means of the daughters of Moab, Num. xxv, 1, 2; and Balak, king of this people, endeavoured to prevail on Balaam to curse Israel. God ordained that the Moabites should not enter into the congregation of his people, because they had the inhumanity to refuse the Israelites a passage through their country, nor would they supply them with bread and water in their necessity. Eglon, king of the Moabites, was one of the first that oppressed Israel after the death of Joshua. Ehud killed Eglon, and Israel expelled the Moabites, Judges iii, 12, &c. Hanun king of the Ammonites having insulted David’s ambassadors, David made war against him, and subdued Moab and Ammon; under which subjection they continued till the separation of the ten tribes. The Ammonites and the Moabites continued in subjection to the kings of Israel to the death of Ahab. Presently after the death of Ahab the Moabites began to revolt, 2 Kings iii, 4, 5. Mesha, king of Moab, refused the tribute of a hundred thousand lambs, and as many rams, which till then had been customarily paid, either yearly, or at the beginning of every reign; which of these two is not clearly expressed in Scripture. The reign of Ahaziah was too short to make war with them; but Jehoram, son of Ahab, and brother to Ahaziah, having ascended the throne, thought of reducing them to obedience. He invited Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, who, with the king of Edom, then his vassal, entered 661Moab, where they were near perishing with thirst, but were miraculously relieved, 2 Kings iii, 16, &c.

It is not easy to ascertain what were the circumstances of the Moabites from this time; but Isaiah, at the beginning of the reign of King Hezekiah, threatens them with a calamity, which was to happen three years after his prediction, and which probably referred to the war that Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, made with the ten tribes and the other people beyond Jordan. Amos, i, 13, &c, also foretold great miseries to them, which, probably, they suffered under Uzziah and Jothan, kings of Judah, or under Shalmaneser, 2 Chron. xxvi, 7, 8; xxvii, 5; or, lastly, in the war of Nebuchadnezzar, five years after the destruction of Jerusalem. This prince carried them captive beyond the Euphrates, as the prophets had threatened, Jer. ix, 26; xii, 14, 15; xxv, 11, 12; xlviii, 47, &c; xlix, 3, 6, 39; l, 16; and Cyrus sent them home again, as he did the rest of the captives. After their return from captivity they multiplied, and fortified themselves, as the Jews did, and other neighbouring people, still in subjection to the kings of Persia. They were afterward conquered by Alexander the Great, and were in obedience to the kings of Syria and Egypt successively, and finally to the Romans. There is a probability, also, that in the later times of the Jewish republic they obeyed the Asmonean kings, and afterward Herod the Great. The principal deities of the Moabites were Chemosh and Baal-peor.

The prophecies concerning Moab are numerous and remarkable. There are, says Keith, abundant predictions which refer so clearly to its modern state, that there is scarcely a single feature peculiar to the land of Moab, as it now exists, which was not marked by the prophets in their delineation of the low condition to which, from the height of its wickedness and haughtiness, it was finally to be brought down.

The land of Moab lay to the east and south-east of Judea, and bordered on the east, north-east, and partly on the south of the Dead Sea. Its early history is nearly analogous to that of Ammon; and the soil, though perhaps more diversified, is, in many places where the desert and plains of salt have not encroached on its borders, of equal fertility. There are manifest and abundant vestiges of its ancient greatness: the whole of the plains are covered with the sites of towns, on every eminence or spot convenient for the construction of one; and as the land is capable of rich cultivation, there can be no doubt that the country now so deserted once presented a continued picture of plenty and fertility. The form of fields is still visible; and there are the remains of Roman highways, which in some places are completely paved, and on which there are mile stones of the times of Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, and Severus, with the number of the miles legible upon them. Wherever any spot is cultivated the corn is luxuriant; and the riches of the soil cannot perhaps be more clearly illustrated than by the fact, that one grain of Heshbon wheat exceeds in dimensions two of the ordinary sort, and more than double the number of grains grow on the stalk. The frequency, and almost, in many instances, the close vicinity of the sites of the ancient towns, prove that the population of the country was formerly proportioned to its natural fertility. Such evidence may surely suffice to prove that the country was well cultivated and peopled at a period so long posterior to the date of the predictions, that no cause less than supernatural could have existed at the time when they were delivered, which could have authorized the assertion with the least probability or apparent possibility of its truth, that Moab would ever have been reduced to that state of great and permanent desolation in which it has continued for so many ages, and which vindicates and ratifies to this hour the truth of the Scriptural prophecies. The cities of Moab were to be desolate without any to dwell therein;” no city was to escape: Moab was to flee away.” And the cities of Moab have all disappeared. Their place, together with the adjoining part of Idumea, is characterized, in the map of Volney’s Travels, by the ruins of towns. His information respecting these ruins was derived from some of the wandering Arabs; and its accuracy has been fully corroborated by the testimony of different European travellers of high respectability and undoubted veracity, who have since visited this devastated region. The whole country abounds with ruins; and Burckhardt, who encountered many difficulties in so desolate and dangerous a land, thus records the brief history of a few of them: The ruins of Eleale, Heshbon, Meon, Medaba, Dibon, Aroer, still subsist to illustrate the history of the Beni Israel.” And it might with equal truth have been added, that they still subsist to confirm the inspiration of the Jewish Scriptures, or to prove that the seers of Israel were the prophets of God; for the desolation of each of these very cities was a theme of a prediction. Every thing worthy of observation respecting them has been detailed, not only in Burckhardt’s Travels in Syria,” but also by Seetzen, and, more recently, by Captains Irby and Mangles, who, along with Mr. Bankes and Mr. Leigh, visited this deserted district. The predicted judgment has fallen with such truth upon these cities, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab far and near, and they are so utterly broken down,” that even the prying curiosity of such indefatigable travellers could discover among a multiplicity of ruins only a few remains so entire as to be worthy of particular notice. The subjoined description is drawn from their united testimony: Among the ruins of El Aal (Eleale) are a number of large cisterns, fragments of buildings, and foundations of houses. At Heshban, (Heshbon,) are the ruins of a large ancient town, together with the remains of a temple, and some edifices. A few broken shafts of columns are still standing; and there are a number of deep wells cut in the rock. The ruins of Medeba are about two miles in circumference. There are many remains of the walls of private houses constructed with blocks of silex, but not a single 662edifice is standing. The chief object of interest is an immense tank or cistern of hewn stones, which, as there is no stream at Medeba,” Burckhardt remarks, might still be of use to the Bedouins, were the surrounding ground cleared of the rubbish to allow the water to flow into it; but such an undertaking is far beyond the views of the wandering Arabs.” There is also the foundation of a temple built with large stones, and apparently of great antiquity, with two columns near it. The ruins of Diban, (Dibon,) situated in the midst of a fine plain, are of considerable extent, but present nothing of interest. The neighbouring hot wells, and the similarity of the name, identify the ruins of Myoun with Meon, or Beth Meon of Scripture. Of this ancient city, as well as of Araayr, (Areor,) nothing is now remarkable but what is common to them with all the cities of Moab, their entire desolation. The extent of the ruins of Rabba, (Rabbath Moab,) formerly the residence of the kings of Moab, sufficiently proves its ancient importance; though no other object can be particularized among the ruins, than the remains of a palace or temple, some of the walls of which are still standing, a gate belonging to another building, and an insulated altar. There are many remains of private buildings, but none of them is entire. There being no springs on the spot, the town had two birkets, the largest of which is cut entirely out of the rocky ground, together with many cisterns. Mount Nebo was completely barren when Burckhardt passed over it, and the site of the ancient city had not been ascertained. Nebo is spoiled.”

While the ruins of all these cities still retain their ancient names, and are the most conspicuous amidst the wide scene of general desolation, and while each of them was in like manner particularized in the visions of the prophet, they yet formed but a small number of the cities of Moab; and the rest are also, in similar verification of the prophecies, desolate, without any to dwell therein.” None of the ancient cities of Moab now remain as tenanted by men. Kerek, which neither bears any resemblance in name to any of the cities of Moab which are mentioned as existing in the time of the Israelites, nor possesses any monuments which denote a very remote antiquity, is the only nominal town in the whole country, and, in the words of Seetzen, who visited it, in its present ruined state it can only be called a hamlet; and the houses have only one floor.” But the most populous and fertile province in Europe, especially any situated in the interior of a country like Moab, is not covered so thickly with towns as Moab is plentiful in ruins, deserted and desolate though now it be. Burckhardt enumerates about fifty ruined sites within its boundaries, many of them extensive. In general they are a broken down and undistinguishable mass of ruins; and many of them have not been closely inspected. But, in some instances, there are the remains of temples, sepulchral monuments; the ruins of edifices constructed of very large stones, in one of which buildings some of the stones are twenty feet in length, and so broad that one constitutes the thickness of the wall; traces of hanging gardens; entire columns lying on the ground, three feet in diameter, and fragments of smaller columns; and many cisterns out of the rock. When the towns of Moab existed in their prime, and were at ease; when arrogance, and haughtiness, and pride prevailed among them; the desolation, and total desertion and abandonment of them all, must have utterly surpassed all human conception. And that such numerous cities which subsisted for many ages, some of them being built on eminences, and naturally strong; others on plains, and surrounded by the richest soil; some situated in valleys by the side of a plentiful stream; and others where art supplied the deficiencies of nature, and where immense cisterns were excavated out of the rock, and which exhibit in their ruins many monuments of ancient prosperity, and many remains easily convertible into present utility; should have all fled away, all met the same indiscriminate fate, and be all desolate, without any to dwell therein,” notwithstanding all these ancient indications of permanent durability, and their existing facilities and inducements for becoming the habitations of men, is a matter of just wonder in the present day. They shall cry of Moab, How is it broken down!”

The strong contrast between the ancient and the actual state of Moab is exemplified in the condition of the inhabitants as well as of the land; and the coincidence between the prediction and the fact is as striking in the one case as in the other. The days come, saith the Lord, that I will send unto him (Moab) wanderers that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels.” The Bedouin (wandering) Arabs are now the chief and almost the only inhabitants of a country once studded with cities. Traversing the country, and fixing their tents for a short time in one place, and then decamping to another, depasturing every part successively, and despoiling the whole land of its natural produce, they are wanderers who have come up against it, and who keep it in a state of perpetual desolation. They lead a wandering life; and the only regularity they know or practise, is to act upon a systematic scheme of spoliation. They prevent any from forming a fixed settlement who are inclined to attempt it; for although the fruitfulness of the soil would abundantly repay the labour of settlers, and render migration wholly unnecessary, even if the population were increased more than tenfold; yet the Bedouins forcibly deprive them of the means of subsistence, compel them to search for it elsewhere, and, in the words of the prediction, literally cause them to wander.” It may be remarked generally of the Bedouins,” says Burckhardt, in describing their extortions in this very country, that wherever they are the masters of the cultivators, the latter are soon reduced to beggary by their unceasing demands.” “O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of 663the hole’s mouth.” In a general description of the condition of the inhabitants of that extensive desert which now occupies the place of these ancient flourishing states, Volney in plain but unmeant illustration of this prediction, remarks, that the wretched peasants live in perpetual dread of losing the fruit of their labours; and no sooner have they gathered in their harvest, than they hasten to secrete it in private places, and retire among the rocks which border on the Dead Sea.” Toward the opposite extremity of the land of Moab, and at a little distance from its borders, Seetzen relates, that there are many families living in caverns;” and he actually designates them the inhabitants of the rocks.” And at the distance of a few miles from the ruined site of Heshbon, according to Captains Irby and Mangles, there are many artificial caves in a large range of perpendicular cliffs, in some of which are chambers and small sleeping apartments.” While the cities are desolate, without any to dwell therein, the rocks are tenanted. But whether flocks lie down in the city without any to make them afraid, or whether men are to be found dwelling in the rocks, and are “like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole’s mouth,” the wonderful transition, in either case, and the close accordance, in both, of the fact to the prediction, assuredly mark it in characters that may be visible to the purblind mind, as the word of that God before whom the darkness of futurity is as light, and without whom a sparrow cannot fall unto the ground.

MOLE. This word, in our version of Lev. xi, 30, answers to the word , which Bochart has shown to be the cameleon; but he conjectures, with great propriety, that , translated weasel,” in the preceding verse, is the true word for the mole. The present name of the mole in the east is khuld, which is undeniably the same word as the Hebrew choled. The import of the Hebrew word is, to creep into,” and the same Syriac word implies, to creep underneath,” to creep into by burrowing; which are well known characteristics of the mole.

MOLOCH, , signifies king. Moloch, Molech, Milcom, or Melchom, was a god of the Ammonites. The word Moloch signifies king,” and Melchom signifies their king.” Moses in several places forbids the Israelites, under the penalty of death, to dedicate their children to Moloch, by making them pass through the fire in honour of that god, Lev. xviii, 21; xx, 2–5. God himself threatens to pour out his wrath against such offenders. There is great probability that the Hebrews were addicted to the worship of this deity, even before their coming out of Egypt; since the Prophet Amos, v, 26, and after him St. Stephen, reproach them with having carried in the wilderness the tabernacle of their god Moloch, Acts vii, 43. Solomon built a temple to Moloch upon the Mount of Olives, 1 Kings xi, 7; and Manasseh a long time after imitated his impiety, making his son pass through the fire in honour of Moloch, 2 Kings xxi, 3–6. It was chiefly in the valley of Tophet and Hinnom, east of Jerusalem, that this idolatrous worship was paid, Jer. xix, 5, 6, &c. Some are of opinion that they contented themselves with making their children leap over a fire sacred to Moloch, by which they consecrated them to some false deity: and by this lustration purified them; this being a usual ceremony among the Heathens on other occasions. Some believe that they made them pass through two fires opposite to each other, for the same purpose. But the word , to cause to pass through,” and the phrase to cause to pass through the fire,” are used in respect to human sacrifices in Deut. xii, 31; xviii, 10; 2 Kings xvi, 3; xxi, 6; 2 Chron. xxviii, 3; xxxiii, 6. These words are not to be considered as meaning in these instances literally to pass through, and that alone. They are rather synonymous with , to burn, and , to immolate, with which they are interchanged, as may be seen by an examination of Jer. vii, 31; xix, 5; Ezek. xvi, 20, 21; Psalm cvi, 38. In the later periods of the Jewish kingdom, this idol was erected in the valley south of Jerusalem, namely, in the valley of Hinnom, and in the part of that valley called Tophet, , so named from the drums, , which were beaten to prevent the groans and cries of children sacrificed from being heard, Jer. vii, 31, 32; xix, 6–14; Isaiah xxx, 33; 2 Kings xxiii, 10. The place was so abhorrent to the minds of the more recent Jews, that they applied the name ge hinnom or gehenna to the place of torments in a future life. The word gehenna is used in this way, namely, for the place of punishment beyond the grave, very frequently in oriental writers, as far as India. There are various sentiments about the relation that Moloch had to the other Pagan divinities. Some believe that Moloch was the same as Saturn, to whom it is well known that human sacrifices were offered; others think it was the same with Mercury; others, Venus; others, Mars, or Mithra. Calmet has endeavoured to prove that Moloch signified the sun, or the king of heaven.

MONEY. Scripture often speaks of gold, silver, brass, of certain sums of money, of purchases made with money, of current money, of money of a certain weight; but we do not observe coined or stamped money till a late period; which makes it probable that the ancient Hebrews took gold and silver only by weight; that they only considered the purity of the metal, and not the stamp. The most ancient commerce was conducted by barter, or exchanging one sort of merchandise for another. One man gave what he could spare to another, who gave him in return part of his superabundance. Afterward, the more precious metals were used in traffic, as a value more generally known and fixed. Lastly, they gave this metal, by public authority, a certain mark, a certain weight, and a certain degree of alloy, to fix its value, and to save buyers and sellers the trouble of weighing and examining the coins. At the siege of Troy in Homer, 664no reference is made to gold or silver coined; but the value of things is estimated by the number of oxen they were worth. For instance: they bought wine, by exchanging oxen, slaves, skins, iron, &c, for it. When the Greeks first used money, it was only little pieces of iron or copper, called oboli or spits, of which a handful was a drachma, says Plutarch. Herodotus thinks that the Lydians were the first that stamped money of gold or silver, and introduced it into commerce. Others say it was Ishon, king of Thessaly, a son of Deucalion. Others ascribe this honour to Erichthonius; who had been educated by the daughters of Cecrops, king of Athens: others, again, to Phidon, king of Argos. Among the Persians it is said Darius, son of Hystaspes, first coined golden money. Lycurgus banished gold and silver from his commonwealth of Lacedæmon, and only allowed a rude sort of money, made of iron. Janus, or rather the kings of Rome, made a kind of gross money of copper, having on one side the double face of Janus, on the other the prow of a ship. We find nothing concerning the money of the Egyptians, Phenicians, Arabians, or Syrians, before Alexander the Great. In China, to this day, they stamp no money of gold or silver, but only of copper. Gold and silver pass as merchandise. If gold or silver be offered, they take it and pay it by weight, as other goods: so that they are obliged to cut it into pieces with shears for that purpose, and they carry a steel yard at their girdles to weigh it.

But to return to the Hebrews. Abraham weighed out four hundred shekels of silver, to purchase Sarah’s tomb, Genesis xxiii, 15, 16; and Scripture observes that he paid this in current money with the merchant.” Joseph was sold by his brethren to the Midianites for twenty pieces (in Hebrew twenty shekels) of silver, Gen. xxxvii, 28. The brethren of Joseph bring back with them into Egypt the money they found in their sacks, in the same weight as before, Gen. xliii, 21. The bracelets that Eliezer gave Rebekah weighed ten shekels, and the ear rings two shekels, Gen. xxiv, 22. Moses ordered that the weight of five hundred shekels of myrrh, and two hundred and fifty shekels of cinnamon, of the weight of the sanctuary, should be taken, to make the perfume which was to be burnt to the Lord on the golden altar, Exod. xxx, 24. He acquaints us that the Israelites offered for the works of the tabernacle seventy-two thousand talents of brass, Exod. xxxviii, 29. We read, in the books of Samuel, that the weight of Absalom’s hair was two hundred shekels of the ordinary weight, or of the king’s weight, 2 Sam. xiv, 26. Isaiah, xlvi, 6, describes the wicked as weighing silver in a balance, to make an idol of it; and Jeremiah, xxxii, 10, weighs seventeen pieces of silver in a pair of scales, to pay for a field he had bought. Isaiah says, Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye weigh money for that which is not bread” Amos, viii, 5, represents the merchants as encouraging one another to make the ephah small, wherewith to sell, and the shekel great, wherewith to buy, and to falsify the balances by deceit.

In all these passages three things only are mentioned: 1. The metal, that is, gold or silver, and never copper, that not being used in traffic as money. 2. The weight, a talent, a shekel, a gerah or obolus, the weight of the sanctuary, and the king’s weight. 3. The alloy (standard) of pure or fine gold and silver, and of good quality, as received by the merchant. The impression of the coinage is not referred to; but it is said they weighed the silver, or other commodities, by the shekel and by the talent. This shekel, therefore, and this talent, were not fixed and determined pieces of money, but weights applied to things used in commerce. Hence those deceitful balances of the merchants, who would increase the shekel, that is, would augment the weight by which they weighed the gold and silver they were to receive, that they might have a greater quantity than was their due; hence the weight of the sanctuary, the standard of which was preserved in the temple to prevent fraud; hence those prohibitions in the law, Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights,” in Hebrew, stones, a great and a small,” Deut. xxv, 13; hence those scales that the Hebrews wore at their girdles, Hosea xii, 7, and the Canaanites carried in their hands, to weigh the gold and silver which they received in payment. It is true that in the Hebrew we find Jacob bought a field for a hundred kesitahs, Gen. xxxiii, 19; and that the friends of Job, after his recovery, gave to that model of patience each a kesitah, and a golden pendant for the ears, Job xlii, 11. We also find there darics, (in Hebrew, darcmonim or adarcmonim,) and minæ, stateræ, oboli; but this last kind of money was foreign, and is put for other terms, which in the Hebrew only signifies the weight of the metal. The kesitah is not well known to us: some take it for a sheep or a lamb; others, for a kind of money, having the impression of a lamb or a sheep: but it was more probably a purse of money. The darcmonim or darics are money of the kings of Persia; and it is agreed that Darius, son of Hystaspes, first coined golden money. Ezekiel, xlv, 12, tells us that the mina makes fifty shekels: he reduces this foreign money to the weight of the Hebrews. The mina might probably be a Persian money originally, and adopted by the Greeks and by the Hebrews. But under the dominion of the Persians, the Hebrews were hardly at liberty to coin money of their own, being in subjection to those princes, and very low in their own country. They were still less able under the Chaldeans, during the Babylonish captivity; or afterward under the Grecians, to whom they were subject till the time of Simon Maccabæus, to whom Antiochus Sidetes, king of Syria, granted the privilege of coining money in Judea, 1 Mac. xv, 6. And this is the first Hebrew money, properly so called, that we know of. There were shekels and demi-shekels, also the 665third part of a shekel, and a quarter of a shekel, of silver.

The shekel of silver, or the silverling, Isa. vii, 23, originally weighed three hundred and twenty barleycorns; but it was afterward increased to three hundred and eighty-four barleycorns, its value, being considered equal to four Roman denarii, was two shillings and seven pence, or, according to Bishop Cumberland, two shillings and four pence farthing. It is said to have had Aaron’s rod on the one side, and the pot of manna on the other. The bekah was equal to half a shekel, Exod. xxxviii, 26. The denarius was one-fourth of a shekel, seven pence three farthings of our money. The gerah, or meah, Exod. xxx, 13, was the sixth part of the denarius, or diner, and the twenty-fourth part of the shekel. The assar, or assarion, Matt. x, 29, was the ninety-sixth part of a shekel: its value was rather more than a farthing. The farthing, Matt. v, 26, was in value the thirteenth part of a penny sterling. The mite was the half of a farthing, or the twenty-sixth part of a penny sterling. The mina, or maneh, Ezek. xlv, 12, was equal to sixty shekels, which, taken at two shillings and seven pence, was seven pounds fifteen shillings. The talent was fifty minas; and its value, therefore, three hundred and eighty-seven pounds ten shillings. The gold coins were as follows: a shekel of gold was about fourteen and a half times the value of silver, that is, one pound seventeen shillings and five pence halfpenny. A talent of gold consisted of three thousand shekels. The drachma was equal to a Roman denarius, or seven pence three farthings of our money. The didrachma, or tribute money, Matt. xvii, 24, was equal to fifteen pence halfpenny. It is said to have been stamped with a harp on one side, and a vine on the other. The stater, or piece of money which Peter found in the fish’s mouth, Matt. xvii, 27, was two half shekels. A daric, dram, 1 Chron. xxix, 7; Ezra viii, 27, was a gold coin struck by Darius the Mede. According to Parkhurst its value was one pound five shillings. A gold penny is stated by Lightfoot to have been equal to twenty-five silver pence.

Hug derives a satisfactory argument for the veracity of the Gospels from the different kinds of money mentioned in them:--The admixture of foreign manners and constitutions proceeded through numberless circumstances of life. Take, for example, the circulation of coin; at one time it is Greek coin; at another, Roman; at another time ancient Jewish. But how accurately is even this stated according to history, and the arrangement of things! The ancient imposts which were introduced before the Roman dominion were valued according to the Greek coinage; for example, the taxes of the temple, the ddaµ, Matt. xvii, 24. The offerings were paid in these, Mark xii, 42; Luke xxi, 2. A payment which proceeded from the temple treasury was made according to the ancient national payment by weight, Matt. xxvi, 15; but in common business, trade, wages, sale, &c, the assis and denarius and Roman coin were usual, Matt. x, 29; xx, 3; Luke xii, 6; Mark xiv, 5; John xii, 5; vi, 7. The more modern state taxes are likewise paid in the coin of the nation which exercises at the time the greatest authority, Matthew xxii, 19; Mark xii, 15; Luke xx, 24. Writers, who, in each little circumstance, which otherwise would pass by unnoticed, so accurately describe the period of time, must certainly have had a personal knowledge of it.

MONEY-CHANGERS, in the Gospels, were persons who exchanged native for foreign coin, to enable those who came to Jerusalem from distant countries to purchase the necessary sacrifices. In our Lord’s time they had established themselves in the court of the temple; a profanation which had probably grown up with the influence of Roman manners, which allowed the argentarii [money-dealers] to establish their usurious mensas, tables, by the statues of the gods, even at the feet of Janus, in the most holy places, in porticibus Basilicarum, or in the temples, pone ædem Castoris. The following extract from Buckingham’s Travels among the Arabs, is illustrative:--“The mosque at the time of our passing through it was full of people, though these were not worshippers, nor was it at either of the usual hours of public prayers. Some of the parties were assembled to smoke, others to play at chess, and some apparently to drive bargains of trade, but certainly none to pray. It was, indeed, a living picture of what we might believe the temple at Jerusalem to have been, when those who sold oxen, and sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting there, were driven out by Jesus, with a scourge of cords, and their tables overturned. It was, in short, a place of public resort and thoroughfare, a house of merchandise, as the temple of the Jews had become in the days of the Messiah.”

MONK anciently denoted a person who retired from the world to give himself up wholly to God, and to live in solitude and abstinence. The word is derived from the Latin monachus, and that from the Greek µa, solitary. The original of monks seems to have been this: The persecutions which attended the first ages of the Gospel forced some Christians to retire from the world, and live in deserts and places more private and unfrequented, in hopes of finding that peace and comfort among beasts which were denied them among men; and this being the case of some very extraordinary persons, their example gave such reputation to retirement, that the practice was continued when the reason of its commencement ceased. After the empire became Christian, instances of this kind were numerous; and those whose security had obliged them to live separately and apart became afterward united into societies. We may also add, that the mystic theology, which gained ground toward the close of the third century, contributed to produce the same effect, and to drive men into solitude, for the purposes of devotion. The monks, at least 666the ancient ones, were distinguished into solitaries, cœnobites, and sarabaites. The first were those who lived in places remote from all towns and habitations of men, as do still some of the hermits. The cœnobites were those who lived in community with several others in the same house, and under the same superiors. The sarabaites were strolling monks, having no fixed rule of residence. Those who are now called monks are cœnobites, who live together in a convent or monastery, who make vows of living according to a certain rule established by the founder, and wear a habit which distinguishes their order. Those that are endowed, or have a fixed revenue, are most properly called monks, monachi; as the Chartereux, Benedictines, Bernardines, &c. The Mendicants, or those that beg, as the Capuchins and Franciscans, are more properly called religious, and friars, though the names are frequently confounded.

The first monks were those of St. Anthony, who, toward the close of the fourth century, formed them into a regular body, engaged them to live in society with each other, and prescribed to them fixed rules for the direction of their conduct. These regulations, which Anthony had made in Egypt, were soon introduced into Palestine and Syria by his disciple Hilarion. Almost about the same time, Aones, or Eugenius, with their companions, Gaddanus and Azyzas, instituted the monastic order in Mesopotomia, and the adjacent countries; and their example was followed with such rapid success, that in a short time the whole east was filled with a lazy set of mortals, who, abandoning all human connections, advantages, pleasures, and concerns, wore out a languishing and miserable existence amidst hardships of want, and various kinds of suffering, in order to arrive at a more close and rapturous communication with God and angels. From the east this gloomy institution passed into the west, and first into Italy and its neighbouring islands, though it is uncertain who transplanted it thither. St. Martin, the celebrated bishop of Tours, erected the first monasteries in Gaul, and recommended this religious solitude with such power and efficacy, both by his instruction and example, that his funeral is said to have been attended by no less than two thousand monks. From hence the monastic discipline extended its progress gradually through the other provinces and countries of Europe. There were beside, the monks of St. Basil, called in the east calogeri, from a e, a good old man, and those of St. Jerom, the hermits of St. Augustine, and afterward those of St. Benedict and St. Bernard: at length came those of St. Francis and St. Dominic, with a legion of others.

Toward the close of the fifth century, the monks who had formerly lived only for themselves in solitary retreats, and had never thought of assuming any rank among the sacerdotal order, were gradually distinguished from the populace, and endowed with such opulence and honourable privileges that they found themselves in a condition to claim an eminent station among the pillars and supporters of the Christian community. The fame of their piety and sanctity was so great, that bishops and presbyters were often chosen out of their order; and the passion of erecting edifices and convents, in which the monks and holy virgins might serve God in the most commodious manner, was at this time carried beyond all bounds. However, their licentiousness, even in this century, was become a proverb; and they are said to have excited the most dreadful tumults and seditions in various places. The monastic orders were at first under the immediate jurisdiction of the bishops, from which they were exempted by the Roman pontiff about the end of the seventh century; and the monks in return devoted themselves wholly to advance the interest and to maintain the dignity of the bishop of Rome. This immunity which they obtained was a fruitful source of licentiousness and disorder, and occasioned the greatest part of the vices with which they were afterward so justly charged.

In the eighth century the monastic discipline was extremely relaxed, both in the eastern and western provinces, and all efforts to restore it were ineffectual. Nevertheless, this kind of institution was in the highest esteem; and nothing could equal the veneration that was paid about the close of the ninth century to such as devoted themselves to the sacred gloom and indolence of a convent. This veneration caused several kings and emperors to call them to their courts, and to employ them in civil affairs of the greatest moment. Their reformation was attempted by Louis the meek, but the effect was of short duration. In the eleventh century, they were exempted by the popes from the authority of their sovereigns, and new orders of monks were continually established, insomuch that in the council of Lateran, that was held A. D. 1215, a decree was passed, by the advice of Innocent III., to prevent any new monastic institutions; and several were entirely suppressed. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it appears, from the testimony of the best writers, that the monks were generally lazy, illiterate, profligate, and licentious epicures, whose views in life were confined to opulence, idleness, and pleasure. However, the reformation had a manifest influence in restraining their excesses, and rendering them more circumspect and cautious in their external conduct.

Monks are distinguished by the colour of their habits, into black, white, gray, &c. Among the monks, some are called monks of the choir, others, professed monks, and others, lay monks; which last are destined for the service of the convent, and have neither clericate nor literature. Cloistered monks are those who actually reside in the house, in opposition to extra monks, who have benefices depending on the monastery. Monks are also distinguished into reformed, whom the civil and ecclesiastical authority have made masters of ancient convents, and empowered to retrieve the ancient discipline, which had been relaxed; and ancient, who remain in the convent, to 667live in it according to its establishment at the time when they made their vows, without obliging themselves to any new reform. Anciently the monks were all laymen, and were only distinguished from the rest of the people by a peculiar habit and an extraordinary piety or devotion. Not only the monks were prohibited the priesthood, but even priests were expressly prohibited from becoming monks, as appears from the letters of St. Gregory. Pope Syricius was the first who called them to the clericate, on account of some great scarcity of priests that the church was supposed to labour under; and since that time the priesthood has been usually united to the monastical profession.

MONOPHYSITES. See Hypostatic Union.

MONOTHELITES, a denomination in the seventh century. See Hypostatic Union.

MONTHS, , sometimes also called , new moons, from the circumstance of their commencing with the new moon, anciently had no separate names, with the exception of the first, which was called Abib, that is, the month of the young ears of corn,” Exod. xiii, 4; xxiii, 15; xxxiv, 18; Deut. xvi, 1. During the captivity, the Hebrews adopted the Babylonian names for their months; which were as follows, and they were reckoned thus:--

1. , Nisan, from the new moon of April, Neh. ii, 1.
2. , Zif or Ziv, also called , of May, 1 Kings vi, 1.
3. , Sivan, of June, Esther viii, 9.
4. , Tammuz, of July.
5. , Ab, of August.
6. , Elul, of September, Neh. vi, 15.
7. , Tishri, also , of October, 1 Kings viii, 2.
8. , Bul, also , of November, 1 Kings vi, 38.
9. , Kislev, of December, Neh. i, 1.
10. , Tebeth, of January, Esther ii, 16.
11. , Shebat, of February, Zech. i, 7.
12. , Adar, of March, Esther iii, 7.
The first month here mentioned, Nisan, was originally called Abib. The intercalary month is denominated in Hebrew .

MOON. Particular sacrifices were enjoined by Moses at every new moon, which day was also celebrated as a feast. It is promised in Psalm cxxi, 6, The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” The effect of a coup de soleil, or stroke of the sun, is well known; and in some climates the beams of the moon are reputed hurtful. Anderson, in his Description of the East,” says, One must here (in Batavia) take great care not to sleep in the beams of the moon uncovered. I have seen many people whose neck has become crooked, so that they look more to the side than forward. I will not decide whether it is to be ascribed to the moon, as people imagine here.” In some of the southern parts of Europe the same opinions are entertained of the pernicious influence of the moon beams. An English gentleman walking in the evening in the garden of a Portuguese nobleman at Lisbon, was most seriously admonished by the owner to put on his hat, to protect him from the moon beams. The fishermen in Sicily are said to cover, during the night, the fish which they expose to dry on the sea shore, alleging that the beams of the moon cause them to putrefy.

MORAL OBLIGATION. Different opinions have been held as to the ground of moral obligation. Grotius, Balguy, and Dr. Samuel Clarke, place it in the eternal and necessary fitness of things. To this there are two objections. The first is, that it leaves the distinction between virtue and vice, in a great measure, arbitrary and indefinite, dependent upon our perception of fitness and unfitness, which, in different individuals will greatly differ. The second is, that when a fitness or unfitness is proved, it is no more than the discovery of a natural essential difference or congruity, which alone cannot constitute a moral obligation to choose what is fit, and to reject what is unfit. When we have proved a fitness in a certain course of action, we have not proved that it is obligatory. A second step is necessary before we can reach this conclusion. Cudworth, Butler, Price, and others, maintain, that virtue carries its own obligation in itself; that the understanding at once perceives a certain action to be right, and therefore it ought to be performed. Several objections lie to this notion: 1. It supposes the understandings of men to determine precisely in the same manner concerning all virtuous and vicious actions; which is contrary to fact. 2. It supposes a previous rule, by which the action is determined to be right; but if the revealed will of God is not to be taken into consideration, what common rule exists among men There is evidently no such rule, and therefore no means of certainly determining what is right. 3. If a common standard were known among men, and if the understandings of men determined in the same manner as to the conformity, or otherwise, of an action to that standard; what renders it a matter of obligation that any one should perform it The rule must be proved to be binding, or no ground of obligation is established.

An action is obligatory, say others, because it is agreeable to the moral sense. This is the theory of Lord Shaftesbury and Dr. Hutcheson. By moral sense appears to be meant an instinctive approbation of right, and abhorrence 668of wrong, prior to all reflection on their nature, or their consequences. If any thing else were understood by it, then the moral sense must be the same with conscience, which we know to vary with the judgment, and cannot therefore be the basis of moral obligation. If conscience be not meant, then the moral sense must be considered as instinctive: a notion, certainly, which is disproved by the whole moral history of man. It may, indeed, be conceded, that such is the constitution of the human soul, that when those distinctions between actions, which have been taught by religious tradition or direct revelation, are known in their nature, relations, and consequences, the calm and sober judgments of men will approve of them; and that especially when they are considered abstractedly, that is, as not affecting and controlling their own interests and passions immediately, virtue may command complacency, and vice provoke abhorrence: but that, independent of reflection on their nature or their consequences, there is an instinctive principle in man which abhors evil, and loves good, is contradicted by that variety of opinion and feeling on the vices and virtues, which obtains among all uninstructed nations. We applaud the forgiveness of an injury as magnanimous; a savage despises it as mean. We think it a duty to support and cherish aged parents; many nations, on the contrary, abandon them as useless, and throw them to the beasts of the field. Innumerable instances of this contrariety might be adduced, which are all contrary to the notion of instinctive sentiment. Instincts operate uniformly, but this assumed moral sense does not. Beside, if it be mere matter of feeling, independent of judgment, to love virtue, and abhor vice, the morality of the exercise of this principle is questionable; for it would be difficult to show, that there is any more morality, properly speaking, in the affections and disgusts of instinct than in those of the palate. If judgment, the knowledge and comparison of things, be included, then this principle supposes a uniform and universal individual revelation as to the nature of things to every man, or an intuitive faculty of determining their moral quality; both of which are too absurd to be maintained.

The only satisfactory conclusion on this subject, is that which refers moral obligation to the will of God. Obligation,” says Warburton, necessarily implies an obliger, and the obliger must be different from, and not one and the same with, the obliged. Moral obligation, that is, the obligation of a free agent, farther implies a law, which enjoins and forbids; but a law is the imposition of an intelligent superior, who hath power to exact conformity thereto.” This lawgiver is God; and whatever may be the reasons which have led him to enjoin this, and to prohibit that, it is plain that the obligation to obey lies not merely in the fitness and propriety of a creature obeying an infinitely wise and good Creator, (though such a fitness exists,) but in that obedience being enjoined. For, since the question respects the duty of a created being with reference to his Creator, nothing can be more conclusive than that the Creator has an absolute right to the obedience of his creatures; and that the creature is in duty obliged to obey him from whom it not only has received being, but by whom that being is constantly sustained. It has, indeed, been said, that even if it be admitted, that I am obliged to obey the will of God, the question is still open, Why am I obliged to obey his will” and that this brings us round to the former answer; because he can only will what is upon the whole best for his creatures. But this is confounding that which may be, and doubtless is, a rule to God in the commands which he issues, with that which really obliges the creature. Now, that which in truth obliges the creature is not the nature of the commands issued by God; but the relation in which the creature itself stands to God. If a creature can have no existence, nor any power or faculty independently of God, it can have no right to employ its faculties independently of him; and if it have no right to employ its faculties in an independent manner, the right to rule its conduct must rest with the Creater alone; and from this results the obligation of absolute and universal obedience.

MORAVIANS, or UNITED BRETHREN. The name of Moravians, or Moravian Brethren, was in England given to the members of a foreign Protestant church, calling itself the Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren. This church formerly consisted of three branches, the Bohemian, Moravian, and Polish. After its renovation in the year 1722, some of its members came to England in 1728, who being of the Moravian branch, became known by that appellation; and all those who joined them, and adopted their doctrines and discipline, have ever since been called Moravians. Strictly speaking, however, that name is not applicable to them, nor generally admitted, either by themselves, or in any public documents, in which they are called by their proper names, the Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren.

The few remaining members of the ancient church of the United Brethren in Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland, being much persecuted by the popish clergy, many of them left all their possessions, and fled with their families into Silesia and Saxony. In Saxony they found protection from a Saxon nobleman, Nicholas Lewis, count of Zinzendorff, who gave them some waste land on one of his estates, on which, in 1722, they built a village at the foot of a hill, called the Hut-Berg, or Watch-Hill. This occasioned them to call their settlement Herrnhut, the watch of the Lord.” Hence their enemies designated them in derision by the name of Herrnhuters, which is altogether improper, but by it they are known in some countries abroad. By their own account, the community derive their origin from the ancient Bohemian and Moravian Brethren, who existed as a distinct people ever since the year 1457, when, separating from those who took up arms in defence of 669their protestations against popish errors, they formed a plan for church fellowship and discipline, agreeable to their insight into the Scriptures, and called themselves at first, Fratres Legis Christi, or Brethren after the Law of Christ; and afterward, on being joined by others of the same persuasion in other places, Unitas Fratrum, or Fratres Unitatis. By degrees, they established congregations in various places, and spread themselves into Moravia and other neighbouring states. Being anxious to preserve among themselves regular episcopal ordination, and, at a synod held at Lhota in 1467, taking into consideration the scarcity of ministers regularly ordained among them, they chose three of their priests ordained by Calixtine bishops, and sent them to Stephen, bishop of the Waldenses, then residing in Austria, by whom they were consecrated bishops; co-bishops and conseniores being appointed from the rest of their presbyters. In 1468 a great persecution arose against them, and many were put to death. In 1481 they were banished from Moravia, when many of them fled as far as Mount Caucasus, and established themselves there, till driven away by subsequent troubles.

In the mean time, disputes respecting points of doctrine, the enmity of the papists, and other causes, raised continual disturbances and great persecutions at various periods, till the Reformation by Luther, when they opened a correspondence with that eminent reformer and his associates, and entered into several negotiations, both with him and Calvin, concerning the extension of the Protestant cause. But their strict adherence to the discipline of their own church, founded, in their view, on that of the primitive churches, and the acknowledged impossibility of its application among the mixed multitude, of which the Lutheran and Calvinist churches consisted, occasioned a cessation of coöperation, and, in the sequel, the Brethren were again left to the mercy of their persecutors, by whom their churches were destroyed, and their ministers banished, till the year 1575, when they obtained an edict from the emperor of Germany, for the public exercise of their religion. This toleration was renewed in 1609, and liberty granted them to erect new churches. But a civil war, which broke out in Bohemia in 1612, and a violent persecution which followed it in 1621, again occasioned the dispersion of their ministers, and brought great distress upon the Brethren in general. Some fled into England, others to Saxony and Brandenburg; while many, overcome by the severity of the persecution, conformed to the rites of the church of Rome.

About the year 1640, by incessant persecution, and the most oppressive measures, this ancient church was brought to so low an ebb, that it appeared nearly extinct. The persecutions which took place at the beginning of the eighteenth century, were the occasion that many of the scattered descendants of the Bohemian and Moravian Brethren at length resolved to quit their native land, and seek liberty of conscience in foreign countries. Some emigrated into Silesia, and others into Upper Lusatia, a province of Saxony, adjoining to Bohemia. The latter, as before observed, found a protector in Nicholas Count Zinzendorff, a pious, zealous man, and a Lutheran by education. He hoped that the religious state of the Lutherans in his neighbourhood would be greatly improved by the conversation and example of these devout emigrants; and he therefore sought to prevail upon the latter to join the Lutheran church altogether. To this the Brethren objected, being unwilling to give up their ancient discipline, and would rather proceed to seek an asylum in another place; when the count, struck with their steadfast adherence to the tenets of their forefathers, began more maturely to examine their pretensions; and being convinced of the justness of them, he procured for the Brethren the renovation of their ancient constitution, and ever after proved a most zealous promoter of their cause. He is, therefore, very justly esteemed by them as the chief instrument, in the hand of God, in restoring the sinking church, and, in general, gratefully remembered for his disinterested and indefatigable labours in promoting the interests of religion, both at home and abroad. In 1735, having been examined and received into the clerical order, by the theological faculty at Tuebingen, in the duchy of Wurtemburg, he was consecrated a bishop of the Brethren’s church.

After the establishment of a regular congregation of the United Brethren at Herrnhut, multitudes of pious persons from various parts flocked to it, many of whom had private opinions in religious matters, to which they were strongly attached. This occasioned great disputes, which even threatened the destruction of the society; but, by the indefatigable exertions of Count Zinzendorff, these disputes were allayed, and the statutes being drawn up, and agreed to in 1727, for better regulation, brotherly love and union were reëstablished, and no schism whatever, in point of doctrine, has since that period disturbed the peace of the church.

Though the Brethren acknowledge no other standard of truth than the sacred Scriptures, they in general profess to adhere to the Augsburg Confession of Faith. Their church is episcopal; but though they consider episcopal ordination as necessary to qualify the servants of the church for their respective functions, they allow to their bishops no elevation of rank or preëminent authority. The Moravian church, from its first establishment, has been governed by synods, consisting of deputies from all the congregations, and by other subordinate bodies, which they call conferences. According to their regulations, episcopal ordination, of itself, does not confer any power to preside over one or more congregations; and a bishop can discharge no office except by the appointment of a synod, or of its delegate, the elders’ conference of the unity. Presbyters among them can perform every function of the bishop, except ordination. Deacons are assistants to presbyters, much in the same 670way as in the church of England. Deaconesses are retained for the purpose of privately admonishing their own sex, and visiting them in their sickness; but they are not permitted to teach in public, and, far less, to administer the sacraments. They have also seniores civiles, or lay elders, in contradistinction to spiritual elders or bishops, who are appointed to watch over the constitution and discipline of the unity of the Brethren, &c. The synods are generally held once in seven years; and beside all the bishops, and the deputies sent by each congregation, those women who have appointments as above described, if on the spot, are also admitted as hearers, and may be called upon to give their advice in what relates to the ministerial labour among their own sex; but they have no decisive vote in the synod. The votes of all the other members are equal. In questions of importance, or of which the consequence cannot be foreseen, neither the majority of votes, nor the unanimous consent of all present, can decide: but recourse is had to the lot, which, however, is never made use of except after mature deliberation and prayer; nor is any thing submitted to its decision which does not, after being thoroughly weighed, appear to the assembly eligible in itself.

MORDECAI was the son of Jair, of the race of Saul, and a chief of the tribe of Benjamin. He was carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, with Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, king of Judah, A. M. 3405, Esther ii, 5, 6. He settled at Shushan, and there lived to the first year of Cyrus, when it is thought he returned to Jerusalem, with several other captives; but he afterward returned to Shushan. There is great probability that Mordecai was very young when taken into captivity. The book of Esther gives the whole history of Mordecai’s elevation, the punishment of Haman, and the wonderful deliverance of the Jews, in clear and regular narrative. But it may be asked, For what reason did Mordecai refuse to pay that respect to Haman, the neglect of which incensed him against the Jews Esther iii, 1–6. Some think the reason was, because Haman was an Amalekite; a people whom the Israelites had been commissioned from God to destroy, because of the injuries they had formerly done them, Deut. xxv, 17–19. But this scarcely seems to be a sufficient account of Mordecai’s refusing civil respect to Haman, who was first minister of state; especially when by so doing he exposed his whole nation to imminent danger. Beside, if nothing but civil respect had been intended to Haman, the king need not have enjoined it on his servants after he had made him his first minister and chief favourite, Esther iii, 1, 2; they would have been ready enough to show it on all occasions. Probably, therefore, the reverence ordered to be done to this great man was a kind of divine honour, such as was sometimes addressed to the Persian monarchs themselves; which, being a species of idolatry, Mordecai refused for the sake of a good conscience. And perhaps it was because Haman knew that his refusal was the result of his Jewish principles, that he determined to attempt the destruction of the Jews in general, knowing they were all of the same mind. As to another question, why Haman cast lots, in order to fix the day for the massacre of the Jews, Esther iii, 7; from whence the feast of purim, which is a Persic word, and signifies lots, took its name, Esther ix, 26; it was no doubt owing to the superstitious conceit which anciently prevailed, of some days being more fortunate than others for any undertaking; in short, he endeavoured to find out, by this way of divining, what month, and what day of the month, was most unfortunate to the Jews, and most fortunate for the success of his bloody design against them. It is very remarkable, that while Haman sought for direction in this affair from the Persian idols, the God of Israel so over-ruled the lot as to fix the intended massacre to almost a year’s distance, from Nisan the first month to Adar the last of the year, in order to give time and opportunity to Mordecai and Esther to defeat the conspiracy.

MORIAH, Mount. A hill on the north-east side of Jerusalem, once separated from that of Acra by a broad valley, which, according to Josephus, was filled up by the Asmoneans, and the two hills converted into one. In the time of David it stood apart from the city, and was under cultivation; for here was the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite, which David bought, on which to erect an altar to God, 2 Sam. xxiv, 15–25. On the same spot Solomon afterward built the temple, 2 Chron. iii, 1; when it was included within the walls of the city. Here, also, Abraham is supposed to have been directed to offer his son Isaac, Gen. xxii, 1, 2. Moriah implies vision;” and the land of Moriah,” mentioned in the above passage in the history of Abraham, was probably so called from being seen afar off.” It included the whole group of hills on which Jerusalem was afterward built.

MOSES. This illustrious legislator of the Israelites was of the tribe of Levi, in the line of Koath and of Amram, whose son he was, and therefore in the fourth generation after the settlement of the Israelites in Egypt. The time of his birth is ascertained by the exode of the Israelites, when Moses was eighty years old, Exod. vii, 7. By a singular providence, the infant Moses, when exposed on the river Nile, through fear of the royal decree, after his mother had hid him three months, because he was a goodly child, was taken up and adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, and nursed by his own mother, whom she hired at the suggestion of his sister Miriam. Thus did he find an asylum in the very palace of his intended destroyer; while his intercourse with his own family and nation was still most naturally, though unexpectedly, maintained: so mysterious are the ways of Heaven. And while he was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” and bred up in the midst of a luxurious court, he acquired at home the knowledge of the promised redemption of Israel; and, by faith” in the Redeemer Christ, “refused 671to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ,” or persecution for Christ’s sake, greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect to the recompense of reward,” Exodus ii, 1–10; Acts vii, 20–22; Heb. xi, 23–26; or looked forward to a future state.

When Moses was grown to manhood, and was full forty years old, he was moved by a divine intimation, as it seems, to undertake the deliverance of his countrymen; for he supposed that his brethren would have understood how that God, by his hand, would give them deliverance; but they understood not.” For when, in the excess of his zeal to redress their grievances, he had slain an Egyptian, who injured one of them, in which he probably went beyond his commission, and afterward endeavoured to reconcile two of them that were at variance, they rejected his mediation; and the man who had done wrong said, Who made thee a judge and a ruler over us Intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian yesterday” So Moses, finding it was known, and that Pharaoh sought to slay him, fled for his life to the land of Midian, in Arabia Petræa, where he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, or Reuel, prince and priest of Midian; and, as a shepherd, kept his flocks in the vicinity of Mount Horeb, or Sinai, for forty years, Exodus ii, 11–21; iii, 1; xviii, 5; Num. x, 29; Acts vii, 23–30. During this long exile Moses was trained in the school of humble circumstances for that arduous mission which he had prematurely anticipated; and, instead of the unthinking zeal which at first actuated him, learned to distrust himself. His backwardness, afterward, to undertake that mission for which he was destined from the womb, was no less remarkable than his forwardness before, Exod. iv, 10–13.

At length, when the oppression of the Israelites was come to the full, and they cried to God for succour, and the king was dead, and all the men in Egypt that sought his life, the God of glory” appeared to Moses in a flame of fire, from the midst of a bush, and announced himself as the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob,” under the titles of Jahoh and Æhjeh, expressive of his unity and sameness; and commissioned him first to make known to the Israelites the divine will for their deliverance; and next to go with the elders of Israel to Pharaoh, requiring him, in the name of “the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, to suffer the people to go three days’ journey into the wilderness, to sacrifice unto the Lord their God,” after such sacrifices had been long intermitted during their bondage; for the Egyptians had sunk into bestial polytheism, and would have stoned them, had they attempted to sacrifice to their principal divinities, the apis, or bull, &c, in the land itself: foretelling, also, the opposition they would meet with from the king, the mighty signs and wonders that would finally compel his assent, and their spoiling of the Egyptians, by asking or demanding of them (not borrowing) jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, (by way of wages or compensation for their services,) as originally declared to Abraham, that they should go out from thence with great substance,” Gen. xv, 14; Exod. ii, 23–25; iii, 2–22; viii, 25, 26.

To vouch his divine commission to the Israelites, God enabled Moses to work three signal miracles: 1. Turning his rod into a serpent, and restoring it again: 2. Making his hand leprous as snow, when he first drew it out of his bosom, and restoring it sound as before when he next drew it out: and, 3. Turning the water of the river into blood. And the people believed the signs, and the promised deliverance, and worshipped. To assist him, also, in his arduous mission, when Moses had represented that he was not eloquent, but slow of speech,” and of a slow or stammering tongue, God inspired Aaron, his elder brother, to go and meet Moses in the wilderness, to be his spokesman to the people, Exod. iv, 1–31, and his prophet to Pharaoh; while Moses was to be a god to both, as speaking to them in the name, or by the authority, of God himself, Exod. vii, 1, 2. At their first, interview with Pharaoh, they declared, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go I know not,” or regard not, the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” In answer to this haughty tyrant, they styled the Lord by a more ancient title, which the Egyptians ought to have known and respected, from Abraham’s days, when he plagued them in the matter of Sarah: “The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: Let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword:” plainly intimating to Pharaoh, also, not to incur his indignation, by refusing to comply with his desire. But the king not only refused, but increased the burdens of the people, Exod. v, 1–19; and the people murmured, and hearkened not unto Moses, when he repeated from the Lord his assurances of deliverance and protection, for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage, Exod. v, 20–23; vi, 1–9.

At their second interview with Pharaoh, in obedience to the divine command, again requiring him to let the children of Israel go out of his land; Pharaoh, as foretold, demanded of them to show a miracle for themselves, in proof of their commission, when Aaron cast down his rod, and it became a serpent before Pharaoh and before his servants, or officers of his court. The king then called upon his wise men and magicians, to know if they could do as much by the power of their gods, “and they did so with their enchantments; for they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents; but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their serpents.” Here the original 672phrase, , and they did so,” or in like manner,” may only indicate the attempt, and not the deed; as afterward, in the plague of lice, when they did so with their enchantments, but could not,” Exod. viii, 18. And, indeed, the original term, , rendered their enchantments,” as derived from the root , or , to hide or cover, fitly expresses the secret deceptions of legerdemain, or sleight-of-hand, to impose on spectators: and the remark of the magicians, when unable to imitate the production of lice, which was beyond their skill and dexterity, on account of their minuteness,--“This is the finger of a God!”--seems to strengthen the supposition; especially as the Egyptians were famous for legerdemain and for charming serpents: and the magicians, having had notice of the miracle they were expected to imitate, might make provision accordingly, and bring live serpents, which they might have substituted for their rods. And though Aaron’s serpent swallowed up their serpents, showing the superiority of the true miracle over the false, 2 Thess. ii, 9, it might only lead the king to conclude, that Moses and Aaron were more expert jugglers than Jannes and Jambres, who opposed them, 2 Timothy iii, 8. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, so that he hearkenedhearkened not unto them, as the Lord had said,” or foretold, Exod. vi, 10, 11; vii, 8–13. For the conduct of Moses as the deliverer and lawgiver of the Israelites, see Plagues of Egypt, Red Sea, and Law.

At Mount Sinai the Lord was pleased to make Moses, the redeemer of Israel, an eminent type of the Redeemer of the world. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words, which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him:” which Moses communicated to the people. The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me: unto him shall ye hearken,” Deut. xviii, 15–19. This prophet like unto Moses was our Lord Jesus Christ, who was by birth a Jew, of the middle class of the people, and resembled his predecessor, in personal intercourse with God, miracles, and legislation, which no other prophet did, Deut. xxxiv, 10–12; and to whom God, at his transfiguration, required the world to hearken, Matt. xvii, 5. Whence our Lord’s frequent admonition to the Jewish church, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,” Matthew xiii, 9, &c; which is addressed, also, by the Spirit to the Christian churches of Asia Minor, Rev. iii, 22.

In the affair of the Golden Calf, (see Calf,) the conduct of Moses showed the greatest zeal for God’s honour, and a holy indignation against the sin of Aaron and the people. And when Moses drew nigh, and saw their proceedings, his anger waxed hot, and he cast away the tables of the covenant, or stone tablets on which were engraven the ten commandments by the finger of God himself, and brake them beneath the mount, in the presence of the people; in token that the covenant between God and them was now rescinded on his part, in consequence of their transgression. He then took the golden calf, and burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and mixed it with water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. After thus destroying their idol, he inflicted punishment on the idolaters themselves; for he summoned all that were on the Lord’s side to attend him; and all the Levites having obeyed the call, he sent them, in the name of the Lord, to slay all the idolaters, from one end of the camp to the other, without favour or affection either to their neighbour or to their brother; and they slew about three thousand men. The Lord also sent a grievous plague among them for their idolatry, Exodus xxxii, 2–35, on which occasion Moses gave a signal proof of his love for his people, by interceding for them with the Lord; and of his own disinterestedness, in refusing the offer of the Almighty to adopt his family in their room, and make of them a great nation.” He prayed that God would blot him out of his book, that is, take away his life, if he would not forgive the great sin of his people;” and prevailed with God to alter his determination of withdrawing his presence from them, and sending an inferior angel to conduct them to the land of promise. So wonderful was the condescension of God to the voice of a man, and so mighty the power of prayer.

When the Lord had pardoned the people, and taken them again into favour, he commanded Moses to hew two tablets of stone, like the former which were broken, and to present them to him on the top of the mount; and on these the Lord wrote again the ten commandments, for a renewal of the covenant between him and his people. To reward and strengthen the faith of Moses, God was pleased, at his request, to grant him a fuller view of the divine glory, or presence, than he had hitherto done. And, to confirm his authority with the people on his return, after the second conference of forty days, he imparted to him a portion of that glory or light by which his immediate presence was manifested: for the face of Moses shone so that Aaron and all the people were afraid to come nigh him, until he had put a veil on his face, to hide its brightness. This was an honour never vouchsafed to mortal before nor afterward till Christ, the Prophet like Moses, in his transfiguration also, appeared arrayed in a larger measure of the same lustre. Then Moses again beheld the glory of the Word made flesh, and ministered thereto in a glorified form himself, Exod. xxxiv, 1–35; Matt. xvii, 1–8.

At Kibroth Hataavah, when the people loathed the manna, and longed for flesh, Moses betrayed great impatience, and wished for death. He was also reproved for unbelief. At Kadesh-barnea, Moses having encouraged the people to proceed, saying, Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee, 673go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto you: fear not,” Deut. i, 19–21; they betrayed great diffidence, and proposed to Moses to send spies to search out the land, and point out to them the way they should enter, and the course they should take. And the proposal pleased him well,” and with the consent of the Lord he sent twelve men, one out of each tribe, to spy out the land, Deut. i, 22, 23; Num. xiii, 1–20. All these, except Caleb and Joshua, having brought an evil report,” so discouraged the people, that they murmured against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt; or would God that we had died in the wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children shall be a prey Were it not better for us to return into Egypt And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and return into Egypt.” They even went so far as to propose to stone Joshua and Caleb, because they exhorted the people not to rebel against the Lord, nor to fear the people of the land, Num. xiv, 1–10; Deut. i, 26–28. Here again the noble patriotism of Moses was signally displayed. He again refused the divine offer to disinherit the Israelites, and make of him and his family a greater and mightier nation than they.” He urged the most persuasive motives with their offended God, not to destroy them with the threatened pestilence, lest the Heathen might say, that the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which he sware unto them.” He powerfully appealed to the long-tried mercies and forgivenesses they had experienced ever since their departure from Egypt; and his energetic supplication prevailed; for the Lord graciously said, I have pardoned, according to thy word: but verily, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord;” or shall adore him for his righteous judgments; for all these men which have seen my glory and my miracles which I did in Egypt, and in the wilderness, and have tempted me these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice, surely shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers: neither shall any of them that provoked me see it. As ye have spoken in my ears, so will I do unto you,” by a righteous retaliation: your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in; and they shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, after the number of the days in which ye searched the land, each day for a year, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness.” And immediately after this sentence, as the earnest of its full accomplishment, all the spies, except Caleb and Joshua, were cut off, and died by the plague before the Lord, Num. xiv, 11–37; Deut. i, 34–39.

The people now, to repair their fault, contrary to the advice of Moses, presumptuously went to invade the Amalekites and Canaanites of Mount Seir, or Hor; who defeated them, and chased them as bees to Hormah, Num. xiv, 39–45; Deut. i, 41–44. On the morrow they were ordered to turn away from the promised land, and to take their journey south-westward, toward the way of the Red Sea: and they abode in the wilderness of Kadesh many days, or years, Num. xiv, 25; Deut. i, 40–46. The ill success of the expedition against the Amalekites, according to Josephus, occasioned the rebellion of Korah, which broke out shortly after, against Moses and Aaron, with greater violence than any of the foregoing, under Korah, the ringleader, who drew into it Dathan and Abiram, the heads of the senior tribe of Reuben, and two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, among whom were even several of the Levites. (See Korah.) But although all Israel round about had fled at the cry of the devoted families of Dathan and Abiram, for fear that the earth should swallow them up also;” yet, on the morrow, they returned to their rebellious spirit, and murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord.” On this occasion also, the Lord threatened to consume them as in a moment; but, on the intercession of Moses, only smote them with a plague, which was stayed by an atonement made by Aaron, after the destruction of fourteen thousand seven hundred souls, Num. xvi, 41–50.

On the return of the Israelites, after many years’ wandering, to the same disastrous station of Kadesh-barnea, even Moses himself was guilty of an offence, in which his brother Aaron was involved, and for which both were excluded, as a punishment, from entering the promised land. At Meribah Kadesh the congregation murmured against Moses, for bringing them into a barren wilderness without water; when the Lord commanded Moses to take his rod, which had been laid up before the Lord, and with Aaron to assemble the congregation together, and to speak to the rock before their eyes; which should supply water for the congregation and their cattle. But Moses said unto the congregation, when they were assembled, Hear now, ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock And he smote the rock twice with his rod, and the water came out abundantly; and the congregation drank, and their cattle also. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel; therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them,” Num. xx, 1–13; and afterward in stronger terms: Because ye rebelled against my commandment,” &c, Numbers xxvii, 14.

The offence of Moses, as far as may be collected from so concise an account, seems to have been, 1. He distrusted or disbelieved that water could be produced from the rock only by speaking to it; which was a higher miracle than he had performed before at Rephidim, Exod. xvii, 6. 2. He unnecessarily smote the rock twice; thereby betraying an unwarrantable impatience. 3. He did not, at least in the 674phrase he used, ascribe the glory of the miracle wholly to God, but rather to himself and his brother: Must we fetch you water out of this rock” And he denominated them rebels” against his and his brother’s authority, which, although an implied act of rebellion against God, ought to have been stated, as on a former occasion, Ye have been rebels against the Lord, from the day that I knew you,” Deut. ix, 24, which he spake without blame. For want of more caution on this occasion, he spake unadvisedly with his lips, because they provoked his spirit,” Psalm cvi, 33. Thus was God sanctified at the waters of Meribah,” by his impartial justice, in punishing his greatest favourites when they did amiss, Num. xx, 13. How severely Moses felt his deprivation, appears from his humble, and it should seem repeated, supplications to the Lord to reverse the sentence: O Lord of gods, thou hast begun to show thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand; for what god is there in heaven or in earth that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might I pray thee let me go over and see the good land beyond Jordan, even that goodly mountain Lebanon,” or the whole breadth of the land. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and he said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up unto the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan,” Deut. iii, 23–27.

The faculties of this illustrious legislator, both of mind and body, were not impaired at the age of a hundred and twenty years, when he died. His eye was not dim, nor his natural strength abated,” Deut. xxxiv, 7: and the noblest of all his compositions was his Song, or the Divine Ode, which Bishop Lowth elegantly styles, Cycnea Oratio, “the Dying Swan’s Oration.” His death took place after the Lord had shown him, from the top of Pisgah, a distant view of the promised land, throughout its whole extent. He then buried his body in a valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Moab; but no man knoweth his sepulchre unto this day,” observes the sacred historian, who annexed the circumstances of his death to the book of Deuteronomy, xxxiv, 6. From an obscure passage in the New Testament, in which Michael the archangel is said to have contended with the devil about the body of Moses, Jude 9, some have thought that he was buried by the ministry of angels, near the scene of the idolatry of the Israelites; but that the spot was purposely concealed, lest his tomb might also be converted into an object of idolatrous worship among the Israelites, like the brazen serpent. Beth-peor lay in the lot of the Reubenites, Joshua xiii, 20. But on so obscure a passage nothing can be built. The body of Moses,” may figuratively mean the Jewish church; or the whole may be an allusion to a received tradition which, without affirming or denying its truth, might be made the basis of a moral lesson.

Josephus, who frequently attempts to embellish the simple narrative of Holy Writ, represents Moses as attended to the top of Pisgah by Joshua, his successor, Eleazar, the high priest, and the whole senate; and that, after he had dismissed the senate, while he was conversing with Joshua and Eleazar, and embracing them, a cloud suddenly came over and enveloped him; and he vanished from their sight, and he was taken away to a certain valley. In the sacred books,” says he, it is written, that he died; fearing to say that on account of his transcendent virtue, he had departed to the Deity.” The Jewish historian has here, perhaps, imitated the account of our Lord’s ascension, furnished by the evangelist, Luke xxiv, 50; Acts i, 9; wishing to raise Moses to a level with Christ. The preëminence of Moses’s character is briefly described by the sacred historian, Samuel or Ezra: And there arose not a prophet since, in Israel, like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face; in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and all his servants, and all his land; and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel,” Deut. xxxiv, 10–12.

So marked and hallowed is the character of this, the most eminent of mere men, that it has often been successfully made the basis of an irresistible argument for the truth of his divine mission. Thus Cellérier observes, Every imposture has an object in view, and an aim more or less selfish. Men practise deceit for money, for pleasure, or for glory. If, by a strange combination, the love of mankind ever entered into the mind of an impostor, doubtless, even then, he has contrived to reconcile, at least, his own selfish interests with those of the human race. If men deceive others, for the sake of causing their own opinions or their own party to triumph, they may sometimes, perhaps, forget their own interests during the struggle, but they again remember them when the victory is achieved. It is a general rule, that no impostor forgets himself long. But Moses forgot himself, and forgot himself to the last. Yet there is no middle supposition. If Moses was not a divinely inspired messenger, he was an impostor in the strongest sense of the term. It is not, as in the case of Numa, a slight and single fraud, designed to secure some good end, that we have to charge him with, but a series of deceits, many of which were gross; a profound, dishonest, perfidious, sanguinary dissimulation, continued for the space of forty years. If Moses was not a divinely commissioned prophet, he was not the saviour of the people, but their tyrant and their murderer. Still, we repeat, this barbarous impostor always forgot himself; and his disinterestedness, as regarded himself personally, his family, and his tribe, is one of the most extraordinary features in his administration. As to himself personally: He is destined to die in the wilderness; he is never to taste the tranquillity, the plenty, and the delight, the possession of 675which he promises to his countrymen; he shares with them only their fatigues and privations; he has more anxieties than they, on their account, in their acts of disobedience, and in their perpetual murmurings. As to his family: He does not nominate his sons as his successors; he places them, without any privileges or distinctions, among the obscure sons of Levi; they are not even admitted into the sacerdotal authority. Unlike all other fathers, Moses withdraws them from public view, and deprives them of the means of obtaining glory and favour. Samuel and Eli assign a part of their paternal authority to their sons, and permit them even to abuse it; but the sons of Moses, in the wilderness, are only the simple servants of the tabernacle; like all the other sons of Kohath, if they even dare to raise the veil which covers the sacred furniture, the burden of which they carry, death is denounced against them. Where can we find more complete disinterestedness than in Moses Is not his the character of an upright man, who has the general good, not his own interests, at heart; of a man who submissively acquiesces in the commands of God, without resistance and without demur When we consider these several things; when we reflect on all the ministry of Moses, on his life, on his death, on his character, on his abilities, and his success; we are powerfully convinced that he was the messenger of God. If we consider him only as an able legislator, as a Lycurgus, as a Numa, his actions are inexplicable: we find not in him the affections, the interests, the views which usually belong to the human heart. The simplicity, the harmony, the verity of his natural character are gone; they give place to an incoherent union of ardour and imposture; of daring and of timidity, of incapacity and genius, of cruelty and sensibility. No! Moses was inspired by God: he received from God the law which he left his countrymen.

To Moses we owe that important portion of Holy Scripture, the Pentateuch, which brings us acquainted with the creation of the world, the entrance of sin and death, the first promises of redemption, the flood, the peopling of the postdiluvian earth, and the origin of nations, the call of Abraham, and the giving of the law. We have, indeed, in it the early history of religion, and a key to all the subsequent dispensations of God to man. The genuineness and authenticity of these most venerable and important books have been established by various writers; but the following remarks upon the veracity of the writings of Moses have the merit of compressing much argument into few words:--1. There is a minuteness in the details of the Mosaic writings, which bespeaks their truth; for it often bespeaks the eye-witness, as in the adventures of the wilderness; and often seems intended to supply directions to the artificer, as in the construction of the tabernacle. 2. There are touches of nature in the narrative which bespeak its truth, for it is not easy to regard them otherwise than as strokes from the life; as where the mixed multitude,” whether half-castes or Egyptians, are the first to sigh for the cucumbers and melons of Egypt, and to spread discontent through the camp, Num. xi, 4; as the miserable exculpation of himself, which Aaron attempts, with all the cowardice of conscious guilt, I cast into the fire, and there came out this calf:” the fire, to be sure, being in the fault, Exod. xxxii, 24. 3. There are certain little inconveniences represented as turning up unexpectedly, that bespeak truth in the story; for they are just such accidents as are characteristic of the working of a new system and untried machinery. What is to be done with the man who is found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day Num. xv, 32. (Could an impostor have devised such a trifle) How is the inheritance of the daughters of Zelophehad to be disposed of, there being no heir male Num. xxxvi, 2. Either of them inconsiderable matters in themselves, but both giving occasion to very important laws; the one touching life, and the other property. 4. There is a simplicity in the manner of Moses, when telling his tale, which bespeaks its truth: no parade of language, no pomp of circumstance even in his miracles, a modesty and dignity throughout all. Let us but compare him in any trying scene with Josephus; his description, for instance, of the passage through the Red Sea, Exod. xiv, of the murmuring of the Israelites and the supply of quails and manna, with the same as given by the Jewish historian, or rhetorician we might rather say, and the force of the observation will be felt. 5. There is a candour in the treatment of his subject by Moses, which bespeaks his truth; as when he tells of his own want of eloquence, which unfitted him for a leader, Exod. iv, 10; his own want of faith, which prevented him from entering the promised land, Num. xx, 12; the idolatry of Aaron his brother, Exod. xxxii, 21; the profaneness of Nadab and Abihu, his nephews, Lev. x; the disaffection and punishment of Miriam, his sister, Num. xii, 1. 6. There is a disinterestedness in his conduct, which bespeaks him to be a man of truth; for though he had sons, he apparently takes no measures during his life to give them offices of trust or profit; and at his death he appoints as his successor one who had no claims upon him, either of alliance, of clanship, or of blood. 7. There are certain prophetical passages in the writings of Moses, which bespeak their truth; as, several respecting the future Messiah, and the very sublime and literal one respecting the final fall of Jerusalem, Deut. xxviii. 8. There is a simple key supplied by these writings, to the meaning of many ancient traditions current among the Heathens, though greatly disguised, which is another circumstance that bespeaks their truth: as, the golden age; the garden of the Hesperides; the fruit tree in the midst, of the garden which the dragon guarded; the destruction of mankind by a flood, all except two persons, and those righteous persons,

Innocuos ambos, cultores numinis ambos;
[Both innocent, both worshippers of Deity;]

676the rainbow, which Jupiter set in the cloud, a sign to men;” the seventh day a sacred day; with many others, all conspiring to establish the reality of the facts which Moses relates, because tending to show that vestiges of the like present themselves in the traditional history of the world at large. 9. The concurrence which is found between the writings of Moses and those of the New Testament bespeaks their truth: the latter constantly appealing to them, being indeed but the completion of the system which the others are the first to put forth. Nor is this an illogical argument; for, though the credibility of the New Testament itself may certainly be reasoned out from the truth of the Pentateuch once established, it is still very far from depending on that circumstance exclusively, or even principally. The New Testament demands acceptance on its own merits, on merits distinct from those on which the books of Moses rest, therefore (so far as it does so) it may fairly give its suffrage for their veracity, valeat quantum valet: [it may avail as far as it goes;] and surely it is a very improbable thing, that two dispensations, separated by an interval of some fifteen hundred years, each exhibiting prophecies of its own, since fulfilled; each asserting miracles of its own, on strong evidence of its own; that two dispensations, with such individual claims to be believed, should also be found to stand in the closest relation to one another, and yet both turn out impostures after all. 10. Above all, there is a comparative purity in the theology and morality of the Pentateuch, which argues not only its truth, but its high original; for how else are we to account for a system like that of Moses, in such an age and among such a people; that the doctrine of the unity, the self-existence, the providence, the perfections of the great God of heaven and earth, should thus have blazed forth (how far more brightly than even in the vaunted schools of Athens at its most refined era!) from the midst of a nation, of themselves ever plunging into gross and grovelling idolatry; and that principles of social duty, of benevolence, and of self-restraint, extending even to the thoughts of the heart, should have been the produce of an age which the very provisions of the Levitical law itself show to have been full of savage and licentious abominations Exod. iii, 14; xx, 3–17; Lev. xix, 2, 18; Deut. vi, 4; xxx, 6. Such are some of the internal evidences for the veracity of the books of Moses. 11. Then the situation in which the Jews actually found themselves placed, as a matter of fact, is no slight argument for the truth of the Mosaic accounts; reminded, as they were, by certain memorials observed from year to year, of the great events of their early history, just as they are recorded in the writings of Moses, memorials universally recognised both in their object and in their authority. The passover, for instance, celebrated by all, no man doubting its meaning, no man in all Israel assigning to it any other origin than one, viz. that of being a contemporary monument of a miracle displayed in favour of the people of Israel; by right of which credentials, and no other, it summoned from all quarters of the world, at great cost, and inconvenience, and danger, the dispersed Jews, none disputing the obligation to obey the summons. 12. Then the heroic devotion with which the Israelites continued to regard the law, even long after they had ceased to cultivate the better part of it, even when that very law only served to condemn its worshippers, so that they would offer themselves up by thousands, with their children and wives, as martyrs to the honour of their temple, in which no image, even of an emperor, who could scourge them with scorpions for their disobedience, should be suffered to stand, and they live: so that rather than violate the sanctity of the Sabbath day, the bravest men in arms would lay down their lives as tamely as sheep, and allow themselves to be burned in the holes where they had taken refuge from their cruel and cowardly pursuers. All this points to their law, as having been at first promulgated under circumstances too awful to be forgotten even after the lapse of ages. 13. Then again, the extraordinary degree of national pride with which the Jews boasted themselves to be God’s peculiar people, as if no nation ever was or ever could be so nigh to him; a feeling which the early teachers of Christianity found an insuperable obstacle to the progress of the Gospel among them, and which actually did effect its ultimate rejection, this may well seem to be founded upon a strong traditional sense of uncommon tokens of the Almighty’s regard for them above all other nations of the earth, which they had heard with their ears, or their fathers had declared unto them, even the noble works that he had done in the old time before them. 14. Then again, the constant craving after a sign,” which beset them in the latter days of their history, as a lively certificate of the prophet; and not after a sign only, but after such a one as they would themselves prescribe: What sign showest thou, that we may see, and believe Our fathers did eat manna in the desert,” John vi, 31. This desire, so frequently expressed, and with which they are so frequently reproached, looks like the relic of an appetite engendered in other times, when they had enjoyed the privilege of more intimate communion with God; it seems the wake, as it were, of miracles departed. 15. Lastly, the very onerous nature of the law; so studiously meddling with all the occupations of life, great and small;--this yoke would scarcely have been endured, without the strongest assurance, on the part of those who were galled by it, of the authority by which it was imposed. For it met them with some restraint or other at every turn. Would they plough then it must not be with an ox and an ass. Would they sow then must not the seed be mixed. Would they reap then must they not reap clean. Would they make bread then must they set apart dough enough for the consecrated loaf. Did they find a bird’s nest then must they let the old bird fly away. Did they hunt then they must shed the blood of their game, and 677cover it with dust. Did they plant a fruit tree for three years was the fruit to be uncircumcised. Did they shave their beards they were not to cut the corners. Did they weave a garment then must it be only with threads prescribed. Did they build a house they must put rails and battlements on the roof. Did they buy an estate at the year of jubilee, back it must go to its owner. All these (and how many more of the same kind might be named!) are enactments which it must have required extraordinary influence in the lawgiver to enjoin, and extraordinary reverence for his powers to perpetuate.

Still, after all, says Mr. Blunt, unbelievers may start difficulties,--this I dispute not; difficulties, too, which we may not always be able to answer, though I think we may be always able to neutralize them. It may be a part of our trial, that such difficulties should exist and be encountered; for there can be no reason why temptations should not be provided for the natural pride of our understanding, as well as for the natural lusts of our flesh. To many, indeed, they would be the more formidable of the two, perhaps to the angels who kept not their first estate they proved so. With such facts, however, before me, as these which I have submitted to my readers, I can come to no conclusion but one,--that when we read the writings of Moses, we read no cunningly devised fables, but solemn and safe records of great and marvellous events, which court examination, and sustain it; records of such apparent veracity and faithfulness, that I can understand our Lord to have spoken almost without a figure, when he said, that he who believed not Moses, neither would he be persuaded though one rose from the dead.

MOTH, , Job iv, 19; and , Job xiii, 28; xxvii, 18; Psalm vi, 7; xxxi, 9, 10; xxxix, 11; Isaiah l, 9; Hosea v, 12. The clothes moth is the tinea argentea; of a white, shining silver, or pearl colour. It is clothed with shells, fourteen in number, and these are scaly. Albin asserts this to be the insect that eats woollen stuffs; and says that it is produced from a gray speckled moth, that flies by night, creeps among woollens, and there lays her eggs, which, after a little time, are hatched as worms, and in this state they feed on their habitation, till they change into a chrysalis, and thence emerge into moths. The young moth, or moth worm,” says the Abbé Pluche, upon leaving the egg which a papilio had lodged upon a piece of stuff commodious for her purpose, finds a proper place of residence, grows and feeds upon the nap, and likewise builds with it an apartment, which is fixed to the groundwork of the stuff with several cords and a little glue. From an aperture in this habitation, the moth worm devours and demolishes all about him; and, when he has cleared the place, he draws out all the fastenings of his tent; after which he carries it to some little distance, and then fixes it with the slender cords in a new situation. In this manner he continues to live at our expense, till he is satisfied with his food, at which period he is first transformed into the nympha, and then changed into the papilio.”

The allusions to this insect in the sacred writings are very striking: Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool.” They shall perish with as little noise as a garment under the tooth of a moth, Isaiah li, 7, 8. In the prophecies of Hosea, God himself says, I will be as a moth unto Ephraim, and as a lion;” that is, I will send silent and secret judgments upon him, which shall imperceptibly waste his beauty, corrode his power, and diminish his strength, and will finish his destruction with open and irresistible calamities. Or the meaning may be, As the moth crumbles into dust under the slightest pressure, or the gentlest touch, so man dissolves with equal ease, and vanishes into darkness, under the finger of the Almighty. Deeply sensible of this affecting truth, the royal Psalmist earnestly deprecates the judgments of God, humbly confessing his own weakness, and the inability of every man to endure his frown: Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thy hand. When thou with rebukes doth correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah,” Psalm xxxix, 10, 11. Such, in the estimation of Job, is the fading prosperity of a wicked man: He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh,” Job xxvii, 18. His unrighteous acquisitions shall be of short continuance; they shall moulder insensibly away, returning to the lawful owner, or pass into the possession of others. It is in this sense that the Lord threatens: I will be unto Ephraim as a moth,” Hosea v, 12. By the secret curse of God he shall fade away, and whatever is most precious in his estimation shall be gradually dissolved and consumed, as a garment eaten by the moth. The same allusion is involved in the direction of our Lord to his disciples: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal,” Matthew vi, 19, 20. The word treasure commonly suggests to our minds the idea of some durable substance, as precious stones, gold, and silver, upon which the persevering industry of a moth can make no impression; but, in the language of inspiration, it denotes every thing collected together which men reckon valuable. The Jews had treasures of raiment as well as of corn, of wine, of oil, of honey, Jer. xli, 8; and of gold, silver, and brass, Ezek. xxxiii, 4; Dan. xi, 43. The robes of princes were a part of their treasure, upon which they often set a particular value. Rich vestments made a conspicuous figure in the treasury of Ulysses. These were, from their nature, exposed to the depredations of the moth; fabricated of perishing materials, they were liable to be prematurely 678consumed, or taken away by fraud or violence; but the favour of God, and the graces of his Spirit, and the enjoyment of eternal happiness, are neither liable to internal decay nor external violence, and by consequence, are the proper objects of our highest regard, chief solicitude, and constant pursuit. It is also likely, that by moth” our Lord meant all the kinds of small insects which devour or spoil the different kinds of property, such as corn, honey, fruits, &c, which were treasured up for the future. These, in warm countries, are very numerous and destructive.

MOURNING. See Burial and Dead.

MOUSE, , in Chaldee acalbar, probably the same with the aliarbui of the Arabians or the jerboa, Leviticus xi, 29; 1 Samuel vi, 4, 5, 11, 18; Isaiah xlvi, 17. All interpreters acknowledge that the Hebrew word achbar signifies a mouse,” and more especially a field mouse.” Moses declares it to be unclean, which insinuates that it was sometimes eaten; and, indeed, it is affirmed that the Jews were so oppressed with famine during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, that, notwithstanding this prohibition, they were compelled to eat dogs, mice, and rats. Isaiah, lxvi, 17, justly reproaches the Jews with eating the flesh of mice and other things that were impure and abominable. It is known what spoil was made by mice in the fields of the Philistines, 1 Sam. vi, 5, 6, &c, after this people had brought into the country the ark of the Lord; so that they were obliged to take the resolution to send it back, accompanied with mice and emerods of gold, as an atonement for the irreverence they had committed, and to avert from their land the vengeance that pursued them. Judea has suffered by these animals in other times. William, archbishop of Tyre, records, that in the beginning of the twelfth century a penitential council was held at Naplouse, where five and twenty canons were framed for the correction of the manners of the inhabitants of the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem, who, they apprehended, had provoked God to bring upon them the calamities of earthquakes, war, and famine. This last the archbishop ascribes to locusts and devouring mice, which had for four years together so destroyed the fruits of the earth, as seemed to cause almost a total failure in their crops. Bochart has collected many curious accounts relative to the terrible devastation made by these animals.

MULBERRY TREE, , 2 Sam. v, 23, 24; 1 Chronicles xiv, 14, 15; Psalm lxxxiv, 7. The LXX, in Chronicles, render the word by p, pear trees;” so Aquila and the Vulgate, both in Samuel and Chronicles, pyrorum.” Others translate it the mulberry tree.” More probably it is the large shrub which the Arabs still call baca;” and which gave name to the valley where it abounded. Of this valley Celsius remarks, that it was rugged and embarrassed with bushes and stones, which could not be passed through without labour and tears;” referring to Psalm lxxxiv, 7; and the rough valley,” Deut. xxi, 4; and he quotes from a manuscript of Abu'l Fideli a description of the tree which grew there, and mentions it as bearing a fruit of an acrid taste.

MULE, , 2 Sam. xiii, 29; 1 Kings i, 33; x, 25, &c. A mongrel kind of quadruped, between the horse and the ass. Its form bears a considerable resemblance to the last mentioned animal; but in its disposition it is rather vicious and intractable; so that its obstinacy has become a proverb. With this creature the early ages were probably unacquainted. It is very certain the Jews did not breed mules, because it was forbidden them to couple together two creatures of different species, Lev. xix, 19. But they were not prohibited the making use of them: thus we find in David’s time that they had become very common, and made up a considerable part of the equipage of princes, 2 Sam. xiii, 29; xviii, 9; 1 Kings i, 33, 38, 44; x, 25; 2 Chron. ix, 24.

MURDER. Among the Hebrews murder was always punished with death; but involuntary homicide, only by banishment. Cities of refuge were appointed for involuntary manslaughter, whither the slayer might retire and continue in safety till the death of the high priest, Num. xxxv, 28. Then the offender was at liberty to return to his own house, if he pleased. A murderer was put to death without remission, and the kinsman of the murdered person might kill him with impunity. Money could not redeem his life: he was dragged away from the altar, if he had there taken refuge. When a dead body was found in the fields of a person slain by a murderer unknown, Moses commanded that the elders and judges of the neighbouring places should resort to the spot, Deut. xxi, 1–8. The elders of the city nearest to it were to take a heifer which had never yet borne the yoke, and were to lead it into some rude and uncultivated place, which had not been ploughed or sowed, where they were to cut its throat. The priests of the Lord, with the elders and magistrates of the city, were to come near the dead body, and, washing their hands over the heifer that had been slain, were to say, Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it shed. Lord, be favourable to thy people Israel, and impute not to us this blood, which has been shed in the midst of our country.” This ceremony may inform us how much horror they conceived at the crime of murder; and it shows their fear that God might avenge it on the whole country; which was supposed to contract pollution by the blood spilt in it, unless it were expiated, and avenged on him who had occasioned it, if he could be discovered.

MUSIC is probably nearly coeval with our race, or, at least, with the first attempts to preserve the memory of transactions. Before the invention of writing, the history of remarkable events was committed to memory, and handed down by oral tradition. The knowledge of laws and of useful arts was preserved in the same way. Rhythm and song were probably soon found important helps to the memory; and thus the muses became the early instructers of mankind. Nor was it long, we 679may conjecture, before dancing and song united contributed to festivity, or to the solemnities of religion. The first instruments of music were probably of the pulsatile kind; and rhythm, it is likely, preceded the observation of those intervals of sound which are so pleasing to the ear. The first mention of stringed instruments, however, precedes the deluge. Tubal, the sixth descendant from Cain, was the father of all such as handle the harp and the organ.” About five hundred and fifty years after the deluge, or B. C. 1800, according to the common chronology, both vocal and instrumental music are spoken of as things in general use: And Laban said, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp” Gen. xxxi, 26, 27.

Egypt has been called the cradle of the arts and sciences, and there can be no doubt of the very early civilization of that country. To the Egyptian Mercury, or Thoth, who is called Trismegistos, or thrice illustrious,” is ascribed the invention of the lyre, which had at first only three strings. It would be idle to mention the various conjectures how these strings were tuned, or to try to settle the chronology of this invention. The single flute, which they called photinx, is also ascribed to the Egyptians. Its shape was that of a horn, of which, no doubt, it was originally made. Before the invention of these instruments, as Dr. Burney justly observes, music could have been little more than metrical, as no other instruments except those of percussion were known. When the art was first discovered of refining and sustaining tones, the power of music over mankind was probably irresistible, from the agreeable surprise which soft and lengthened sounds must have occasioned.” The same learned writer has given a drawing, made under his own eye, of an Egyptian musical instrument, represented on a very ancient obelisk at Rome, brought from Egypt by Augustus. This obelisk is supposed to have been erected at Heliopolis, by Sesostris, near four hundred years before the Trojan war. The most remarkable thing in this instrument is, that it is supplied with a neck, so that its two strings were capable of furnishing a great number of sounds. This is a contrivance which the Greeks, with all their ingenuity, never hit upon. I have never been able,” says the doctor, to discover in any remains of Greek sculpture, an instrument furnished with a neck; and Father Montfaucon says that in examining the representations of near five hundred ancient lyres, harps, and citharas, he never met with one in which there was any contrivance for shortening the strings during the time of performance, as by a neck and finger board.” From the long residence of the Hebrews in Egypt, it is no improbable conjecture that their music was derived from that source. However that may be, music, vocal and instrumental, made one important part of their religious service. If the excellence of the music was conformable to the sublimity of the poetry which it accompanied, there would be no injustice in supposing it unspeakably superior to that of every other people; and the pains that were taken to render the tabernacle and temple music worthy of the subjects of their lofty odes, leaves little doubt that it was so. That the instruments were loud and sonorous, will appear from what follows; but as the public singing was performed in alternate responses, or the chorus of all succeeded to those parts of the psalm which were sung only by the appointed leaders, instruments of this kind were necessary to command and control the voices of so great a number as was usually assembled on high occasions.

The Hebrews insisted on having music at marriages, on anniversary birth days, on the days which reminded them of victories over their enemies, at the inauguration of their kings, in their public worship, and when they were coming from afar to attend the great festivals of their nation, Isaiah xxx, 29. In the tabernacle and the temple, the Levites were the lawful musicians; but on other occasions any one might use musical instruments who chose. There was this exception, however: the holy silver trumpets were to be blown only by the priests, who, by the sounding of them, proclaimed the festival days, assembled the leaders of the people, and gave the signal for the battle and for the retreat, Num. x, 1–10. David, in order to give the best effect to the music of the tabernacle, divided the four thousand Levites into twenty-four classes, who sung psalms, and accompanied them with music. Each of these classes was superintended by a leader, placed over it; and they performed the duties which devolved upon them, each class a week at a time in succession, 1 Chron. xvi, 5; xxiii, 4, 5; xxv, 1–31; 2 Chron. v, 12, 13. The classes collectively, as a united body, were superintended by three directors. This arrangement was subsequently continued by Solomon after the erection of the temple, and was transmitted till the time of the overthrow of Jerusalem. It was indeed sometimes interrupted, during the reign of the idolatrous kings, but was restored by their successors, 2 Chron. v, 12–14; xxix, 27; xxxv, 15. It was even continued after the captivity, Ezra iii, 10; Neh. xii, 45–47; 1 Mac. iv, 54; xiii, 51. It should be remarked, however, that neither music nor poetry attained to the same excellence after the captivity as before that period.

There were women singers as well as men in the temple choir; for in the book of Ezra, among those who returned from the Babylonish captivity, there are said to have been two hundred, Ezra ii, 65; and in Nehemiah vii, 67, we read of two hundred and forty-five singing men and women. The Jewish doctors will, indeed, by no means admit there were any female voices in the temple choir; and as for those , meshoreroth, as they are called in the Hebrew, they suppose them to be the 680wives of those who sung. Nevertheless, the following passage makes it evident that women, likewise, were thus employed: God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters; and all these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God,” 1 Chron. xxv, 5, 6. Instrumental music was first introduced into the Jewish service by Moses; and afterward, by the express command of God, was very much improved with the addition of several instruments in the reign of David. When Hezekiah restored the temple service, which had been neglected in his predecessor’s reign, “he set the Levites in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet; for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets,” 2 Chron. xxix, 25.

The harp, , kinnor, was the most ancient of the class of stringed instruments, Gen. iv, 21. It was sometimes called , or eight stringed,” 1 Chron. xv, 21; Psalm vi, 1; xii, 1; although, as we may gather from the coins or medals of the Maccabean age, there were some harps which were furnished with only three strings. The nablum or psaltery, a, aa, , is first mentioned in the Psalms of David. In Psalms xxxiii, 2, and cxliv, 9, it is called , a ten-stringed instrument;” but in Psalm xcii, 3, it is distinguished from it. Josephus assigns to it twelve strings, which, taken in connection with the fact above stated, leaves us to conclude that it sometimes had ten and sometimes twelve strings. It was not played with a bow or fret, but with the fingers: the act of playing it is expressed in Hebrew by the word . It resembled in form a right-angled triangle, or the Greek delta, , inverted. The body of it was of wood and hollow, and was enclosed with a piece of leather tensely drawn. The chords were extended on the outside of the leather, and were fixed at one end into the transverse part of the triangular body of the instrument. Such is its form at the present day in the east; but it has only five strings in its modern shape, 2 Sam. vi, 5; 1 Kings x, 12. There was another instrument of this kind used in Babylonia: it was triangular in form. In Greek it is called saµ; in Hebrew, and . It had originally only four, but subsequently twenty, strings, Dan. iii, 5, 7, 10, 15. Among their wind instruments was the organ, so called in the English version, in Hebrew, , Gen. iv, 21. It may be styled the ancient shepherd’s pipe, corresponding most nearly to the s, or the pipe of Pan among the Greeks. It consisted at first of only one or two, but afterward of about seven, pipes made of reeds, and differing from each other in length. The instrument called , used in Babylon, Dan. iii, 5, was of a similar construction. , , and , chalil, nechiloth, and nekeb, are wind instruments made of various materials, such as wood, reeds, horns, and bones. As far as we may be permitted to judge from the three kinds of pipes now used in the east, the Hebrew instrument called nechiloth is the one that is double in its structure; chalil is perhaps the one of simpler form, having a single stem with an orifice through it; while nekeb answers to the one without an orifice, Isaiah v, 12; xxx, 29; Jer. xlviii, 36; Psalm v, 1; Ezek. xxviii, 13. , or, according to the marginal reading, , Dan. iii, 5, 10, was a wind instrument made of reeds, by the Syrians called sambonja, by the Greeks samponja, and by the Italians zampogna. According to Servius, it was of a crooked shape. , the horn or crooked trumpet, was a very ancient instrument. It was made of the horns of oxen, which were cut off at the smaller extremity, and thus presented an orifice which extended through. In progress of time, rams’ horns were hollowed and employed for the same purpose. It is probable that in some instances it was made of brass, fashioned so as to resemble a horn. It was greatly used in war, and its sound resembled thunder. , chatsoteroth, the silver trumpet, was straight, a cubit in length, hollow throughout, and at the larger extremity shaped so as to resemble the mouth of a small bell. In times of peace, when the people or the rulers were to be assembled together, this trumpet was blown softly. When the camps were to move forward, or the people to march to war, it was sounded with a deeper note.

There were several sorts of drums. The , toph, rendered in the English version tabret and timbrel, Gen. xxxi, 27, consisted of a circular hoop, either of wood or brass, three inches and six-tenths wide, was covered with a skin tensely drawn, and hung round with small bells. It was held in the left hand, and beaten to notes of music with the right. The ladies through all the east, even to this day, dance to the sound of this instrument, Exod. xv, 20; Job xvii, 6; xxi, 12; 2 Sam. vi, 5. The cymbals, , tseltselim, , were of two kinds formerly, as there are to this day, in the east. The first consisted of two flat pieces of metal or plates: the musician held one of them in his right hand, the other in his left, and smote them together, as an accompaniment to other instruments. This cymbal and the mode of using it may be often seen in modern armies. The second kind of cymbals, consisted of four small plates attached, two to each hand, which the ladies, as they danced, smote together. But , Zech. xiv, 20, rendered in the English version bells, are not musical instruments, as some suppose, nor indeed bells, but concave pieces or plates of brass, which were sometimes attached to horses for the sake of ornament.

MUSTARD, sap, Matt. xiii, 32; xvii, 20; Mark iv, 31; Luke xiii, 19; xvii, 6; a well known garden herb. Christ compares the kingdom of heaven to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in the earth, which indeed,” said he, is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches 681thereof,” Matt. xiii, 31, 32. This expression will not appear strange,” says Sir Thomas Browne, if we recollect that the mustard seed, though it be not simply and in itself the smallest of seeds, yet may be very well believed to be the smallest of such as are apt to grow unto a ligneous substance, and become a kind of tree.” The expression, also, that it might grow into such dimensions that birds might lodge on its branches, may be literally conceived, if we allow the luxuriancy of plants in India above our northern regions. And he quotes upon this occasion what is recorded in the Jewish story, of a mustard tree that was to be climbed like a fig tree. The Talmud also mentions one whose branches were so extensive as to cover a tent. Without insisting on the accuracy of this, we may gather from it that we should not judge of eastern vegetables by those which are familiar to ourselves. Scheuchzer describes a species of mustard which grows several feet high, with a tapering stalk, and spreads into many branches. Of this arborescent or treelike vegetable, he gives a print; and Linnæus mentions a species whose branches were real wood, which he names sinapi erucoides. But whatever kind of tree our Lord meant, it is clear, from the fact that he never takes his illustrations from any objects but such as were familiar, and often present in the scene around him, that he spoke of one which the Jews well knew to have minute seeds, and yet to be of so large growth as to afford shelter for the birds of the air.

MYRRH, , Exod. xxx, 23; Esther ii, 12; Psalm xiv, 8; Prov. vii, 17; Cant. i, 13; iii, 6; iv, 6, 14; v, 1, 5, 13; sµa, Ecclus. xxiv, 15; Matt. ii, Mark xv, 23; John xix, 39; a precious kind of gum issuing by incision, and sometimes spontaneously, from the trunk and larger branches of a tree growing in Egypt, Arabia, and Abyssinia. Its taste is extremely bitter, but its smell, though strong, is not disagreeable; and among the ancients it entered into the composition of the most costly ointments. As a perfume, it appears to have been used to give a pleasant fragrance to vestments, and to be carried by females in little caskets in the bosoms. The magi, who came from the east to worship our Saviour at Bethlehem, made him a present of myrrh among other things, Matt. ii, 11.

MYRTLE, , Neh. viii, 15; Isaiah xli, 19; lv, 13; Zech. i, 8–10; a shrub, sometimes growing to a small tree, very common in Judea. It has a hard woody root that sends forth a great number of small flexible branches, furnished with leaves like those of box, but much less, and more pointed: they are soft to the touch, shining, smooth, of a beautiful green, and have a sweet smell. The flowers grow among the leaves, and consist of five white petals disposed in the form of a rose: they have an agreeable perfume, and ornamental appearance. Savary, describing a scene at the end of the forest of Platanea, says, Myrtles, intermixed with laurel roses, grow in the valleys to the height of ten feet. Their snow-white flowers, bordered with a purple edging, appear to peculiar advantage under the verdant foliage. Each myrtle is loaded with them, and they emit perfumes more exquisite than those of the rose itself. They enchant every one, and the soul is filled with the softest sensations.” The myrtle is mentioned in Scripture among lofty trees, not as comparing with them in size, but as contributing with them to the beauty and richness of the scenery. Thus Isaiah, xii, 19, intending to describe a scene of varied excellence: I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, and the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree;” that is, I will adorn the dreary and barren waste with trees famed for their stature and the grandeur of their appearance, the beauty of their form, and also the fragrance of their odour. The apocryphal Baruch, v, 8, speaking of the return from Babylon, expresses the protection afforded by God to the people by the same image: Even the woods and every sweet-smelling tree shall overshadow Israel by the commandment of God.”

MYSIA, a country of Asia Minor, having the Propontis on the north, Bithynia on the north-east and east, Phrygia on the south-east, Lydia (from which it was separated by the river Hermus) on the south, the Ægean Sea on the west, and the narrow strait, called the Hellespont, on the north-west. Mysia was visited by St. Paul in his circuit through Asia Minor; but he was not suffered by the Spirit to remain there, being directed to pass over into Macedonia, Acts xvi, 7–10. In this country stood the ancient city Troy; as also that of Pergamus, one of the seven churches of Asia. Under the Romans it was made a province of the empire, and called Hellespontus; and its inhabitants are represented by Cicero as base and contemptible to a proverb.

MYSTERY. The Greek word µ denotes, 1. Something hidden, or not fully manifest. Thus, 2 Thess. ii, 7, we read of the mystery of iniquity,” which began to work in secret, but was not then completely disclosed or manifested. 2. Some sacred thing hidden or secret, which is naturally unknown to human reason, and is only known by the revelation of God. Thus, Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified by the Spirit,” &c, 1 Tim. iii, 16. The mystery of godliness, or of true religion, consisted in the several particulars here mentioned by the Apostle; particulars, indeed, which it would never have entered into the heart of man to conceive,” 1 Cor. ii, 9, had not God accomplished them in fact, and published them by the preaching of his Gospel; but which, being thus manifested, are intelligible, as facts, to the meanest understanding. In like manner, the term mystery, Rom. xi, 25; 1 Cor. xv, 51, denotes what was hidden or unknown, till revealed; and thus the Apostle speaks of a man’s understanding all mysteries,” 1 Cor. xiii, 2; that is, all the revealed truths of the Christian religion, which is elsewhere called the mystery of faith,” 1 Tim. iii, 9. And when he who 682spake in an unknown tongue is said to speak mysteries,” 1 Cor. xiv, 2, it is plain, that these mysteries, however unintelligible to others on account of the language in which they were spoken, were yet understood by the person himself, because he hereby edified himself,” 1 Cor. xiv, 4; Acts ii, 11; x, 46. And though in 1 Cor. ii, 7, 8, we read of the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which none of the princes of this world knew;” yet, says the Apostle, we speak or declare this wisdom; and he observes, verse 10, that God had revealed the particulars of which it consisted to them by his Spirit. So when the Apostles are called stewards of the mysteries of God,” 1 Cor. iv, 1, these mysteries could not mean what were, as facts, unknown to them; (because to them it was given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,” Matt. xiii, 11;) yea, the character here ascribed to them implies not only that they knew these mysteries themselves, but that as faithful stewards they were to dispense or make them known to others, Luke xii, 42; 1 Pet. iv, 10. In Col. ii, 2, St. Paul mentions his praying for his converts, that their hearts might be comforted to the knowledge of the mystery of God, even of the Father, and of Christ;” for thus the passage should be translated. But if, with our translators, we render ps, acknowledgment, still the word µ can by no means exclude knowledge; for this is life eternal,” saith our Lord, John xvii, 3, that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” And, lastly, whatever be the particular meaning of the mystery of God,” mentioned Rev. x, 7, yet it was something he had declared to (or rather by) his servants the prophets.” 3. The word mystery is sometimes in the writings of St. Paul applied in a peculiar sense to the calling of the Gentiles, which he styles the mystery,” Eph. iii, 3–6; and the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of Christ by the Gospel,” Rom. xvi, 25; Eph. i, 9; iii, 9; vi, 19; Col. i, 26, 27; iv, 3. 4. It denotes a spiritual truth couched under an external representation or similitude, and concealed or hidden thereby, unless some explanation of it be otherwise given. Thus, Rev. i, 20, The mystery,” that is, the spiritual meaning, of the seven stars: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches.” So Rev. xvii, 5, And upon her forehead a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great,” that is, Babylon in a spiritual sense, the mother of idolatry and abominations;” and, verse 7, I will tell thee the mystery” or spiritual signification of the woman.” Compare Matt. xiii, 11; Mark iv, 11; Luke viii, 10; Eph. v, 32; and their respective contexts.

MYSTICS, who have also been sometimes called Quietists, are those who profess a pure and sublime devotion, accompanied with a disinterested love of God, free from all selfish considerations; and who believe that the Scriptures have a mystic and hidden sense, which must be sought after, in order to understand their true import. Under this name some comprehend all those who profess to know that they are inwardly taught of God. The system of the Mystics proceeded upon the known doctrine of the Platonic school, which was also adopted by Origen and his disciples, that the divine nature was diffused through all human souls; or that the faculty of reason, from which proceed the health and vigour of the mind, was an emanation from God into the human soul, and comprehended in it the principles and elements of all truth, human and divine. They denied that men could, by labour or study, excite this celestial flame in their breasts; and, therefore, they disapproved highly of the attempts of those who, by definitions, abstract theorems, and profound speculations, endeavoured to form distinct notions of truth, and discover its hidden nature. On the contrary, they maintained that silence, tranquillity, repose, and solitude, accompanied with such acts as might tend to attenuate and exhaust the body, were the means by which the hidden and internal word was excited to produce its latent virtues, and to instruct men in the knowledge of divine things. They reasoned as follows: Those who behold, with a noble contempt, all human affairs, who turn away their eyes from terrestrial vanities, and shut all the avenues of the outward senses against the contagious influence of a material world, must necessarily return to God, when the spirit is thus disengaged from the impediments which prevented that happy union. And, in this blessed frame, they not only enjoy inexpressible raptures from that communion with the supreme Being, but also are invested with the inestimable privilege of contemplating truth undisguised and uncorrupted in its native purity, while others behold it in a vitiated and delusive form.” The number of the Mystics increased in the fourth century, under the influence of the Grecian fanatic, who gave himself out for Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of St. Paul, and who probably lived about this period; and, by pretending to higher degrees of perfection than other Christians, and practising great austerities, their cause gained ground, especially in the eastern provinces, in the fifth century. A copy of the pretended works of Dionysius was sent by Balbus to Lewis the meek, A. D. 824, which kindled the holy flame of Mysticism in the western provinces, and filled the Latins with the most enthusiastic admiration of this new system. In the twelfth century, these Mystics took the lead in their method of expounding the Scriptures. In the thirteenth, they were the most formidable antagonists of the schoolmen; and, toward the close of the fourteenth, many of them resided and propagated their tenets in almost every part of Europe. They had, in the fifteenth century, many persons of distinguished merit in their number. In the sixteenth, previously to the reformation, if any sparks of real piety subsisted under 683the despotic empire of superstition, they were chiefly to be found among the Mystics; and in the seventeenth, the radical principle of Mysticism was adopted by the Behmists, Bourignonists, and Quietists.

The Mystics propose a disinterestedness of love, without other motives, and profess to feel, in the enjoyment of the temper itself, an abundant reward; and passive contemplation in the state of perfection to which they aspire. They lay little or no stress upon the outward ceremonies and ordinances of religion, but dwell chiefly upon the inward operations of the mind. It is not uncommon for them to allegorize certain passages of Scripture; at the same time they do not deny the literal sense, as having an allusion to the inward experience of believers. Thus, according to them, the word Jerusalem, which is the name of the capital of Judea, signifies, allegorically, the church militant; morally, a believer; and mysteriously, heaven. That sublime passage also in Genesis, Let there be light, and there was light,” which is, according to the letter, corporeal light, signifies, allegorically, the Messiah; morally, grace; and mysteriously, beatitude, or the light of glory. All this appears to be harmless; yet we must be careful not to give way to the sallies of a lively imagination in interpreting Scripture. Woolston is said to have been led to reject the Old Testament by spiritualizing and allegorizing the New.

The Mystics are not confined to any particular denomination of Christians, but may be found in most countries, and among many descriptions of religionists. Among the number of Mystics may be reckoned many singular characters, especially Behmen, a shoemaker at Gorlitz, in Germany; Molinos, a Spanish priest, in the seventeenth century; Madam Guion, a French lady who made a great noise in the religious world; and the celebrated Madame Bourignon, who wrote a work entitled, The Light of the World,” which is full of Mystic extravagancies. Fenelon, also, the learned and amiable archbishop of Cambray, favoured the same sentiments, for which he was reprimanded by the pope. His work, entitled, An Explication of the Maxims of the Saints,” which abounds with Mystical sentiments was condemned; and to the pope’s sentence against him, the good archbishop quietly submitted, and even read it publicly himself in the cathedral of Cambray. In this whole affair, his chief opponent is said to have been the famous Bossuet, bishop of Meaux. Mr. William Law, author of the Serious Call,” &c, degenerated in the latter part of his life, into all the singularities of Mysticism. In the best sense, Mysticism is to be regarded as an error arising out of partial views of the truth, or truth made erroneous, as being put out of its proper relation to, and connection with, other truths. As it respects the inward life of religion, its tendency is to a species of fanaticism, and to induce a contempt for divinely appointed ordinances. In many, however, it has been happily tempered by good principles; and too frequently has all Scriptural Christianity, in its inward influence, been branded with the name of Mysticism.