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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.


SABBATH. The obligation of a sabbatical institution upon Christians, as well as the extent of it, have been the subjects of much controversy. Christian churches themselves have differed; and the theologians of the same church. Much has been written upon the subject on each side, and much research and learning employed, sometimes to darken a very plain subject. The question respects the will of God as to this particular point,--Whether one day in seven is to be wholly devoted to religion, exclusive of worldly business and worldly pleasures. Now, there are but two ways in which the will of God can be collected from his word; either by some explicit injunction upon all, or by incidental circumstances. Let us then allow, for a moment, that we have no such explicit injunction; yet we have certainly none to the contrary: let us allow that we have only for our guidance, in inferring the will of God in this particular, certain circumstances declarative of his will; yet this important conclusion is inevitable, that all such indicative circumstances are in favour of a sabbatical institution, and that there is not one which exhibits any thing contrary to it. The seventh day was hallowed at the close of the creation; its sanctity was afterward marked by the withholding of the manna on that day, and the provision of a double supply on the sixth, and that previous to the giving of the law from Sinai: it was then made a part of that great epitome of religious and moral duty, which God wrote with his own finger on tables of stone; it was a part of the public political law of the only people to whom almighty God ever made himself a political Head and Ruler; its observance is connected throughout the prophetic age with the highest promises, its violations with the severest maledictions; it was among the Jews in our Lord’s time a day of solemn religious assembling, and was so observed by him; when changed to the first day of the week, it was the day on which the first Christians assembled; it was called, by way of eminence, “the Lord’s day;” and we have inspired authority to say, that both under the Old and New Testament dispensations, it is used as an expressive type of the heavenly and eternal rest. Now, against all these circumstances so strongly declarative of the will of God, as to the observance of a sabbatical institution, what circumstance or passage of Scripture can be opposed, as bearing upon it a contrary indication Certainly, not one; for those passages in St. Paul, in which he speaks of Jewish Sabbaths, with their Levitical rites, and of a distinction of days, the observance of which marked a weak or a criminal adherence to the abolished ceremonial dispensation; touch not the Sabbath as a branch of the moral law, or as it was changed, by the authority of the Apostles, to the first day of the week. If, then, we were left to determine the point by inference, the conclusion must be irresistibly in favour of the institution.

It may also be observed, that those who will so strenuously insist upon the absence of an express command as to the Sabbath in the writings of the evangelists and Apostles, as explicit as that of the decalogue, assume, that the will of God is only obligatory when manifested in some one mode, which they judge to be most fit. But this is a dangerous hypothesis; for, however the will of God may be manifested, if it is with such clearness as to exclude all reasonable doubt, it is equally obligatory as when it assumes the formality of legal promulgation. Thus the Bible is not all in the form of express and authoritative command; it teaches by examples, by proverbs, by songs, by incidental allusions and occurrences; and yet is, throughout, a manifestation of the will of God as to morals and religion in their various branches, and, if disregarded, it will be so at every man’s peril. But strong as this ground is, we quit it for a still stronger. It is wholly a mistake, that the Sabbath, because not reënacted with the formality of the decalogue, is not explicitly enjoined upon Christians, and that the testimony of Scripture to such an injunction is not unequivocal and irrefragible. The Sabbath was appointed at the creation of the world, and sanctified, or set apart for holy purposes, “for man,” for all men, and therefore for Christians; since there was never any repeal of the original institution. To this we add, that if the moral law be the law of Christians, then is the Sabbath as explicitly enjoined upon them as upon the Jews. But that the moral law is our law, as well as the law of the Jews, all but Antinomians must acknowledge; and few, we suppose, will be inclined to run into the fearful 830mazes of that error, in order to support lax notions as to the obligation of the Sabbath; into which, however, they must be plunged, if they deny the law of the decalogue to be binding. That it is so bound upon us, a few passages of Scripture will prove as well as many. Our Lord declares, that he “came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfil.” Take it, that by “the law,” he meant both the moral and the ceremonial; ceremonial law could only be fulfilled in him, by realizing its types; and moral law, by upholding its authority. For “the prophets,” they admit of a similar distinction; they either enjoin morality, or utter prophecies of Christ; the latter of which were fulfilled in the sense of accomplishment, the former by being sanctioned and enforced. That the observance of the Sabbath is a part of the moral law, is clear from its being found in the decalogue, the doctrine of which our Lord sums up in the moral duties of loving God and our neighbour; and for this reason the injunctions of the prophets, on the subject of the Sabbath, are to be regarded as a part of their moral teaching. Some divines have, it is true, called the observance of the Sabbath a positive, and not a moral precept. If it were so, its obligation is precisely the same, in all cases where God himself has not relaxed it; and if a positive precept only, it has surely a special eminence given to it, by being placed in the list of the ten commandments, and being capable, with them, of an epitome which resolves them into the love of God and our neighbour. The truth seems to be, that it is a mixed precept, and not wholly positive, but intimately, perhaps essentially connected with several moral principles of homage to God, and mercy to men; with the obligation of religious worship, of public religious worship, and of undistracted public worship: and this will account for its collocation in the decalogue with the highest duties of religion, and the leading rules of personal and social morality. The passage from our Lord’s sermon on the mount, with its context, is a sufficiently explicit enforcement of the moral law, generally, upon his followers; but when he says, “The Sabbath was made for man,” he clearly refers to its original institution, as a universal law, and not to its obligation upon the Jews only, in consequence of the enactments of the law of Moses. It “was made for man,” not as he may be a Jew, or a Christian; but as man, a creature bound to love, worship, and obey his God and Maker, and on his trial for eternity.

Another explicit proof that the law of the ten commandments, and, consequently, the law of the Sabbath, is obligatory upon Christians, is found in the answer of the Apostle to an objection to the doctrine of justification by faith: “Do we then make void the law through faith” Rom. iii, 31; which is equivalent to asking, Does Christianity teach that the law is no longer obligatory on Christians, because it teaches that no man can be justified by it To this he answers, in the most solemn form of expression, “God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” Now, the sense in which the Apostle uses the term, “the law,” in this argument, is indubitably marked in Rom. vii, 7: “I had not known sin but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet:” which, being a plain reference to the tenth command of the decalogue, as plainly shows that the decalogue is “the law” of which he speaks. This, then, is the law which is established by the Gospel; and this can mean nothing else but the establishment and confirmation of its authority, as the rule of all inward and outward holiness. Whoever, therefore, denies the obligation of the Sabbath on Christians, denies the obligation of the whole decalogue; and there is no real medium between the acknowledgment of the divine authority of this sacred institution, as a universal law, and that gross corruption of Christianity, generally designated Antinomianism.

Nor is there any force in the dilemma into which the anti-sabbatarians would push us, when they argue, that, if the case be so, then are we bound to the same circumstantial exactitude of obedience with regard to this command, as to the other precepts of the decalogue; and, therefore, that we are bound to observe the seventh day, reckoning from Saturday, as the Sabbath day. But, as the command is partly positive, and partly moral, it may have circumstances which are capable of being altered in perfect accordance with the moral principles on which it rests, and the moral ends which it proposes. Such circumstances are not indeed to be judged of on our own authority. We must either have such general principles for our guidance as have been revealed by God, and cannot therefore be questioned, or some special authority from which there can be no just appeal. Now, though there is not on record any divine command issued to the Apostles, to change the Sabbath from the day on which it was held by the Jews, to the first day of the week; yet, when we see that this was done in the apostolic age, and that St. Paul speaks of the Jewish Sabbaths as not being obligatory upon Christians, while he yet contends that the whole moral law is obligatory upon them; the fair inference is, that this change of the day was made by divine direction. It is indeed more than inference that the change was made under the sanction of inspired men; and those men, the appointed rulers in the church of Christ; whose business it was to “set all things in order,” which pertained to its worship and moral government. We may therefore rest well enough satisfied with this,--that as a Sabbath is obligatory upon us, we act under apostolic authority for observing it on the first day of the week, and thus commemorate at once the creation and the redemption of the world.

Thus, even if it were conceded, that the change of the day was made by the agreement of the Apostles, without express directions from Christ, which is not probable, it is certain that it was not done without that general authority which was confided to them by 831Christ; but it would not follow even from this change, that they did in reality make any alteration in the law of the Sabbath, either as it stood at the time of its original institution at the close of the creation, or in the decalogue of Moses. The same portion of time which constituted the seventh day from the creation could not be observed in all parts of the earth; and it is not probable, therefore, that the original law expresses more, than that a seventh day, or one day in seven, the seventh day after six days of labour, should be thus appropriated, from whatever point the enumeration might set out, or the hebdomadal cycle begin. For if more had been intended, then it would have been necessary to establish a rule for the reckoning of days themselves, which has been different in different nations; some reckoning from evening to evening, as the Jews now do, others from midnight to midnight, &c. So that those persons in this country and in America, who hold their Sabbath on Saturday, under the notion of exactly conforming to the Old Testament, and yet calculate the days from midnight to midnight, have no assurance at all that they do not desecrate a part of the original Sabbath, which might begin, as the Jewish Sabbath now, on Friday evening, and, on the contrary, hallow a portion of a common day, by extending the Sabbath beyond Saturday evening. Even if this were ascertained, the differences of latitude and longitude would throw the whole into disorder; and it is not probable that a universal law should have been fettered with that circumstantial exactness, which would have rendered difficult, and sometimes doubtful, astronomical calculations necessary in order to its being obeyed according to the intention of the lawgiver. Accordingly we find, says Mr. Holden, that in the original institution it is stated in general terms, that God blessed and sanctified the seventh day, which must undoubtedly imply the sanctity of every seventh day; but not that it is to be subsequently reckoned from the first demiurgic day. Had this been included in the command of the Almighty, something, it is probable, would have been added declaratory of the intention; whereas expressions the most undefined are employed; not a syllable is uttered concerning the order and number of the days; and it cannot reasonably be disputed that the command is truly obeyed by the separation of every seventh day, from common to sacred purposes, at whatever given time the cycle may commence. The difference in the mode of expression here, from that which the sacred historian has used in the first chapter, is very remarkable. At the conclusion of each division of the work of creation, he says, “The evening and the morning were the first day,” and so on; but at the termination of the whole, he merely calls it the seventh day; a diversity of phrase, which, as it would be inconsistent with every idea of inspiration to suppose it undesigned, must have been intended to denote a day, leaving it to each people as to what manner it is to be reckoned. The term obviously imports the period of the earth’s rotation round its axis, while it is left undetermined, whether it shall be counted from evening or morning, from noon or midnight. The terms of the law are, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” With respect to time, it is here mentioned in the same indefinite manner as at its primeval institution, nothing more being expressly required than to observe a day of sacred rest after every six days of labour. The seventh day is to be kept holy; but not a word is said as to what epoch the commencement of the series is to be referred; nor could the Hebrews have determined from the decalogue what day of the week was to be kept as their Sabbath. The precept is not, Remember the seventh day of the week, to keep it holy, but, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy;” and in the following explication of these expressions, it is not said that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath, but without restriction, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God;” not the seventh according to any particular method of computing the septenary cycle, but, in reference to the six before mentioned, every seventh day in rotation after six of labour.

Thus that part of the Jewish law, the decalogue, which, on the authority of the New Testament, we have shown to be obligatory upon Christians, leaves the computation of the hebdomadal cycle undetermined; and, after six days of labour, enjoins the seventh as the Sabbath, to which the Christian practice as exactly conforms as the Jewish. It is not, however, left to every individual to determine which day should be his Sabbath, though he should fulfil the law so far as to abstract the seventh part of his time from labour. It was ordained for worship, for public worship; and it is therefore necessary that the Sabbath should be uniformly observed by a whole community at the same time. The divine Legislator of the Jews interposed for this end, by special direction, as to his people. The first Sabbath kept in the wilderness was calculated from the first day in which the manna fell; and with no apparent reference to the creation of the world. By apostolic authority, it is now fixed to be held on the first day of the week; and thus one of the great ends for which it was established, that it should be a day of “holy convocation,” is secured.

Traces of the original appointment of the Sabbath, and of its observance prior to the giving forth of the law of Moses, have been found by the learned in the tradition which universally prevailed of the sacredness of the number seven, and the fixing of the first period of time to the revolution of seven days. The measuring of time by a day and night is pointed 832out to the common sense of mankind by the diurnal course of the sun. Lunar months and solar years are equally obvious to all rational creatures; so that the reason why time has been computed by days, months, and years, is readily given; but how the division of time into weeks of seven days, and this from the beginning, came to obtain universally among mankind, no man can account for, without having respect to some impressions on the minds of men from the constitution and law of nature, with the tradition of a sabbatical rest from the foundation of the world. Yet plain intimations of this weekly revolution of time are to be found in the earliest Greek poets: Hesiod, Homer, Linus, as well as among the nations of the Chaldeans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It deserves consideration, too, on this subject, that Noah, in sending forth the dove out of the ark, observed the septenary revolution of days, Gen. viii, 10, 12; and at a subsequent period, in the days of the Patriarch Jacob, a week is spoken of as a well known period of time, Gen. xxix, 27; Judges xiv, 12, 15, 17. These considerations are surely sufficient to evince the futility of the arguments which are sometimes plausibly urged for the first institution of the Sabbath under the law; and the design of which, in most cases is, to set aside the moral obligation of appropriating one day in seven to the purposes of the public worship of God, and the observation of divine ordinances. But the truth is, that the seventh day was set apart from the beginning as a day of rest; and it was also strictly enjoined upon the Israelites in their law, both on the ground of its original institution, Exod. xx, 8–11, and also to commemorate their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, Deut. v, 15.

“A Sabbath day’s journey” was reckoned to be two thousand cubits, or one mile, Acts i, 12. The sabbatical year was celebrated among the Jews every seventh year when the land was left without culture, Exod. xxii, 10. God appointed the observation of the sabbatical year, to preserve the remembrance of the creation of the world, to enforce the acknowledgment of his sovereign authority over all things, and in particular over the land of Canaan, which he had given to the Israelites, by delivering up the fruits to the poor and the stranger. It was a sort of tribute, or small rent, by which they held the possession. Beside, he intended to inculcate humanity upon his people, by commanding that they should resign to the slaves, the poor, and the strangers, and to the brutes, the produce of their fields, of their vineyards, and of their gardens. In the sabbatical year all debts were remitted, and the slaves were liberated, Exodus xxi, 2; Deut. xv, 2.

SABEANS, or “men of stature,” Isa. xlv, 14. These men were probably the Sabeans of Arabia Felix, or of Asia. They submitted to Cyrus. The Sabeans of Arabia were descended from Saba; but as there are several of this name, who were all heads of peoples, or of tribes, we must distinguish several kinds of Sabeans. 1. Those Sabeans who seized the flocks of Job, i, 15, were, probably, a people of Arabia Deserta, about Bozra; or, perhaps, a flying troop of Sabeans which infested that country. 2. Sabeans, descendants from Sheba, son of Cush, Gen. x, 7, are probably of Arabia Felix: they were famous for spices; the poets gave them the epithet of soft and effeminate, and say they were governed by women:

Medis, levibusque Sabæis
Imperat hic sexus.

[This sex governs the Medes, and the gentle Sabeans.]

Several are of opinion, that from them came the queen of Sheba, 1 Kings x, 1, 2; and that of these Sabeans the psalmist speaks, Psalm lxxii, 10, “The kings of Arabia and Sheba shall give gifts;” and Jeremiah, vi, 20: “What are the perfumes of Sheba to me” and Isaiah, lx, 6: “All who come from Sheba shall offer gold and perfumes.” 3. Sabeans, sons of Shebah, son of Reumah, Gen. x, 7, probably dwelt in Arabia Felix. Probably it is of these Ezekiel speaks, xxvii, 22, who came with their merchandise to the fairs of Tyre: and Joel, iii, 8: “I will deliver up your children to the tribe of Judah, who shall sell them to the Sabeans, a very distant nation.” 4. Sabeans, descendants from Joktan, may very well be those mentioned by Ezekiel, xxvii, 23: “Saba, Assur, and Chelmad, thy dealers.” They are thought to have inhabited beyond the Euphrates; whence they are connected with Asshur and Chilmad, Gen. x, 28; 1 Chron. i, 22. 5. Sabeans are also placed in Africa, in the isle of Meroë. Josephus brings the queen of Sheba from thence, and pretends that it had the name of Shebah, or Saba, before that of Meroë.

SABELLIANS were so called from Sabellius, a presbyter, or, according to others, a bishop, of Upper Egypt, who was the founder of the sect. As, from their doctrine, it follows that God the Father suffered, they were hence called by their adversaries, Patripassians; and, as their idea of the trinity was by some called a modal trinity, they have likewise been called Modalists. Sabellius having been a disciple of Noëtus, Noëtians is another name by which his followers have sometimes been known; and as, from their fears of infringing on the fundamental doctrine of all true religion, the unity of God, they neglected all distinctions of persons, and taught the notion of one God with three names, they may hence be also considered as a species of Unitarians. Sabellius flourished about the middle of the third century, and his doctrine seems to have had many followers for a short time. Its growth, however, was soon checked by the opposition made to it by Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, and the sentence of condemnation pronounced upon its author by Pope Dionysius, in a council held at Rome, A. D. 263. Sabellius taught that there is but one person in the Godhead; and, in confirmation of this doctrine, he made use of this comparison: As man, though composed of body and soul, is but one person, so God, though he is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is but one person. Hence the Sabellians reduced the three persons in the 833trinity to three characters or relations, and maintained that the Word and Holy Spirit are only virtues, emanations, or functions, of the Deity; that he who is in heaven is the Father of all things; that he descended into the virgin, became a child, and was born of her as a son; and that, having accomplished the mystery of our redemption, he effused himself upon the Apostles in tongues of fire, and was then denominated the Holy Ghost. This they explain by resembling God to the sun, the illuminative virtue or quality of which was the word, and its quickening virtue the Holy Spirit. The word, according to their doctrine, was darted, like a divine ray, to accomplish the work of redemption; and having reäscended to heaven, the influences of the Father were communicated, after a like manner, to the Apostles. They also attempted to illustrate this mystery, by one light kindled by another; by the fountain and stream, and by the stock and branch. With respect to the sentiments of Sabellius himself, the accounts are various. According to some, he taught that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, were one subsistence, and one person, with three names; and that, in the Old Testament, the Deity delivered the law as the Father; in the New Testament dwelt among men as the Son; and descended on the Apostles as the Holy Spirit. According to Mosheim, his sentiments differed from those of Noëtus, in this, that the latter was of opinion, that the person of the Father had assumed the human nature of Christ; whereas Sabellius maintained, that a certain energy only proceeded from the supreme Parent, or a certain portion of the divine nature was united to the Son of God, the man Jesus; and he considered, in the same manner, the Holy Ghost as a portion of the everlasting Father.

Between the system of Sabellianism and what is termed the indwelling scheme, there appears to be a considerable resemblance, if it be not precisely the same, differently explained. The indwelling scheme is chiefly founded on that passage in the New Testament, where the Apostle speaking of Christ says, “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Dr. Watts, toward the close of his life, adopted this opinion, and wrote several pieces in its defence. His sentiments on the trinity appear to have been, that the Godhead, the Deity itself, personally distinguished as the Father, was united to the man Christ Jesus; in consequence of which union or indwelling of the Godhead, he became properly God. Mr. Palmer observes, that Dr. Watts conceived this union to have subsisted before the Saviour’s appearance in the flesh, and that the human soul of Christ existed with the Father from before the foundation of the world: on which ground he maintains the real descent of Christ from heaven to earth, and the whole scene of his humiliation, which he thought incompatible with the common opinion concerning him.

SACKCLOTH, a sort of mourning worn at the death of a friend or relation. In great calamities, in penitence, in trouble also, they wore sackcloth about their bodies: “Gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner,” 2 Sam. iii, 31. “Let us gird ourselves with sackcloth; and let us go and implore the clemency of the king of Israel,” 1 Kings xx, 31. Ahab rent his clothes, put on a shirt of haircloth next to his skin, fasted, and lay upon sackcloth, 1 Kings xxi, 27. When Mordecai was informed of the destruction threatened to his nation, he put on sackcloth, and covered his head with ashes, Esther iv. On the contrary, in time of joy, or on hearing good news, those who were clad in sackcloth tore it from their bodies, and cast it from them, Psalm xxx, 11. The prophets were often clothed in sackcloth, and generally in coarse clothing. The Lord bids Isaiah to put off the sackcloth from about his body, and to go naked, that is, without his upper garment, Isaiah xx, 2. Zechariah says that false prophets shall no longer prophesy in sackcloth, to deceive the simple, Zech. xiii, 4.

SACRAMENT. There is no word in the Bible which corresponds to the word sacrament. It is a Latin word; and, agreeably to its derivation, it was applied by the early writers of the western church to any ceremony of our holy religion, especially if it were figurative or mystical. But a more confined signification of this word by degrees prevailed, and in that stricter sense it has been always used by the divines of modern times. Sacraments, says Dr. Hill, are conceived in the church of Rome to consist of matter, deriving, from the action of the priest in pronouncing certain words, a divine virtue, by which grace is conveyed to the soul of every person who receives them. It is supposed to be necessary that the priest, in pronouncing the words, has the intention of giving to the matter that divine virtue; otherwise it remains in its original state. On the part of those who receive the sacrament, it is required that they be free from any of those sins, called in the church of Rome mortal; but it is not required of them to exercise any good disposition, to possess faith, or to resolve that they shall amend their lives; for such is conceived to be the physical virtue of a sacrament administered by a priest with a good intention, that, unless when it is opposed by the obstacle of a mortal sin, the very act of receiving it is sufficient. This act was called, in the language of the schools, opus operatum, the work done independently of any disposition of mind attending the deed; and the superiority of the sacraments of the New Testament over the sacraments of the Old was thus expressed, that the sacraments of the Old Testament were effectual ex opere operantis, from the piety and faith of the persons to whom they were administered; while the sacraments of the New Testament convey grace, ex opere operato, from their own intrinsic virtue, and an immediate physical influence upon the mind of him who receives them. This notion represents the sacraments as a mere charm, the use of which, being totally disjoined from every mental exercise, cannot 834be regarded as a reasonable service. It gives men the hope of receiving, by the use of a charm, the full participation of the grace of God, although they continue to indulge that very large class of sins, to which the accommodating morality of the church of Rome extends the name of venial; and yet it makes this high privilege entirely dependent upon the intention of another, who, although he performs all the outward acts which belong to the sacrament, may, if he chooses, withhold the communication of that physical virtue, without which the sacrament is of none avail.

The Socinian doctrine concerning the nature of the sacraments is founded upon a sense of the absurdity and danger of the popish doctrine, and a solicitude to avoid any approach to it, and runs into the opposite extreme. It is conceived that the sacraments are not essentially distinct from any other rites or ceremonies; that, as they consist of a symbolical action, in which something external and material is employed to represent what is spiritual and invisible, they may by this address to the senses be of use in reviving the remembrance of past events, and in cherishing pious sentiments; but that their effect is purely moral, and that they contribute, by that moral effect, to the improvement of the individual in the same manner with reading the Scriptures, and many other exercises of religion. It is admitted, indeed, by the Socinians, that the sacraments are of farther advantage to the whole society of Christians, as being the solemn badges by which the disciples of Jesus are discriminated from other men, and the appointed method of declaring that faith in Christ, by the public profession of which Christians minister to the improvement of one another. But in these two points, the moral effect upon the individual, and the advantage to society, is contained all that a Socinian holds concerning the general nature of the sacraments. This doctrine, like all other parts of the Socinian system, represents religion in the simple view of being a lesson of righteousness, and loses sight of that character of the Gospel, which is meant to be implied in calling it a covenant of grace. The greater part of Protestants, therefore, following an expression of the Apostle, Rom. iv, 11, when he is speaking of circumcision, consider the sacraments as not only signs, but also seals, of the covenant of grace. Those who apply this phrase to the sacraments of the New Testament, admit every part of the Socinian doctrine concerning the nature of sacraments, and are accustomed to employ that doctrine to correct those popish errors upon this subject which are not yet eradicated from the minds of many of the people. But although they admit that the Socinian doctrine is true as far as it goes, they consider it as incomplete. For, while they hold that the sacraments yield no benefit to those upon whom the signs employed in them do not produce the proper moral effect, they regard these signs as intended to represent an inward invisible grace, which proceeds from him by whom they are appointed, and as pledges that that grace will be conveyed to all in whom the moral effect is produced. The sacraments, therefore, in their opinion, constitute federal acts, in which the persons who receive them with proper dispositions, solemnly engage to fulfil their part of the covenant, and God confirms his promise to them in a sensible manner; not as if the promise of God were of itself insufficient to render any event certain, but because this manner of exhibiting the blessings promised gives a stronger impression of the truth of the promise, and conveys to the mind an assurance that it will be fulfilled. According to this account of the sacraments, the express institution of God is essentially requisite to constitute their nature; and in this respect sacraments are distinguished from what may be called the ceremonies of religion. Ceremonies are in their nature arbitrary; and different means may be employed by different persons with success, according to their constitution, their education, and their circumstances, to cherish the sentiments of devotion, and to confirm good purposes. But no rite which is not ordained by God can be conceived to be a seal of his promise, or the pledge of any event that depends upon his good pleasure. Hence, that any rite may come up to our idea of a sacrament, we require in it, not merely a vague and general resemblance between the external matter which is the visible substance of the rite, and the thing thereby signified, but also words of institution, and a promise by which the two are connected together; and hence we reject five of the seven sacraments that are numbered in the church of Rome, because in some of the five we do not find any matter without which there is not that sign which enters into our definition of a sacrament; and in others we do not find any promise connecting the matter used with the grace said to be thereby signified, although upon this connection the essence of a sacrament depends.

SACRIFICE, properly so called, is the solemn infliction of death on a living creature, generally by the effusion of its blood, in a way of religious worship; and the presenting of this act to God, as a supplication for the pardon of sin, and a supposed means of compensation for the insult and injury thereby offered to his majesty and government. Sacrifices have, in all ages, and by almost every nation, been regarded as necessary to placate the divine anger, and render the Deity propitious. Though the Gentiles had lost the knowledge of the true God, they still retained such a dread of him, that they sometimes sacrificed their own offspring for the purpose of averting his anger. Unhappy and bewildered mortals, seeking relief from their guilty fears, hoped to atone for past crimes by committing others still more awful; they gave their first-born for their transgression, the fruit of their body for the sin of their soul. The Scriptures sufficiently indicate that sacrifices were instituted by divine appointment, immediately after the entrance of sin, to prefigure the sacrifice of Christ. Accordingly, we find Abel, Noah, 835Abraham, Job, and others, offering sacrifices in the faith of the Messiah; and the divine acceptance of their sacrifices is particularly recorded. But, in religious institutions, the Most High has ever been jealous of his prerogative. He alone prescribes his own worship; and he regards as vain and presumptuous every pretence of honouring him which he has not commanded. The sacrifice of blood and death could not have been offered to him without impiety, nor would he have accepted it, had not his high authority pointed the way by an explicit prescription.

Under the law, sacrifices of various kinds were appointed for the children of Israel; the paschal lamb, Exod. xii, 3; the holocaust, or whole burnt-offering, Lev. vii, 8; the sin-offering, or sacrifice of expiation, Lev. iv, 3, 4; and the peace-offering, or sacrifice of thanksgiving, Lev. vii, 11, 12; all of which emblematically set forth the sacrifice of Christ, being the instituted types and shadows of it, Heb. ix, 9–15; x, 1. Accordingly, Christ abolished the whole of them when he offered his own sacrifice. “Above, when he said, Sacrifice, and offering, and burnt-offerings, and offering for sin, thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein, which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all,” Heb. x, 8–10; 1 Cor. v, 7. In illustrating this fundamental doctrine of Christianity, the Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, sets forth the excellency of the sacrifice of our great High Priest above those of the law in various particulars. The legal sacrifices were only brute animals, such as bullocks, heifers, goats, lambs, &c; but the sacrifice of Christ was himself, a person of infinite dignity and worth, Heb. ix, 12, 13; i, 3; ix, 14, 26; x, 10. The former, though they cleansed from ceremonial uncleanness, could not possibly expiate sin, or purify the conscience from the guilt of it; and so it is said that God was not well pleased in them, Heb. x, 4, 5, 8, 11. But Christ, by the sacrifice of himself, hath effectually, and for ever, put away sin, having made an adequate atonement unto God for it, and by means of faith in it he also purges the conscience from dead works to serve the living God, Heb. ix, 10–26; Ephes. v, 2. The legal sacrifices were statedly offered, year after year, by which their insufficiency was indicated, and an intimation given that God was still calling sins to his remembrance, Heb. x, 3; but the last required no repetition, because it fully and at once answered all the ends of sacrifice, on which account God hath declared that he will remember the sins and iniquities of his people no more.

The term sacrifice is often used in a secondary or metaphorical sense, and applied to the good works of believers, and to the duties of prayer and praise, as in the following passages: “But to do good, and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased,” Heb. xiii, 16. “Having received of Epaphroditus the things which ye sent, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God,” Phil. iv, 18. “Ye are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter ii, 5. “By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually; that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name,” Heb. xiii, 15. “I beseech you, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service,” Rom. xii, 1. “There is a peculiar reason,” says Dr. Owen, “for assigning this appellation to moral duties; for in every sacrifice there was a presentation of something unto God. The worshipper was not to offer that which cost him nothing; part of his substance was to be transferred from himself unto God. So it is in these duties; they cannot be properly observed without the alienation of something that was our own,--our time, ease, property, &c, and a dedication of it to the Lord. Hence they have the general nature of sacrifices.” The ceremonies used in offering the Jewish sacrifices require to be noticed as illustrative of many texts of Scripture, and some points of important doctrine. See Atonement, Offerings, Expiation, Propitiation, Reconciliation, and Redemption.

SADDUCEES, a sect among the Jews. It is said that the principles of the Sadducees were derived from Antigonus Sochæus, president of the sanhedrim, about B. C. 250, who, rejecting the traditionary doctrines of the scribes, taught that man ought to serve God out of pure love, and not from hope of reward, or fear of punishment; and that they derived their name from Sadoc, one of his followers, who, mistaking or perverting this doctrine, maintained that there was no future state of rewards and punishments. Whatever foundation there may be for this account of the origin of the sect, it is certain, that in the time of our Saviour the Sadducees denied the resurrection of the dead, Acts xxiii, 8, and the existence of angels and spirits, or souls of departed men; though, as Mr. Hume observes, it is not easy to comprehend how they could at the same time admit the authority of the law of Moses. They carried their ideas of human freedom so far as to assert that men were absolutely masters of their own actions, and at full liberty to do either good or evil. Josephus even says that they denied the essential difference between good and evil; and, though they believed that God created and preserved the world, they seem to have denied his particular providence. These tenets, which resemble the Epicurean philosophy, led, as might be expected, to great profligacy of life; and we find the licentious wickedness of the Sadducees frequently condemned in the New Testament; yet they professed themselves obliged to observe the Mosaic law, because of the temporal rewards and punishments annexed to such observance; and hence they were always severe in their punishment of any crimes which tended to disturb the public tranquillity. 836The Sadducees rejected all tradition, and some authors have contended that they admitted only the books of Moses; but there seems no ground for that opinion, either in the Scriptures or in any ancient writer. Even Josephus, who was himself a Pharisee, and took every opportunity of reproaching the Sadducees, does not mention that they rejected any part of the Scriptures; he only says that “the Pharisees have delivered to the people many institutions as received from the fathers, which are not written in the law of Moses. For this reason the Sadducees reject these things, asserting that those things are binding which are written, but that the things received by tradition from the fathers are not to be observed.” Beside, it is generally believed that the Sadducees expected the Messiah with great impatience, which seems to imply their belief in the prophecies, though they misinterpreted their meaning. Confining all their hopes to this present world, enjoying its riches, and devoting themselves to its pleasures, they might well be particularly anxious that their lot of life should be cast in the splendid reign of this expected temporal king, with the hope of sharing in his conquests and glory; but this expectation was so contrary to the lowly appearance of our Saviour, that they joined their inveterate enemies, the Pharisees, in persecuting him and his religion. Josephus says, that the Sadducees were able to draw over to them the rich only, the people not following them; and he elsewhere mentions that this sect spread chiefly among the young. The Sadducees were far less numerous than the Pharisees, but they were in general persons of greater opulence and dignity. The council before whom our Saviour and St. Paul were carried consisted partly of Pharisees and partly of Sadducees.

SALAMIS, once a famous city in the isle of Cyprus, opposite to Seleucia, on the Syrian coast; and as it was the first place where the Gospel was preached, it was in the primitive times made the see of the primate of the whole island. It was destroyed by the Saracens, and from the ruins was built Famagusta, which was taken by the Turks in 1570. Here St. Paul preached, A. D. 44, Acts xiii, 5.

SALMON, son of Nahshon: he married Rahab, by whom he had Boaz, 1 Chron. ii, 11, 51, 54; Ruth iv, 20, 21; Matt. i, 4. He is named the father of Bethlehem, because his descendants peopled Bethlehem.

SALOME, the wife of Zebedee, and mother of St. James the greater, and St. John the evangelist, Matthew xxvii, 56; and one of those holy women who used to attend upon our Saviour in his journeyings, and to minister to him. She was the person who requested of Jesus Christ, that her two sons, James and John, might sit on his right and left hand when he should enter upon his kingdom, having then but the same obscure views as the rest of the disciples; but she gave proof of her faith when she followed Christ to Calvary, and did not forsake him even at the cross, Mark xv, 40; Matt. xxvii, 55, 56. She was also one of the women that brought perfumes to embalm him, and who came, for this purpose, to the sepulchre “early in the morning,” Mark xvi, 1, 2. At the tomb they saw two angels, who informed them that Jesus was risen. Returning to Jerusalem, Jesus appeared to them on the way, and said to them, “Be not afraid: go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”

SALT. God appointed that salt should be used in all the sacrifices that were offered to him, Leviticus ii, 13. Salt is esteemed the symbol of wisdom and grace, Colossians iv, 6; Mark ix, 50; also of perpetuity and incorruption, Numbers xviii, 19; 2 Chronicles xiii, 5. The orientals were accustomed also to ratify their federal engagements by salt. This substance was, among the ancients, the emblem of friendship and fidelity, and therefore used in all their sacrifices and covenants. It was a sacred pledge of hospitality which they never ventured to violate. Numerous instances occur of travellers in Arabia, after being plundered and stripped by the wandering tribes of the desert, claiming the protection of some civilized Arab, who, after receiving them into his tent, and giving them salt, instantly relieves their distress, and never forsakes them till he has placed them in safety. An agreement, thus ratified, is called, in Scripture, “a covenant of salt.” The obligation which this symbol imposes on the mind of an oriental, is well illustrated by the Baron du Tott in the following anecdote: One who was desirous of his acquaintance promised in a short time to return. The baron had already attended him half way down the staircase, when stopping, and turning briskly to one of his domestics, “Bring me directly,” said he, “some bread and salt.” What he requested was brought; when, taking a little salt between his fingers, and putting it with a mysterious air on a bit of bread, he ate it with a devout gravity, assuring du Tott he might now rely on him.

Although salt, in small quantities, may contribute to the communicating and fertilizing of some kinds of stubborn soil, yet, according to the observations of Pliny, “all places in which salt is found are barren and produce nothing.” The effect of salt, where it abounds, on vegetation, is described by burning, in Deut. xxix, 23, “The whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt of burning.” Thus Volney, speaking of the borders of the Asphaltic lake, or Dead Sea, says, “The true cause of the absence of vegetables and animals is the acrid saltness of its waters, which is infinitely greater than that of the sea. The land surrounding the lake, being equally impregnated with that saltness, refuses to produce plants; the air itself, which is by evaporation loaded with it, and which moreover receives vapours of sulphur and bitumen, cannot suit vegetation; whence that dead appearance which reigns around the lake.” So a salt land, Jer. xvii, 6, is the same as the “parched places of the wilderness,” and is descriptive of barrenness, as saltness also is, Job xxxix, 6; Psalm cvii, 34; Ezek. xlvii, 11; Zech. ii, 9. Hence the ancient custom of sowing an enemy’s city, 837when taken,with salt, in token of perpetual desolation, Judges iv, 45; and thus in after times the city of Milan was burned, razed, sown with salt, and ploughed by the exasperated emperor, Frederic Barbarossa. The salt used by the ancients was what we call rock or fossil salt; and also that left by the evaporation of salt lakes. Both these kinds were impure, being mixed with earth, sand, &c, and lost their strength by deliquescence. Maundrell, describing the valley of salt, says, “On the side toward Gibul there is a small precipice, occasioned by the continual taking away of the salt; and in this you may see how the veins of it lie. I broke a piece of it, of which that part that was exposed to the sun, rain, and air, though it had the sparks and particles of salt, yet it had perfectly lost its savour; the inner part, which was connected with the rock, retained its savour, as I found by proof.” Christ reminds his disciples, Matt. v, 13, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” This is spoken of the mineral salt as mentioned by Maundrell, a great deal of which was made use of in offerings at the temple; such of it as had become insipid was thrown out to repair the road. The existence of such a salt, and its application to such a use, Schoetgenius has largely proved in his “Horæ Hebraicæ.” The salt unfit for the land, Luke xvi, 34, Le Clerc conjectures to be that made of wood ashes, which easily loses its savour, and becomes no longer serviceable.

Effœtos cinerem immundum jactare per agros.
Virgil. Georg. i, 81.
“But blush not fattening dung to cast around,
Or sordid ashes o’er th’ exhausted ground.”

SALUTATIONS at meeting are not less common in the east than in the countries of Europe, but are generally confined to those of their own nation or religious party. When the Arabs salute each other, it is generally in these terms: Salum aleikum, “Peace be with you;” laying, as they utter the words, the right hand on the heart. The answer is, Aleikum essalum, “With you be peace;” to which aged people are inclined to add, “and the mercy and blessing of God.” The Mohammedans of Egypt and Syria never salute a Christian in these terms: they content themselves with saying to them, “Good day to you;” or, “Friend, how do you do” Niebuhr’s statement is confirmed by Mr. Bruce, who says that some Arabs, to whom he gave the salam, or salutation of peace, either made no reply, or expressed their astonishment at his impudence in using such freedom. Thus it appears that the orientals have two kinds of salutations; one for strangers, and the other for their own countrymen, or persons of their own religious profession. The Jews in the days of our Lord seem to have generally observed the same custom; they would not address the usual compliment of, “Peace be with you,” to either Heathens or publicans; the publicans of the Jewish nation would use it to their countrymen who were publicans, but not to Heathens, though the more rigid Jews refused to do it either to publicans or Heathens. Our Lord required his disciples to lay aside the moroseness of Jews, and cherish a benevolent disposition toward all around them: “If ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others Do not even the publicans so” They were bound by the same authority to embrace their brethren in Christ with a special affection, yet they were to look upon every man as a brother, to feel a sincere and cordial interest in his welfare, and at meeting to express their benevolence, in language corresponding with the feelings of their hearts. This precept is not inconsistent with the charge which the Prophet Elisha gave to his servant Gehazi, not to salute any man he met, nor return his salutation; for he wished him to make all the haste in his power to restore the child of the Shunamite, who had laid him under so many obligations. The manners of the country rendered Elisha’s precautions particularly proper and necessary, as the salutations of the east often take up a long time. For a similar reason our Lord himself commanded his disciples on one occasion to salute no man by the way: it is not to be supposed that he would require his followers to violate or neglect an innocent custom, still less one of his own precepts; he only directed them to make the best use of their time in executing his work. This precaution was rendered necessary by the length of time which their tedious forms of salutation required. They begin their salutations at a considerable distance, by bringing the hand down to the knees, and then carrying it to the stomach. They express their devotedness to a person by holding down the hand, as they do their affection by raising it afterward to the heart. When they come close together, they take each other by the hand in token of friendship. The country people at meeting clap each other’s hands very smartly twenty or thirty times together, without saying any thing more than, “How do ye do I wish you good health.” After this first compliment, many other friendly questions about the health of the family, mentioning each of the children distinctly, whose names they know. To avoid this useless waste of time, our Lord commanded them to avoid the customary salutations of those whom they might happen to meet by the way. All the forms of salutation now observed appear to have been in general use in the days of our Lord; for he represents a servant as falling down at the feet of his master, when he had a favour to ask; and an inferior servant, as paying the same compliment to the first, who belonged, it would seem, to a higher class; “The servant, therefore, fell down and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all,” Matt. xviii, 26, 29. When Jairus solicited the Saviour to go and heal his daughter, he fell down at his feet: the Apostle 838Peter, on another occasion, seems to have fallen down at his knees, in the same manner as the modern Arabs fall down at the knees of a superior. The woman who was afflicted with an issue of blood touched the hem of his garment, and the Syro-Phenician woman fell down at his feet. In Persia, the salutation among intimate friends is made by inclining the neck over each other’s neck, and then inclining cheek to cheek; which Mr. Morier thinks is most likely the falling upon the neck and kissing, so frequently mentioned in Scripture, Gen. xxxiii, 4; xlv, 14; Luke xv, 20.

SALVATION imports, in general, some great deliverance from any evil or danger. Thus, the conducting the Israelites through the Red Sea, and delivering them out of the hands of the Egyptians, is called a great salvation. But salvation by way of eminence, is applied to that wonderful deliverance which our blessed Saviour procured for mankind, by saving them from the punishment of their sins; and in the New Testament is the same as our redemption by Christ. This is that salvation referred to by St. Paul: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation” The salvation which Christ purchased, and the Gospel tenders to every creature, comprehends the greatest blessings which God can bestow; a deliverance from the most dreadful evils that mankind can suffer. It contains all that can make the nature of man perfect or his life happy, and secures him from whatever can render his condition miserable. The blessings of it are inexpressible, and beyond imagination. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” For, to be saved as Christ saves, is to have all our innumerable sins and transgressions forgiven and blotted out; all those heavy loads of guilt which oppressed our souls perfectly removed from our minds. It is to be reconciled to God, and restored to his favour, so that he will be no longer angry, terrible, and retributive, but a most kind, compassionate, and tender Father. It is to be at peace with him and with our consciences; to have a title to his peculiar love, care, and protection, all our days; to be rescued from the bondage and dominion of sin, and the tyranny of the devil. It is to be translated from the power of darkness, into the kingdom of Christ; so that sin shall reign no longer in our mortal bodies, but we shall be enabled to serve God in newness of life. It is to be placed in a state of true freedom and liberty, to be no longer under the control of blind passions, and hurried on by our impetuous lusts to do what our reason condemns. It is to have a new principle of life infused into our souls; to have the Holy Spirit resident in our hearts, whose comfortable influence must ever cheer and refresh us, and by whose counsels we may be always advised, directed, and governed. It is to be transformed into the image of God; and to be made like him in wisdom, righteousness, and all other perfections of which man’s nature is capable.

Finally, to be saved as Christ came to save mankind, is to be translated, after this life is ended, into a state of eternal felicity, never more to die or suffer, never more to know pain and sickness, grief and sorrow, labour and weariness, disquiet, or vexation, but to live in perfect peace, freedom, and liberty, and to enjoy the greatest good after the most perfect manner for ever. It is to have our bodies raised again, and reünited to our souls; so that they shall be no longer gross, earthly, corruptible bodies, but spiritual, heavenly, immortal ones, fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body, in which he now sits at the right hand of God. It is to live in the city of the great King, the heavenly Jerusalem, where the glory of the Lord fills the place with perpetual light and bliss. It is to spend eternity in the most noble and hallowed employments, in viewing and contemplating the wonderful works of God, admiring the wisdom of his providence, adoring his infinite love to the sons of men, reflecting on our own inexpressible happiness, and singing everlasting hymns of praise, joy, and triumph to God and our Lord Jesus Christ for vouchsafing all these blessings. It is to dwell for ever in a place, where no objects of pity or compassion, of anger or envy, of hatred or distrust, are to be found; but where all will increase the happiness of each other, by mutual love and kindness. It is to converse with the most perfect society, to be restored to the fellowship of our friends and relations who have died in the faith of Christ, and to be with Jesus Christ, to behold his glory, to live for ever in seeing and enjoying the great God, in “whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.” This is the salvation that Christ has purchased for us; and which his Gospel offers to all mankind.

SAMARIA, one of the three divisions of the Holy Land, having Galilee on the north, Judea on the south, the river Jordan on the east, and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. It took its name from its capital city, Samaria; and formed, together with Galilee and some cantons on the east of Jordan, during the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah, the kingdom of the former. The general aspect and produce of the country are nearly the same as those of Judea. But Mr. Buckingham observes, that “while in Judea the hills are mostly as bare as the imagination can paint them, and a few of the narrow valleys only are fertile, in Samaria, the very summits of the eminences are as well clothed as the sides of them. These, with the luxuriant valleys which they enclose, present scenes of unbroken verdure in almost every point of view, which are delightfully variegated by the picturesque forms of the hills and vales themselves, enriched by the occasional sight of wood and water, in clusters of olive and other trees, and rills and torrents running among them.”

2. Samaria, the capital city of the kingdom of the ten tribes that revolted from the house of David. It was built by Omri, king of Israel, 839who began to reign A. M. 3079, and who died 3086. He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, or for the sum of 684l. 7s. 6d. It took the name of Samaria from Shemer, the owner of the hill, 1 Kings xvi, 24. Some think, however, that there were before this some beginnings of a city in that place, because, antecedent to the reign of Omri, there is mention made of Samaria, 1 Kings xiii, 32, A. M. 3030. But others take this for a prolepsis, or an anticipation, in the discourse of the man of God. However this may be, it is certain that Samaria was no considerable place, and did not become the capital of the kingdom, till after the reign of Omri. Before him, the kings of Israel dwelt at Shechem or at Tirzah. Samaria was advantageously situated upon an agreeable and fruitful hill, twelve miles from Dothaim, twelve from Merrom, and four from Atharath. Josephus says it was a day’s journey from Jerusalem. The kings of Samaria omitted nothing to make this city the strongest, the finest, and the richest that was possible. Ahab built there a palace of ivory, 1 Kings xxii, 39; that is, in which there were many ivory ornaments; and, according to Amos, iii, 15; iv, 1, 2, it became the seat of luxury and effeminacy. Benhadad, king of Syria, built public places, called “streets,” in Samaria, 1 Kings xx, 34; probably bazaars for trade, and quarters where his people dwelt to pursue commerce. His son Benhadad besieged this place under the reign of Ahab, 1 Kings xx, A. M. 3103. It was besieged by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, in the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, king of Israel, 2 Kings xvii, 6, &c, which was the fourth of Hezekiah, king of Judah. It was taken three years after, A. M. 3283. The Prophet Hosea, x, 4, 8, 9, speaks of the cruelties exercised by Shalmaneser against the besieged; and Micah, i, 6, says that the city was reduced to a heap of stones. The Cuthites that were sent by Esar-haddon to inhabit the country of Samaria did not think it worth their while to repair the ruined city: they dwelt at Shechem, which they made the capital city of their state. They were in this condition when Alexander the Great came into Phenicia and Judea. However, the Cuthites had rebuilt some of the houses of Samaria, even from the time of the return of the Jews from the captivity, since the inhabitants of Samaria are spoken of, Ezra iv, 17; Neh. iv, 2. And the Samaritans, being jealous of the Jews, on account of the favours that Alexander the Great had conferred on them, revolted from him, while he was in Egypt, and burned Andromachus alive, whom he had left governor of Syria. Alexander soon marched against them, took Samaria, and appointed Macedonians to inhabit it, giving the country round it to the Jews; and to encourage them in the cultivation, he exempted them from tribute. The kings of Egypt and Syria, who succeeded Alexander, deprived them of the property of this country. But Alexander Balas, king of Syria, restored to Jonathan Maccabæus the cities of Lydda, Ephrem, and Ramatha, which he cut off from the country of Samaria, 1 Macc. x, 30, 38; xi, 28, 34. Lastly, the Jews reëntered into the full possession of this whole country under John Hircanus, the Asmonean, who took Samaria, and, according to Josephus, made the river run through its ruins. It continued in this state till A. M. 3947, when Aulus Gabinius, the proconsul of Syria, rebuilt it, and gave it the name of Gabiniana. Yet it remained very inconsiderable till Herod the Great restored it to its ancient splendour.

The sacred authors of the New Testament speak but little of Samaria; and when they do mention it, the country is rather to be understood than the city, Luke xvii, 11; John iv, 4, 5. After the death of Stephen, Acts viii, 1, 2, 3, when the disciples were dispersed through the cities of Judea and Samaria, Philip made several converts in this city. There it was that Simon Magus resided, and thither Peter and John went to communicate the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Travellers give the following account of its present state:--Sebaste is the name which Herod gave to the name of the ancient Samaria, the imperial city of the ten tribes, in honour of Augustus (Sebastos) Cæsar, when he rebuilt and fortified it, converting the greater part of it into a citadel, and erecting here a noble temple. “The situation,” says Dr. Richardson, “is extremely beautiful, and strong by nature; more so, I think, than Jerusalem. It stands on a fine, large, insulated hill, compassed all around by a broad deep valley; and when fortified, as it is stated to have been by Herod, one would have imagined that, in the ancient system of warfare, nothing but famine could have reduced such a place. The valley is surrounded by four hills, one on each side, which are cultivated in terraces up to the top, sown with grain, and planted with fig and olive trees, as is also the valley. The hill of Samaria likewise rises in terraces to a height equal to any of the adjoining mountains. The present village is small and poor, and, after passing the valley, the ascent to it is very steep. Viewed from the station of our tents, it is extremely interesting, both from its natural situation, and from the picturesque remains of a ruined convent, of good Gothic architecture. Having passed the village, toward the middle of the first terrace, there is a number of columns still standing. I counted twelve in one row, beside several that stood apart, the brotherless remains of other rows. The situation is extremely delightful, and my guide informed me, that they belonged to the serai, or palace. On the next terrace there are no remains of solid building, but heaps of stone and lime and rubbish mixed with the soil in great profusion. Ascending to the third or highest terrace, the traces of former building were not so numerous, but we enjoyed a delightful view of the surrounding country. The eye passed over the deep valley that encompasses the hill of Sebaste, and rested on the mountains beyond, that retreated as they rose with a gentle slope, and met the 840view in every direction, like a book laid out for perusal on a reading desk. This was the seat of the capital of the short-lived and wicked kingdom of Israel; and on the face of these mountains the eye surveys the scene of many bloody conflicts and many memorable events. Here those holy men of God, Elijah and Elisha, spoke their tremendous warnings in the ears of their incorrigible rulers, and wrought their miracles in the sight of all the people. From this lofty eminence we descended to the south side of the hill, where we saw the remains of a stately colonnade that stretches along this beautiful exposure from east to west. Sixty columns are still standing in one row. The shafts are plain; and fragments of Ionic volutes, that lie scattered about, testify the order to which they belonged. These are probably the relics of some of the magnificent structures with which Herod the Great adorned Samaria. None of the walls remain.” Mr. Buckingham mentions a current tradition, that the avenue of columns formed a part of Herod’s palace. According to his account, there were eighty-three of these columns erect in 1816, beside others prostrate; all without capitals. Josephus states, that, about the middle of the city, Herod built “a sacred place, of a furlong and a half in circuit, and adorned it with all sorts of decorations; and therein erected a temple, illustrious for both its largeness and beauty.” It is probable that these columns belonged to it. On the eastern side of the same summit are the remains, Mr. Buckingham states, of another building, “of which eight large and eight small columns are still standing, with many others fallen near them. These also are without capitals, and are of a smaller size and of an inferior stone to the others.” “In the walls of the humble dwellings forming the modern village, portions of sculptured blocks of stone are perceived, and even fragments of granite pillars have been worked into the masonry.”

SAMARITANS, an ancient sect among the Jews, still subsisting in some parts of the Levant, under the same name. Its origin was in the time of Rehoboam, under whose reign a division was made of the people of Israel into two distinct kingdoms. One of these kingdoms, called Judah, consisted of such as adhered to Rehoboam and the house of David; the other retained the ancient name of Israelites, under the command of Jeroboam. The capital of the state of these latter was Samaria; and hence it was that they were denominated Samaritans. Some affirm that Salmanazar, king of Assyria, having conquered Samaria, led the whole people captive into the remotest parts of his empire, and filled their places with colonies of Babylonians, Cutheans, and other idolaters. These finding themselves daily destroyed by wild beasts, it is said, desired an Israelitish priest to instruct them in the ancient laws and customs of the land they inhabited. This was granted them; and they thenceforth ceased to be incommoded with any beasts. However, with the law of Moses, they still retained somewhat of their ancient idolatry. The rabbins say, they adored the figure of a dove on Mount Gerizim. As the revolted tribes had no more of the Scriptures than the five books of Moses, so the priest could bring no others with him beside those books written in the old Phenician letters.

Upon the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple, the religion of the Samaritans received another alteration on the following occasion: one of the sons of Jehoiada, the high priest, whom Josephus calls Manasseh, married the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite; but the law of God having forbidden the intermarriages of the Israelites with any other nation, Nehemiah set himself to reform this corruption, which had spread into many Jewish families, and obliged all that had taken strange wives immediately to part with them, Neh. xiii, 23–30. Manasseh, unwilling to surrender his wife, fled to Samaria; and many others in the same circumstances, and with similar disposition, went and settled under the protection of Sanballat, governor of Samaria. Manasseh brought with him some other apostate priests, with many other Jews, who disliked the regulations made by Nehemiah at Jerusalem; and now the Samaritans, having obtained a high priest, and other priests of the descendants from Aaron, were soon brought off from the worship of the false gods, and became as much enemies to idolatry as the best of the Jews. However, Manasseh gave them no other Scriptures beside the Pentateuch, lest, if they had the other Scriptures, they should then find that Jerusalem was the only place where they should offer their sacrifices. From that time the worship of the Samaritans came much nearer to that of the Jews, and they afterward obtained leave of Alexander the Great to build a temple on Mount Gerizim, near the city of Samaria, in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem, where they practised the same forms of worship. To this mountain and temple the Samaritan woman of Sychar refers in her discourse with our Saviour, John iv, 20. The Samaritans soon after revolted from Alexander, who drove them out of Samaria, introduced Macedonians in their room, and gave the province of Samaria to the Jews. This circumstance contributed in no small degree to increase the hatred and animosity between those two people. When any Israelite deserved punishment on account of the violation of some important point of the law, he presently took refuge in Samaria or Shechem, and embraced the worship at the temple of Gerizim. When the affairs of the Jews were prosperous, the Samaritans did not fail to call themselves Hebrews, and of the race of Abraham. But when the Jews suffered persecution, the Samaritans disowned them, and alleged that they were Phenicians originally, or descended from Joseph, or Manasseh his son. This was their practice in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. It is certain, the modern Samaritans are far from idolatry; some of the most learned among the Jewish doctors own, that they observe the law of 841Moses more rigidly than the Jews themselves. They have a Hebrew copy of the Pentateuch, differing in some respects from that of the Jews; and written in different characters, commonly called Samaritan characters; which Origen, Jerom, and other fathers and critics, ancient and modern, take to be the primitive character of the ancient Hebrews, though others maintain the contrary. The point of preference, as to purity, antiquity, &c, of the two Pentateuchs, is also much disputed by modern critics.

The Samaritans are now few in number; though it is not very long since they pretended to have priests descended directly from the family of Aaron. They were chiefly found at Gaza, Neapolis or Shechem, (the ancient Sichem or Naplouse,) Damascus, Cairo, &c. They had a temple, or chapel, on Mount Gerizim, where they performed their sacrifices. They have also synagogues in other parts of Palestine, and also in Egypt. Joseph Scaliger, being curious to know their usages, wrote to the Samaritans of Egypt, and to the high priest of the whole sect, who resided at Neapolis. They returned two answers, dated in the year 998 of the Hegira of Mohammed. These answers never came to the hands of Scaliger. They are now in the library at Paris, and have been translated into Latin by Father Morin, priest of the oratory; and printed in the collection of letters of that father in England, 1662, under the title of “Antiquitates Ecclesiæ Orientalis.” M. Simon has inserted a French translation in the first edition of “Ceremonies et Coutumes des Juifs,” in the manner of a supplement to Leo de Modena. In the first of these answers, written in the name of the assembly of Israel, in Egypt, they declare that they celebrate the passover every year, on the fourteenth day of the first month, on Mount Gerizim, and that he who then did the office of high priest was called Eleazar, a descendant of Phinehas, son of Aaron. In the second answer, which is in the name of the high priest Eleazar, and the synagogue of Shechem, they declare, that they keep the Sabbath in all the rigour with which it is enjoined in the book of Exodus; none among them stirring out of doors, but to the synagogue. They add, that they begin the feast of the passover with the sacrifice appointed for that purpose in Exodus; that they sacrifice no where else but on Mount Gerizim; that they observe the feasts of harvest, the expiation, the tabernacles, &c. They add farther, that they never defer circumcision beyond the eighth day; never marry their nieces, as the Jews do; have but one wife; and, in fine, do nothing but what is commanded in the law: whereas the Jews frequently abandon the law to follow the inventions of their rabbins. At the time when they wrote to Scaliger, they reckoned one hundred and twenty-two high priests; affirmed that the Jews had no high priests of the race of Phinehas; and that the Jews belied them in calling them Cutheans; for that they are descended from the tribe of Joseph by Ephraim.

SAMSON, son of Manoah, of the tribe of Dan, Judges xiii, 2, &c. We are no where acquainted with the name of his mother. He was born, A. M. 2849, and was a Nazarite from his infancy, by the divine command. He was brought up in a place called the camp of Dan, between Zorah and Estaol, Judges xiii, 25. His extraordinary achievements are particularly recorded in Judges xiv-xvi. “Faith” is attributed to him by St. Paul, though whether he retained it to the end of his life may be doubted. He is not inaptly called by an old writer, “a rough believer.”

SAMUEL, the son of Elkanah and of Hannah, of the tribe of Levi, and family of Kohath, was born, A. M. 2848. He was an eminent inspired prophet, historian, and the seventeenth and last Judge of Israel; and died in the ninety-eighth year of his age, two years before Saul, A. M. 2947, 1 Sam. xxv. To Samuel are ascribed the book of Judges, that of Ruth, and the first book of Samuel. There is, indeed, great probability that he composed the first twenty-four chapters of the first book of Samuel; since they contain nothing but what he might have written, and such transactions as he was chiefly concerned in. However, in these chapters there are some small additions, which seem to have been inserted after his death. Samuel began the order of the prophets, which was never discontinued till the death of Zechariah and Malachi, Acts iii, 24. From early youth to hoary years, the character of Samuel is one on which the mind rests with veneration and delight.

SANBALLAT, the governor of the Cuthites or Samaritans, and an enemy to the Jews. He was a native of Horon, a city beyond Jordan, in the country of the Moabites, Neh. ii, 10, 19; iv, vi.

SANCTIFICATION, that work of God’s grace by which we are renewed after the image of God, set apart for his service, and enabled to die unto sin and live unto righteousness. Sanctification is either of nature, whereby we are renewed after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, Eph. iv, 24; Col. iii, 19, or of practice, whereby we die unto sin, have its power destroyed in us, cease from the love and practice of it, hate it as abominable, and live unto righteousness, loving and studying good works, Tit. ii, 11, 12. Sanctification comprehends all the graces of knowledge, faith, repentance, love, humility, zeal, patience, &c, and the exercise of them in our conduct toward God or man, Gal. v, 22–24; 1 Peter i, 15, 16; Matt. v, vi, vii. Sanctification in this world must be complete; the whole nature must be sanctified, all sin must be utterly abolished, or the soul can never be admitted into the glorious presence of God, Heb. xii, 14; 1 Peter i, 15; Rev. xxi, 27; yet the saints, while here, are in a state of spiritual warfare with Satan and his temptations, with the world and its influence, 2 Cor. ii, 11; Gal. v, 17, 24; Rom. vii, 23; 1 John ii, 15, 16.

SANCTIFY. In the Old Testament, to sanctify often denotes to separate from a common to a holy purpose; to set apart or consecrate to God as his special property, and for his service. 842Our Lord also uses this term, when he says, “For their sakes I sanctify myself,” John xvii, 19; that is, I separate and dedicate myself to be a sacrifice to God for them, “that they also may be sanctified through the truth;” that is, that they may be cleansed from the guilt of sin. Under the law of Moses, there was a church purity, or ceremonial sanctification, which might be obtained by the observance of external rites and ordinances, while persons were destitute of internal purity or holiness. Every defiled person was made “common,” and excluded from the privilege of a right to draw nigh to God in his solemn worship; but in his purification he was again separated to him, and restored to his sacred right. Hence St. Paul speaks of “the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, as sanctifying unto the purifying of the flesh,” Heb. ix, 13. These things were in reality of no moral worth or value; they were merely typical institutions, intended to represent the blessings of the new and better covenant, those “good things that were to come;” and therefore God is frequently spoken of in the prophets as despising them, namely, in any other view than that for which his wisdom had ordained them, Isaiah i, 11–15; Psalm 1, 8, 9; li, 16. But that dispensation is now at an end; under the New Testament, the state of things is changed, for now “neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” The thing signified, namely, internal purity and holiness, is no less necessary to a right to the privileges of the Gospel, than the observance of those external rites was unto the privileges of the law.

SANCTUARY. See Temple.

SANDALS, at first, were only soles tied to the feet with strings or thongs; afterward they were covered; and at last they called even shoes sandals. When Judith went to the camp of Holofernes, she put sandals on her feet; and her sandals ravished his eyes, Judith x, 4; xvi, 9. They were a magnificent kind of buskins proper only to ladies of condition, and such as dressed themselves for admiration. But there were sandals also belonging to men, and of mean value. We read, “If the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother; then shall his brother’s wife come unto him, in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face; and shall say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him who hath had his shoe loosed,” Deuteronomy xxv, 7. A late writer observes that the word rendered “shoe,” usually means “sandal,” that is, a mere sole fastened on the foot in a very simple manner; and that the primary and radical meaning of the word rendered face, is surface, the superficies of any thing. Hence he would submit, that the passage may be to the following purpose: The brother’s wife shall loose the sandal from off the foot of her husband’s brother; and shall spit upon its face or surface, (that is, of the shoe,) and shall say, &c. This ceremony is coincident with certain customs among the Turks. We are told that in a complaint against her own husband, for withholding himself from her intimacy, the wife when before the judge takes off her own shoe, and spits upon it; but in case of complaint against her husband’s brother, she takes off his shoe and spits upon it.

The business of untying and carrying the sandals being that of a servant, the expressions of the Baptist, “whose shoes I am not worthy to bear,” “whose shoe latchet I am not worthy to unloose,” was an acknowledgment of his great inferiority to Christ, and that Christ was his Lord. To pull off the sandals on entering a sacred place, or the house of a person of distinction, was the usual mark of respect. They were taken care of by the attendant servant. At the doors of an Indian pagoda, there are as many sandals and slippers hung up, as there are hats in our places of worship.

SANHEDRIM, SANHEDRIN, or SYNEDRIUM, among the ancient Jews, the supreme council, or court of judicature, of that republic; in which were despatched all the great affairs both of religion and policy. The word is derived from the Greek sd, a council, assembly, or company of people sitting together; from s, together, and hda, a seat. Many of the learned agree, that it was instituted by Moses, Numbers xi; and consisted at first of seventy elders, who judged finally of all causes and affairs; and that they subsisted, without intermission, from Moses to Ezra, Deut. xxvii, 1; xxxi, 9; Josh. xxiv, 1, 31; Judg. ii, 7; 2 Chron. xix, 8; Ezek. viii, 11. Others will have it, that the council of seventy elders, established by Moses, was temporary, and did not hold after his death; adding, that we find no sign of any such perpetual and infallible tribunal throughout the whole Old Testament; and that the sanhedrim was first set up in the time when the Maccabees, or Asmoneans, took upon themselves the administration of the government under the title of high priests, and afterward of kings, that is, after the persecution of Antiochus. This is by far the most probable opinion. The Jews, however, contend strenuously for the antiquity of their great sanhedrim: M. Simon strengthens and defends their proofs, and M. Le Clerc attacks them. Whatever may be the origin and establishment of the sanhedrim, it is certain that it was subsisting in the time of our Saviour, since it is spoken of in the Gospels, Matt. v, 21; Mark xiii, 9; xiv, 55; xv, 1; and since Jesus Christ himself was arraigned and condemned by it; that it was held at Jerusalem; and that the decision of all the most important affairs among the Jews belonged to it. The president of this assembly was called nasi, or prince; his deputy was called abbeth-din, father of the house of judgment; and the sub-deputy was called chacan, the wise: the rest were denominated tzekanim, elders or senators. The room in which they sat was a rotunda, half of which was built without the temple, and half within; that is, one semicircle 843of the room was within the compass of the temple; and as it was never allowed to sit down in the temple, they tell us this part was for those who stood up; the other half, or semicircle, extended without the holy place, and here the judges sat. The nasi, or prince, sat on a throne at the end of the hall, having his deputy at his right hand, and his sub-deputy at his left; the other senators were ranged in order on each side.

The sanhedrim subsisted until the destruction of Jerusalem, but its authority was almost reduced to nothing, from the time in which the Jewish nation became subject to the Roman empire. The rabbins pretend, that the sanhedrim has always subsisted in their nation from the time of Moses to the destruction of the temple by the Romans; and they maintain that it consisted of seventy counsellors, six out of each tribe, and Moses as president; and thus the number was seventy-one: but six senators out of each tribe make the number seventy-two, which, with the president, constitute a council of seventy-three persons, and therefore it has been the opinion of some authors that this was the number of the members of the sanhedrim. As to the personal qualifications of the judges of this court, it was required that they should be of untainted birth; and they were often of the race of the priests or Levites, or of the number of inferior judges, or of the lesser sanhedrim, which consisted of twenty-three judges. They were to be skilful in the written and traditional law; and they were obliged to study magic, divination, fortune telling, physic, astrology, arithmetic, and languages. It was also required, that none of them should be eunuchs, usurers, decrepid or deformed, or gamesters; and that they should be of mature age, rich, and of good countenance and body. Thus say the rabbins.

The authority of the sanhedrim was very extensive. This council decided causes brought before it by appeal from inferior courts. The king, high priest, and prophets were subject to its jurisdiction. The general officers of the nation were brought before the sanhedrim. How far their right of judging in capital cases extended, and how long it continued, have been subjects of controversy. Among the rabbins it has been a generally received opinion, that about forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, their nation had been deprived of the power of life and death. And most authors assert, that this privilege was taken from them ever since Judea was made a province of the Roman empire, that is, after the banishment of Archelaus. Others, however, maintain that the Jews had still the power of life and death; but that this privilege was restricted to crimes committed against their law, and depended upon the governor’s will and pleasure. In the time of Moses, this council was held at the door of the tabernacle of the testimony. As soon as the people were in possession of the land of promise, the sanhedrim followed the tabernacle, and it continued at Jerusalem, whither it was removed, till the captivity. During the captivity it was kept at Babylon. After the return from Babylon, it remained at Jerusalem, as it is said, to the time of the sicarii or assassins; afterward it was removed to Jamnia, thence to Jericho, to Uzzah, to Sepharvaim, to Bethsamia, to Sephoris, and last of all to Tiberias, where it continued till its utter extinction. Such is the account which the Jews give of their sanhedrim. But, as stated above, much of this is disputed. Petau fixes the beginning of the sanhedrim to the period when Gabinius was governor of Judea, by whom were erected tribunals in the five cities of Judea, namely, Jerusalem, Gadara, Amathus, Jericho, and Sephoris. Grotius agrees in the date of its commencement with the rabbins, but he fixes its termination at the beginning of Herod’s reign. Basnage places it under Judas Maccabæus and his brother Jonathan. Upon the whole, it may be observed, that the origin of the sanhedrim has not been satisfactorily ascertained; and that the council of the seventy elders, established by Moses, was not what the Hebrews understood by the name of sanhedrim.

Before the death of our Saviour, two very famous rabbins had been presidents of the sanhedrim, namely Hillel and Schammai, who entertained very different opinions on several subjects, and particularly that of divorce. This gave occasion to the question which the Pharisees put to Jesus Christ upon that head, Matt. xix, 3. (See Divorce.) Hillel had Menahem for his associate in the presidency of the sanhedrim. But the latter afterward deserted that honourable post, and joined himself with a great number of his disciples, to the party of Herod Antipas, who promoted the levying of taxes for the use of the Roman emperors with all his might. These were probably the Herodians mentioned in the Gospel, Matt. xxii, 16. To Hillel succeeded Simeon his son, who by some is supposed to have been the person who took Jesus Christ in his arms, Luke ii, 28, and publicly acknowledged him to be the Messiah. If this be the case, the Jewish sanhedrim had for president a person that was entirely disposed to embrace Christianity. Gamaliel, the son and successor of Simeon, seems to have been also of a candid disposition and character. There were several inferior sanhedrims in Palestine, all depending on the great sanhedrim at Jerusalem. The inferior sanhedrim consisted each of twenty-three persons; and there was one in each city and town. Some say, that to have a right to hold a sanhedrim, it was requisite there should be one hundred andand twenty inhabitants in the place. Where the inhabitants came short of the number of one hundred and twenty, they only established three judges. In the great as well as the inferior sanhedrim were two scribes; the one to write down the suffrages of those who were for condemnation, the other to take down the suffrages of those who were for absolution.

SAPPHIRE, , Exod. xxiv, 10; xxviii, 18; Job xxviii, 6, 16; Cantic. v, 14; Isa. liv, 11; Ezek. i, 26; x, 1; xxviii, 13, sfe, Rev. xxi, 19, only. That this is the sapphire, there can be no doubt. The Septuagint, the 844Vulgate, and the general run of commentators, ancient and modern, agree in this. The sapphire is a pellucid gem. In its finest state it is extremely beautiful and valuable, and second only to the diamond in lustre, hardness, and value. Its proper colour is pure blue; in the choicest specimens it is of the deepest azure; and in others varies into paleness, in shades of all degrees between that and a pure crystal brightness, without the least tinge of colour, but with a lustre much superior to the crystal. The oriental sapphire is the most beautiful and valuable. It is transparent, of a fine sky colour, sometimes variegated with veins of a white sparry substance, and distinct separate spots of a gold colour. Whence it is that the prophets describe the throne of God like unto sapphire, Ezek. i, 26; x, 1. Isaiah, liv, 11, 12, prophesying the future grandeur of Jerusalem, says,

“Behold, I lay thy stones in cement of vermilion,
And thy foundations with sapphires:
And I will make thy battlements of rubies,
And thy gates of carbuncles;
And the whole circuit of thy walls shall be of precious stones.”

“These seem,” says Bishop Lowth, “to be general images to express beauty, magnificence, purity, strength, and solidity, agreeably to the ideas of the eastern nations; and to have never been intended to be strictly scrutinized, or minutely and particularly explained, as if they had each of them some precise moral or spiritual meaning.” Tobit, xiii, 16, 17, in his prophecy of the final restoration of Israel, describes the New Jerusalem in the same oriental manner: “For Jerusalem shall be built up with sapphires, and emeralds, and precious stones; thy walls, and towers, and battlements, with pure gold. And the streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with the beryl and carbuncle, and with stones of Ophir,” Rev. xxi, 18–21.

SARAH, the wife of Abraham, and his sister, as he himself informs us, by the same father, but not the same mother, Gen. xx, 12. See Abraham.

SARDIS, a city of Asia Minor, and formerly the capital of Crœsus, king of the Lydians. The church of Sardis was one of the seven churches of Asia, to which the writer of the Apocalypse was directed to send an epistle, Rev. iii, 1–3.

SARDIUS, , so called from its redness, Exod. xxviii, 17; xxxix, 10; Ezek. xxviii, 13; sd, Rev. xxi, 20; a precious stone of a blood-red colour. It took its Greek name from Sardis, where the best of them were found.

SARDONYX, sad, Rev. xxi, 20. A precious stone which seems to have its name from its resemblance partly to the sardius and partly to the onyx. It is generally tinged with black and blood colour, which are distinguished from each other by circles or rows, so distinct that they appear to be the effect of art.

SATAN signifies an adversary or enemy, and is commonly applied in the Scriptures to the devil, or the chief of the fallen angels. By collecting the passages where Satan, or the devil, is mentioned, it may be concluded, that he fell from heaven with his company; that God cast him down from thence for the punishment of his pride; that by his envy and malice, sin, death, and all other evils came into the world; that, by the permission of God he exercises a sort of government in the world over subordinate apostate angels like himself; that God makes use of him to prove good men, and chastise bad ones; that he is a lying spirit in the mouth of false prophets and seducers; that it is he, or his agents, that torment or possess men, and inspire them with evil designs, as when he suggested to David, the numbering of the people, to Judas to betray his Lord and Master, and to Ananias and Sapphira to conceal the price of their field; that he is full of rage like a roaring lion, and of subtlety like a serpent, to tempt, to betray, to destroy, and to involve us in guilt and wickedness; that his power and malice are restrainedrestrained within certain limits, and controlled by the will of God; in a word, that he is an enemy to God and man, and uses his utmost endeavours to rob God of his glory, and men of their souls. See Devil and Demoniacs.

SAUL, the son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, the first king of the Israelites, 1 Sam. ix, 1, 2, &c. Saul’s fruitless journey when seeking his father’s asses; (See Ass;) his meeting the Prophet Samuel; the particulars foretold to him, with his being anointed as king, about A. M. 2909; his prophesying along with the young prophets; his appointment by the lot; his modesty in hiding himself; his first victory over the Ammonites; his rash sacrifice in the absence of Samuel; his equally rash curse; his victories over the Philistines and Amalekites; his sparing of King Agag with the judgment denounced against him for it; his jealousy and persecution of David; his barbarous massacre of the priests and people of Nob; his repeated confessions of his injustice to David, &c, are recorded in 1 Sam. ix-xxxi. He reigned forty years, but exhibited to posterity a melancholy example of a monarch, elevated to the summit of worldly grandeur, who, having cast off the fear of God, gradually became the slave of jealousy, duplicity, treachery, and the most malignant and diabolical tempers. His behaviour toward David shows him to have been destitute of every generous and noble sentiment that can dignifydignify human nature; and it is not an easy task to speak with any moderation of the atrocity and baseness which uniformly mark it. His character is that of a wicked man, “waxing worse and worse;” but while we are shocked at its deformity, it should be our study to profit by it, which we can only do by using it as a beacon to warn us, “lest we also be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

SCARLET, , Gen. xxxviii, 28; Exod. xxv, 4. This tincture or colour expressed by a word which signifies worm colour, was produced from a worm or insect which grew in a coccus, or excrescence of a shrub of the ilex kind, which Pliny calls “coccus scolecius,” the wormy berry, and Dioscorides terms “a small dry twig, to which the grains adhere like lentiles:” but these grains, as a great author observes on Solinus, “are within full of little 845worms or maggots, whose juice is remarkable for dying scarlet, and making that famous colour which we admire, and with which the ancients were enraptured.”enraptured.” We retain the name in the cochineal, from the opuntia of America; but we improperly call a mineral colour “vermilion,” which is derived from vermiculus, a little worm. The shrub on which the cochineal insect is found is sometimes called the “kermez oak,” from kermez, the Arabic word both for the worm and the colour; whence “carmasinus,” the French “cramoisi,” and the English “crimson.”

SCEPTRE, a word derived from the Greek, properly signifies, a rod of command, a staff of authority, which is supposed to be in the hands of kings, governors of a province, or of the chief of a people, Gen. xlix, 10; Numb. xxiv, 17; Isa. xiv, 5. The sceptre is put for the rod of correction, and for the sovereign authority that punishes and humbles, Psalm ii, 9; Prov. xxii, 15. The term sceptre is frequently used for a tribe, probably because the prince of each tribe carried a sceptre, or a wand of command, to show his dignity.

SCEVA, a Jew, and chief of the priests, Acts xix, 14, 15, 16. He was probably a person of authority in the synagogue at Ephesus, and had seven sons.

SCHISM, from ssµa, a rent or fissure. In its general meaning, it signifies division or separation; and in particular, on account of religion. Schism, is properly a division among those who stand in one connection or fellowship; but when the difference is carried so far that the parties concerned entirely break off all communion and intercourse one with another, and form distinct connections for obtaining the general ends of that religious fellowship which they once cultivated; it is undeniable there is something different from the schism spoken of in the New Testament. This is a separation from the body. Dr. Campbell shows that the word schism in Scripture does not usually signify an open separation, but that men may be guilty of schism by such an alienation of affection from their brethren as violates the internal union in the hearts of Christians, though there be no error in doctrine, nor separation from communion.

SCORPION, , Deut. viii, 15; 1 Kings xii, 11, 14; 2 Chron. x, 11, 14; Ezek. ii, 6, s, Luke x, 19; xi, 12; Rev. ix, 3; Ecclus. xxvi, 7; xxxix, 30. Parkhurst derives the name from , to press, squeeze, and , much, greatly, or , near, close. Calmet remarks, that “it fixes so violently on such persons as it seizes upon, that it cannot be plucked off without difficulty;” and Martinius declares: Habent scorpii forfices seu furcas tanquam brachia, quibus retinent quod apprehendunt, postquam caudæ aculeo punxerunt: “Scorpions have pincers or nippers, with which they keep hold of what they seize after they have wounded it with their sting.”

The scorpion, el-akerb, is generally two inches in length, and resembles so much the lobster in form, that the latter is called by the Arabs akerb d’elbahar, the “sea scorpion.” It has several joints or divisions in its tail, which are supposed to be indicative of its age; thus, if it have five, it is considered to be five years old. The poison of this animal is in its tail, at the end of which is a small, curved, sharp-pointed sting, similar to the prickle of a buckthorn tree; the curve being downward, it turns its tail upward when it strikes a blow. The scorpion delights in stony places and in old ruins. Some are of a yellow colour, others brown, and some black. The yellow possess the strongest poison, but the venom of each affects the part wounded, with frigidity, which takes place soon after the sting has been inflicted. Dioscorides thus describes the effect produced: “Where the scorpion has stung, the place becomes inflamed and hardened; it reddens by tension, and is painful by intervals, being now chilly, now burning. The pain soon rises high, and rages, sometimes more, sometimes less. A sweating succeeds, attended by a shivering and trembling; the extremities of the body become cold; the groin swells; the hair stands on end; the visage becomes pale; and the skin feels, throughout it, the sensation of perpetual prickling, as if by needles.” This description strikingly illustrates Revelation ix, 3–5, 10, in its mention of “the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.”

Some writers consider the scorpion as a species of serpent, because the poison of it is equally powerful: so the sacred writers commonly join the scorpion and serpent together in their descriptions. Thus Moses, in his farewell address to Israel, Deut. viii, 15, reminds them, that God “led them through the great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions.” We find them again united in the commission of our Lord to his disciples, Luke x, 19, “I give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy;” and in his directions concerning the duty of prayer, Luke xi, 11, 12, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone or if he shall ask an egg, will hehe offer him a scorpion”

The scorpion is contrasted with an egg, on account of the oval shape of its body. The body of the scorpion, says Lamy, is very like an egg, as its head can scarcely be distinguished; especially if it be a scorpion of the white kind, which is the first species mentioned by Ælian, Avicenna, and others. Bochart has produced testimonies to prove that the scorpions in Judea were about the bigness of an egg. So the similitude is preserved between the thing asked and given. The Greeks have a proverb, t sp, instead of a perch, or fish, a scorpion.

SCOURGE or WHIP. This punishment was very common among the Jews, Deut. xxv, 1–3. There were two ways of giving the lash; one with thongs, or whips, made of ropes’ ends, or straps of leather; the other with rods, or twigs. St. Paul informs us, that at five different times he received thirty-nine stripes from the Jews, 2 Cor. xi, 24, namely, in their synagogues, and before their courts of judgment. 846For, according to the law, punishment by stripes was restricted to forty at one beating, Deut. xxv, 3. But the whip, with which these stripes were given, consisting of three separate cords, and each stroke being accounted as three stripes, thirteen strokes made thirty-nine stripes, beyond which they never went. He adds, that he had been thrice beaten with rods, namely, by the Roman lictors, or beadles, at the command of the superior magistrates.

SCRIBES. The scribes are mentioned very early in the sacred history, and many authors suppose that they were of two descriptions, the one ecclesiastical, the other civil. It is said, “Out of Zebulon come they that handle the pen of the writer,” Judges v, 14; and the rabbins state, that the scribes were chiefly of the tribe of Simeon; but it is thought that only those of the tribe of Levi were allowed to transcribe the Holy Scriptures. These scribes are very frequently called wise men, and counsellors; and those of them who were remarkable for writing well were held in great esteem. In the reign of David, Seraiah, 2 Sam. viii, 17, in the reign of Hezekiah, Shebna, 2 Kings xviii, 18, and in the reign of Josiah, Shaphan, 2 Kings xxii, 3, are called scribes, and are ranked with the chief officers of the kingdom; and Elishama the scribe, Jer. xxxvi, 12, in the reign of Jehoiakim, is mentioned among the princes. We read also of the “principal scribe of the host,” or army, Jer. lii, 25; and it is probable that there were scribes in other departments of the state. Previous to the Babylonian captivity, the word scribe seems to have been applied to any person who was concerned in writing, in the same manner as the word secretary is with us. The civil scribes are not mentioned in the New Testament.

It appears that the office of the ecclesiastical scribes, if this distinction be allowed, was originally confined to writing copies of the law, as their name imports; but the knowledge, thus necessarily acquired, soon led them to become instructers of the people in the written law, which, it is believed, they publicly read. Baruch was an amanuensis or scribe to Jeremiah; and Ezra is called “a ready scribe in the law of Moses, having prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments,” Ezra vii, 6, 10; but there is no mention of the scribes being formed into a distinct body of men till after the cessation of prophecy. When, however, there were no inspired teachers in Israel, no divine oracle in the temple, the scribes presumed to interpret, expound, and comment upon the law and the prophets in the schools and in the synagogues. Hence arose those numberless glosses, and interpretations, and opinions, which so much perplexed and perverted the text instead of explaining it; and hence arose that unauthorized maxim, which was the principal source of all the Jewish sects, that the oral or traditionary law was of Divine origin, as well as the written law of Moses. Ezra had examined the various traditions concerning the ancient and approved usages of the Jewish church, which had been in practice before the captivity, and were remembered by the chief and most aged of the elders of the people; and he had given to some of these traditionary customs and opinions the sanction of his authority. The scribes, therefore, who lived after the time of Simon the Just, in order to give weight to their various interpretations of the law, at first pretended that they also were founded upon tradition, and added them to the opinions which Ezra had established as authentic; and in process of time it came to be asserted, that when Moses was forty days on Mount Sinai, he received from God two laws, the one in writing, the other oral; that this oral law was communicated by Moses to Aaron and Joshua, and that it passed unimpaired and uncorrupted from generation to generation, by the tradition of the elders, or great national council, established in the time of Moses; and that this oral law was to be considered as supplemental and explanatory of the written law, which was represented as being in many places obscure, scanty, and defective. In some cases they were led to expound the law by the traditions, in direct opposition to its true intent and meaning; and it may be supposed that the intercourse of the Jews with the Greeks, after the death of Alexander, contributed much to increase those vain subtleties with which they had perplexed and burdened the doctrines of religion. During our Saviour’s ministry, the scribes were those who made the law of Moses their particular study, and who were employed in instructing the people. Their reputed skill in the Scriptures induced Herod, Matt. ii, 4, to consult them concerning the time at which the Messiah was to be born. And our Saviour speaks of them as sitting in Moses’s seat, Matt. xxiii, 2, which implies that they taught the law; and he foretold that he should be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, Matt. xvi, 21, and that they should put him to death, which shows that they were men of great power and authority among the Jews. Scribes, doctors of law, and lawyers, were only different names for the same class of persons. Those who in Luke v, are called Pharisees and doctors of the law, are soon afterward called Pharisees and scribes; and he who, in Matt. xxii, 35, is called a lawyer, is, in Mark xii, 28, called one of the scribes. They had scholars under their care, whom they taught the knowledge of the law, and who, in their schools, sat on low stools just beneath their seats; which explains St. Paul’s expression that he was “brought up at the feet of Gamaliel,” Acts xxii, 3. We find that our Saviour’s manner of teaching was contrasted with that of those vain disputers; for it is said, when he had ended his sermon upon the mount, “the people were astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes,” Matt. vii, 29. By the time of our Saviour, the scribes had, indeed, in a manner, laid aside the written law, having no farther regard to that than as it agreed with their traditionary expositions of it; and thus, by their additions, corruptions, and misinterpretations, 847they had made “the word of God of none effect through their traditions,” Matt. xv, 6. It may be observed, that this in a great measure accounts for the extreme blindness of the Jews with respect to their Messiah, whom they had been taught by these commentators upon the prophecies to expect as a temporal prince. Thus, when our Saviour asserts his divine nature, and appeals to “Moses and the prophets who spake of him, the people sought to slay him,” John v; and he expresses no surprise at their intention. But when he converses with Nicodemus, John iii, who appears to have been convinced by his miracles that he was “a teacher sent from God,” when he “came to Jesus by night,” anxious to obtain farther information concerning his nature and his doctrine, our Lord, after intimating the necessity of laying aside all prejudices against the spiritual nature of his kingdom, asks, “Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things” that is, knowest not that Moses and the prophets describe the Messiah as the Son of God and he then proceeds to explain in very clear language the dignity of his person and office, and the purpose for which he came into the world, referring to the predictions of the ancient Scriptures. And Stephen, Acts vii, just before his death, addresses the multitude by an appeal to the law and the prophets, and reprobates in the most severe terms the teachers who misled the people. Our Lord, when speaking of “them of old time,” classed the “prophets, and wise men, and scribes,” together, Matt. xxiii, 34; but of the later scribes he uniformly speaks with censure and indignation, and usually joins them with the Pharisees, to which sect they in general belonged. St. Paul asks, 1 Cor. i, 20, “Where is the wise Where is the scribe Where is the disputer of this world” with evident contempt for such as, “professing themselves wise above what was written, became fools.”

SCRIPTURE, a term most commonly used to denote the writings of the Old and New Testament, which are sometimes called The Scriptures, sometimes the sacred or holy writings, and sometimes canonical scripture. See Bible.

SEA. The Hebrews gave the name of sea to all great collections of water, to great lakes or pools. Thus the sea of Galilee, or of Tiberias, or of Cinnereth, is no other than the lake of Tiberias, or Gennesareth, in Galilee. The Dead Sea, the sea of the Wilderness, the sea of the East, the sea of Sodom, the sea of Salt, or the Salt Sea, the sea of Asphaltites, or of bitumen, is no other than the lake of Sodom. The Arabians and orientals in general frequently gave the name of sea to great rivers, as the Nile, the Euphrates, the Tigris, and others, which, by their magnitude, and by the extent of their overflowings, seemed as little seas, or great lakes. In Isa. xi, 15, these words particularly apply to the Nile at the Delta.

SEAL. The ancient Hebrews wore their seals or signets, in rings on their fingers, or in bracelets on their arms, as is now the custom in the east. Haman sealed the decree of King Ahasuerus against the Jews with the king’s seal, Esther iii, 12. The priests of Bel desired the king to seal the door of their temple with his own seal. The spouse in the Canticles, viii, 6, wishes that his spouse would wear him as a signet on her arm. Pliny observes, that the use of seals or signets was rare at the time of the Trojan war, and that they were under the necessity of closing their letters with several knots. But among the Hebrews they are much more ancient. Judah left his seal as a pledge with Tamar, Gen. xxxviii, 25. Moses says, Deut. xxxii, 34, that God keeps sealed up in his treasuries, under his own seal, the instruments of his vengeance. Job says, ix, 7, that he keeps the stars as under his seal, and allows them to appear when he thinks proper. He says also, “My transgression is sealed up in a bag,” Job xiv, 7. When they intended to seal up a letter, or a book, they wrapped it round with flax, or thread, then applied the wax to it, and afterward the seal. The Lord commanded Isaiah to tie up or wrap up the book in which his prophecies were written, and to seal them till the time he should bid him publish them, Isaiah viii, 16, 17. He gives the same command to Daniel, xii, 4. The book that was shown to St. John the evangelist, Rev. v, 1; vi, 1, 2, &c, was sealed with seven seals. It was a rare thing to affix such a number of seals; but this insinuated the great importance and secrecy of the matter. In civil contracts they generally made two originals: one continued open, and was kept by him for whose interest the contract was made; the other was sealed and deposited in some public office.

SECEDERS, a numerous body of Presbyterians in Scotland, who, in the last century, seceded from the Scotch establishment. They did not, as they have uniformly declared, secede from the principles of the church of Scotland, as they are represented in her confession of faith, catechisms, longer and shorter, directory for worship, and form of Presbyterian government; but only from her present judicatories, that, they suppose, have departed from her true principles. A sermon preached by Mr. Ebenezer Erskine, of Stirling, at the opening of the synod of Perth and Sterling, in 1732, gave rise to this party. In this discourse, founded on Psalm cxviii, 22, “The stone which the builders refused,” &c, he boldly testified against what he supposed corruptions in the national church; for which freedom the synod voted him censurable, and ordered him to be rebuked at their bar. He, and three other ministers, protested against this sentence, and appealed to the next assembly. The assembly, which met in May, 1733, approved of the proceedings of the synod, and ordered Mr. Erskine to be rebuked at their bar. He refused to submit to the rebuke; whence he and his brethren were, by the sentence of the assembly, suspended from the ministry. Against this, he and his friends protested; and, being joined by many others, both ministers and elders, declaring their secession from the national church, they did, in 1736, constitute themselves into 848an ecclesiastical court, which they called the Associate Presbytery, and published a defence of their proceedings. They admit that the people have a right to choose their own pastors; that the Scriptures are the supreme judge by which all controversies must be determined; and that Jesus Christ is the only Head of his church, and the only King in Zion.

In 1745, the seceding ministers were become so numerous, that they were erected into three different presbyteries, under one synod. In 1747, through a difference in civil matters, they were divided into Burghers and Anti-Burghers. Of these two classes, the latter were the most rigid in their sentiments, and associated, therefore, the least with any other body of Christians. But this difference has been lately healed, and no longer subsists, either in Scotland or America.

SECHEM, SICHEM, SYCHEM, or SHECHEM, called also Sychar in the New Testament, afterward Neapolis, and in the present day Nablous, Naplous, Napolose, and Naplosa, (for it is thus variously written,) a city of Samaria, near the parcel of ground which Jacob bought of Hamor, the father of Shechem, and gave to his son Joseph. Here Joseph’s bones were brought out of Egypt to be interred; and on the same piece of ground was the well called Jacob’s well, at which our Saviour sat down when he had the memorable conversation with the woman of Samaria, John iv, which caused her, and many other inhabitants of Sechem, or Sychar, as it is there called, to receive him as the Messiah. On contemplating this place and its vicinity, Dr. E. D. Clarke says, “The traveller directing his footsteps toward its ancient sepulchres, as everlasting as the rocks in which they are hewn, is permitted, upon the authority of sacred and indisputable record, to contemplate the spot where the remains of Joseph, of Eleazer, and of Joshua, were severally deposited. If any thing connected with the memory of past ages be calculated to awaken local enthusiasm, the land around this city is preëminently entitled to consideration. The sacred story of events transacted in the field of Sichem, from our earliest years, is remembered with delight; but with the territory before our eyes where those events took place, and in the view of objects existing as they were described above three thousand years ago, the grateful impression kindles into ecstacy. Along the valley, we beheld ‘a company of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead,’ as in the days of Reuben and Judah, ‘with their camels bearing spicery, and balm, and myrrh,’ who would gladly have purchased another Joseph of his brethren, and conveyed him as a slave to some Potiphar in Egypt. Upon the hills around flocks and herds were feeding, as of old; nor in the simple garb of the shepherds of Samaria was there any thing repugnant to the notions we may entertain of the appearance presented by the sons of Jacob.” The celebrated well called Jacob’s well, but which, with the inhabitants of Sechem, is known by the name of Bir Samaria, or the “Well of Samaria,” is situated about half an hour’s walk east of the town.

SEEING. To see, in Scripture, is often used to express the sense of vision, knowledge of spiritual things, and even the supernatural knowledge of hidden things, of prophecy, of visions, of ecstacies. Whence it is that formerly those were called seers who afterward were termed, nabi, or prophets; and that prophecies were called visions. Moreover, to see, is used for expressing all kinds of sensations. It is said in Exodus, xx, 18, that the Israelites saw voices, thunder, lightning, the sounding of the trumpet, and the whole mountain of Sinai covered with clouds, or smoke. And St. Austin observes, that the verb, to see, is applied to all the five natural senses; to see, to hear, to smell, to taste, to touch. “To see goodness,” is to enjoy it. “To see the goodness of the Lord,” Psalm xxvii, 13; that is, to enjoy the mercy or blessing which God hath promised. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God;” that is, they shall have the perfect and immediate fruition of the glorious presence of God in heaven; or they shall understand the mysteries of salvation; they shall perceive the loving kindness of God toward them in this life, and shall at length perfectly enjoy him in heaven.

SEIR, the Horite, whose dwelling was to the east and south of the Dead Sea, in the mountains of Seir, Genesis xiv, 6; xxxvi, 20; Deuteronomy ii, 12; where at first reigned the descendants of Seir the Horite, of whom Moses gives us a list in Genesis xxxvi, 20, 21–30; 1 Chron. 38, 39, &c. The posterity of Esau afterward were in possession of the mountains of Seir, and Esau himself dwelt there when Jacob returned from Mesopotamia, Gen. xxxiii, 3; xxxiii, 14; xxxvi, 8, 9.

Seir, Mount, a mountainous tract, extending from the southern extremity of the Dead Sea, to the gulf of Acaba, or Ezion-Geber. The whole of this tract was probably before called Mount Hor, and was inhabited by the Horites, the descendants, as it is thought, of Hor, who is no otherwise known, and whose name is now only retained in that part of the plain where Aaron died. These people were driven out from their country by the Edomites, or the children of Esau, who dwelt there in their stead, and were in possession of this region when the Israelites passed by in their passage from Egypt to the land of Canaan. The country had, however, been previously overrun, and no doubt very much depopulated, by the invasion of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam. At what time the name of Hor was changed to that of Seir cannot be ascertained. Mount Seir rises abruptly on its western side from the valleys of El Ghor and El Araba; presenting an impregnable front to the strong country of the Edomite mountaineers, which compelled the Israelites, who were unable (if permitted by their leader) to force a passage through this mountain barrier, to skirt its western base, along the great valley of the Ghor and Araba, and so to “compass the land of Edom by the way of the Red Sea,” that is, to descend to its southern extremity at Ezion-Geber, as they could not penetrate it higher up. To the southward 849of this place Burckhardt observed an opening in the mountains, where he supposed the Israelites to have passed. This passage brought them into the high plains on the east of Mount Seir, which are so much higher than the valley on the west, that the mountainous territory of the Edomites was every where more accessible: a circumstance which perhaps contributed to make them more afraid of the Israelites on this border, whom they had set at defiance on the opposite one. The mean elevation of this chain cannot be estimated at less than four thousand feet. In the summer it produces most of the European fruits, namely, apricots, figs, pomegranates, olives, apples, and peaches; while in winter deep snows occasionally fall, with frosts, to the middle of March. The inhabitants, like those of most mountainous regions, are very healthy. Burckhardt says, that there was no part of Syria in which he saw so few invalids: a circumstance which did not escape the observation of the ancients, who denominated it, Palæstina tertia sive salutaris. [Palestine the third or the healthy.]

SELAH. This expression is found in the Psalms seventy-four times, and thrice in the Prophet Habakkuk. The interpreters Symmachus and Theodotion generally translate selah by diapsalma, which signifies “a rest” or “pause” in singing. Jerom and Aquila translate it “for ever.” Some moderns pretend that selah has no signification, and that it is only a note of the ancient music, whose use is no longer known; and, indeed, selah may be taken away from all the places where it is found without interrupting the sense of the psalm. Calmet says it intimates the end, or a pause, and that is its proper signification; but as it is not always found at the conclusion of the sense, or of the psalm or song, so it is highly probable the ancient musicians put selah in the margin of their psalters, to show where a musical pause was to be made, or where the tune ended.

SELEUCIA, a city of Syria, situated upon the Mediterranean, near the place where the Orontes discharges itself into the sea. St. Paul and Barnabas were at this place when they embarked for Cyprus, Acts xiii, 4. The same city is mentioned in 1 Mac. xi, 8.

SENNACHERIB, king of Assyria, son and successor of Shalmaneser. He began his reign A. M. 3290, and reigned only four years. Hezekiah, king of Judah, having refused to pay him tribute, though he afterward submitted, he invaded Judea with a great army, took several forts, and after repeated, insolent, and blasphemous messages, besieged Jerusalem; but his army being suddenly smitten with a pestilence, which cut off a hundred and eighty-five thousand in a single night, he returned to Nineveh, where he was murdered in the temple of Nisroch by his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer, and was succeeded by his other son, Esar-haddon, 2 Kings xix, 7, 13, 37.

SEPHARVAIM, a country of Assyria, 2 Kings xvii, 24, 31. This province cannot now be exactly delineated in respect to its situation. The Scripture speaks of the king of the city of Sepharvaim, which probably was the capital of the people of this name, 2 Kings xix, 13; Isaiah xxxvii, 13.

SEPTUAGINT. Among the Greek versions of the Old Testament, says Mr. Horne, the Alexandrian or Septuagint is the most ancient and valuable, and was held in so much esteem both by the Jews as well as by the first Christians, as to be constantly read in the synagogues and churches. Hence it is uniformly cited by the early fathers, whether Greek or Latin; and from this version all the translations into other languages which were anciently approved by the Christian church were executed, with the exception of the Syriac; as the Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Gothic, and old Italic or the Latin version in use before the time of Jerom; and to this day the Septuagint is exclusively read in the Greek and most other oriental churches. This version has derived its name either from the Jewish account of seventy-two persons having been employed to make it, or from its having received the approbation of the sanhedrim or great council of the Jews, which consisted of seventy, or, more correctly, of seventy-two persons. Much uncertainty, however, has prevailed concerning the real history of this ancient version; and while some have strenuously advocated its miraculous and Divine origin, other eminent philologists have laboured to prove that it must have been executed by several persons and at different times. According to one account, Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, caused this translation to be made for the use of the library which he had founded at Alexandria, at the request and with the advice of the celebrated Demetrius Phalereus, his principal librarian. For this purpose, it is reported, that he sent Aristeas and Andreas, two distinguished officers of his court, to Jerusalem, on an embassy to Eleazar, then high priest of the Jews, to request of the latter a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, and that there might also be sent to him seventy-two persons, six chosen out of each of the twelve tribes, who were equally well skilled in the Hebrew and Greek languages. These learned men were accordingly shut up in the island of Pharos; where, having agreed in a translation of each period after a mutual conference, Demetrius wrote down their version as they dictated it to him; and thus, in the space of seventy-two days, the whole was accomplished. This relation is derived from a letter ascribed to Aristeas himself, the authenticity of which has been greatly disputed. If, as there is every reason to believe is the case, this piece is a forgery, it was made at a very early period; for it was in existence in the time of Josephus, who has made use of it in his Jewish Antiquities. The veracity of Aristeas’s narrative was not questioned until the seventeenth or eighteenth century, at which time, indeed, Biblical criticism was, comparatively, in its infancy, Vives, Scaliger, Van Dale, Dr. Prideaux, and, above all, Dr. Hody, were the principal writers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who attacked the genuineness of the pretended 850narrative of Aristeas; and though it was ably vindicated by Bishop Walton, Isaac Vossius, Whiston, Brett, and other modern writers, the majority of the learned of our own time are fully agreed in considering it as fictitious. Philo, the Jew, who also notices the Septuagint version, was ignorant of most of the circumstances narrated by Aristeas; but he relates others which appear not less extraordinary. According to him, Ptolemy Philadelphus sent to Palestine for some learned Jews, whose number he does not specify; and these, going over to the island of Pharos, there executed so many distinct versions, all of which so exactly and uniformly agreed in sense, phrases, and words, as proved them to have been not common interpreters, but men prophetically inspired and divinely directed, who had every word dictated to them by the Spirit of God throughout the entire translation. He adds, that an annual festival was celebrated by the Alexandrian Jews in the isle of Pharos, where the version was made, until his time, to preserve the memory of it, and to thank God for so great a benefit.

It is not a little remarkable that the Samaritans have traditions in favour of their version of the Pentateuch, equally extravagant with these preserved by the Jews. In the Samaritan chronicle of Abul Phatach, which was compiled in the fourteenth century from ancient and modern authors, both Hebrew and Arabic, there is a story to the following effect: that Ptolemy Philadelphus, in the tenth year of his reign, directed his attention to the difference subsisting between the Samaritans and Jews concerning the law, the former receiving only the Pentateuch, and rejecting every other work ascribed to the prophets by the Jews. In order to determine this difference, he commanded the two nations to send deputies to Alexandria. The Jews entrusted this mission to Osar, the Samaritans to Aaron, to whom several other associates were added. Separate apartments in a particular quarter of Alexandria were assigned to each of these strangers, who were prohibited from having any personal intercourse, and each of them had a Greek scribe to write his version. Thus were the law and other Scriptures translated by the Samaritans; whose version being most carefully examined, the king was convinced that their text was more complete than that of the Jews. Such is the narrative of Abul Phatach, divested, however, of numerous marvellous circumstances with which it has been decorated by the Samaritans, who are not surpassed, even by the Jews, in their partiality for idle legends.

A fact, buried under such a mass of fables as the translation of the Septuagint has been by the historians who have pretended to record it, necessarily loses all its historical character, which, indeed, we are fully justified in disregarding altogether. Although there is no doubt but that some truth is concealed under this load of fables, yet it is by no means an easy task to discern the truth from what is false: the following, however, is the result of our researches concerning this celebrated version:--

It is probable that the seventy interpreters, as they are called, executed their version of the Pentateuch during the joint reigns of Ptolemy Lagus and his son Philadelphus. The pseudo Aristeas, Josephus, Philo, and many other writers whom it were tedious to enumerate, relate that this version was made during the reign of Ptolemy II., or Philadelphus; Joseph Ben Gorion, however, among the rabbins, Theodoret, and many other Christian writers, refer its date to the time of Ptolemy Lagus. Now, these two traditions can be reconciled only by supposing the version to have been performed during the two years when Ptolemy Philadelphus shared the throne with his father; which date coincides with the third and fourth years of the hundred and twenty-third Olympiad, that is, about B. C. 286 and 285. Farther, this version was neither made by the command of Ptolemy, nor at the request nor under the superintendence of Demetrius Phalereus; but was voluntarily undertaken by the Jews for the use of their countrymen. It is well known, that, at the period above noticed, there was a great number of Jews settled in Egypt, particularly at Alexandria: these, being most strictly observant of the religious institutions and usages of their forefathers, had their sanhedrim or grand council composed of seventy or seventy-two members, and very numerous synagogues, in which the law was read to them on every Sabbath; and as the bulk of the common people were no longer acquainted with Biblical Hebrew, the Greek language alone being used in their ordinary intercourse, it became necessary to translate the Pentateuch into Greek for their use. This is a far more probable account of the origin of the Alexandrian version than the traditions above stated. If this translation had been made by public authority, it would unquestionably have been performed under the direction of the sanhedrim, who would have examined and perhaps corrected it, if it had been the work of a single individual, previously to giving it the stamp of their approbation, and introducing it into their synagogues. In either case the translation would probably be denominated the Septuagint, because the sanhedrim was composed of seventy or seventy-two members. It is even possible that the sanhedrim, in order to ascertain the fidelity of the work, might have sent to Palestine for some learned men, of whose assistance and advice they would have availed themselves in examining the version. This fact, if it could be proved, for it is offered as a mere conjecture, would account for the story of the king of Egypt’s sending an embassy to Jerusalem: there is, however, one circumstance which proves that, in executing this translation, the synagogues were originally in contemplation, namely, that all the ancient writers unanimously concur in saying that the Pentateuch was first translated. The five books of Moses, indeed, were the only books read in the synagogues until the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria; who having forbidden 851that practice in Palestine, the Jews evaded his commands by substituting for the Pentateuch the reading of the prophetic books. When, afterward, the Jews were delivered from the tyranny of the kings of Syria, they read the law and the prophets alternately in the synagogues; and the same custom was adopted by the Hellenistic or Græcising Jews.

But, whatever was the real number of the authors of the version, their introduction of Coptic words, such as f eµf, &c, as well as their rendering of ideas purely Hebrew altogether in the Egyptian manner, clearly prove that they were natives of Egypt. Thus, they express the creation of the world, not by the proper Greek word ts, but by es, a term employed by the philosophers of Alexandria to express the origin of the universe. The Hebrew word thummim, Exodus xxviii, 30, which signifies “perfections,” they render ea, truth. The difference of style also indicates the version to have been the work not of one but of several translators, and to have been executed at different times. The best qualified and most able among them was the translator of the Pentateuch, who was evidently master of both Greek and Hebrew: he has religiously followed the Hebrew text, and has in various instances introduced the most suitable and best chosen expressions. From the very close resemblance subsisting between the text of the Greek version and the text of the Samaritan Pentateuch, Louis De Dieu, Selden, Whiston, Hassencamp, and Bauer, are of opinion that the author of the Alexandrian version made it from the Samaritan Pentateuch. And in proportion as these two correspond, the Greek differs from the Hebrew. This opinion is farther supported by the declarations of Origen and Jerom, that the translator found the venerable name of Jehovah, not in the letters in common use, but in very ancient characters; and also by the fact that those consonants in the Septuagint are frequently confounded together, the shapes of which are similar in the Samaritan, but not in the Hebrew, alphabet. This hypothesis, however ingenious and plausible, is by no means determinate; and what militates most against it is, the inveterate enmity subsisting between the Jews and Samaritans, added to the constant and unvarying testimony of antiquity, that the Greek version of the Pentateuch was executed by Jews. There is no other way by which to reconcile these conflicting opinions than by supposing either that the manuscript used by the Egyptian Jews approximated toward the letters and text of the Samaritan Pentateuch, or that the translators of the Septuagint made use of manuscripts written in ancient characters. Next to the Pentateuch, for ability and fidelity of execution, ranks the translation of the book of Proverbs, the author of which was well skilled in the two languages: Michaëlis is of opinion that, of all the books of the Septuagint, the style of the Proverbs is the best, the translator having clothed the most ingenious thoughts in as neat and elegant language as was ever used by a Pythagorean sage, to express his philosophical maxims.

The Septuagint version, though originally made for the use of the Egyptian Jews, gradually acquired the highest authority among the Jews of Palestine, who were acquainted with the Greek language, and subsequently also among Christians: it appears, indeed, that the legend above confuted, of the translators having been divinely inspired, was invented in order that the LXX. might be held in the greater estimation. Philo, the Jew, a native of Egypt, has evidently followed it in his allegorical expositions of the Mosaic law; and though Dr. Hody was of opinion that Josephus, who was a native of Palestine, corroborated his work on Jewish antiquities from the Hebrew text, yet Salmasius, Bochart, Bauer, and others, have shown that he has adhered to the Septuagint throughout that work. How extensively this version was in use among the Jews, appears from the solemn sanction given to it by the inspired writers of the New Testament, who have in very many passages quoted the Greek version of the Old Testament. Their example was followed by the earlier fathers and doctors of the church, who, with the exception of Origen and Jerom, were unacquainted with Hebrew: notwithstanding their zeal for the word of God, they did not exert themselves to learn the original language of the sacred writings, but acquiesced in the Greek representation of them, judging it, no doubt, to be fully sufficient for all the purposes of their pious labours. The Greek Scriptures were the only Scriptures known to or valued by the Greeks. This was the text commented on by Chrysostom and Theodoret: it was this which furnished topics to Athanasius, Nazianzen, and Basil. From this fountain the stream was derived to the Latin church, first by the Italic or Vulgate translation of the Scriptures, which was made from the Septuagint, and not from the Hebrew; and, secondly, by the study of the Greek fathers. It was by this borrowed light that the Latin fathers illumined the western hemisphere; and, when the age of Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, and Gregory, successively passed away, this was the light put into the hands of the next dynasty of theologists, the schoolmen, who carried on the work of theological disquisition by the aid of this luminary, and none other. So that, either in Greek or in Latin, it was still the Septuagint Scriptures that were read, explained, and quoted as authority, for a period of fifteen hundred years.

SEPTUAGINT CHRONOLOGY is that which is formed from the dates and periods of time mentioned in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. It reckons one thousand five hundred years more from the creation to Abraham than the Hebrew Bible. Dr. Kennicott, in the dissertation prefixed to his Hebrew Bible, has shown it to be very probable, that the chronology of the Hebrew Scriptures, since the period just mentioned, was corrupted by the Jews between A. D. 175 and 200; and that the chronology of the Septuagint is more agreeable to truth. It is a fact, that, during 852the second and third centuries, the Hebrew Scriptures were almost entirely in the hands of the Jews, while the Septuagint was confined to the Christians. The Jews had, therefore, a very favourable opportunity for this corruption. The following is the reason which is given by the oriental writers: It being a very ancient tradition that Messiah was to come in the sixth chiliad, because he was to come in the last days, founded on a mystical application of the six days of the creation, the contrivance was to shorten the age of the world from about 5500 to 3760; and thence to prove that Jesus could not be the Messiah. Dr. Kennicott adds, that some Hebrew copies, having the larger chronology, were extant till the time of Eusebius, and some till the year 700.

SEPULCHRES. The descriptions of the eastern sepulchres, by travellers, serve to explain several passages of Scripture. Shaw says, “If we except a few persons who are buried within the precincts of some sanctuary, the rest are carried out at a small distance from their cities and villages, where a great extent of ground is allotted for that purpose. Each family has a particular portion of it, walled in like a garden, where the bones of their ancestors have remained undisturbed for many generations: for in these inclosures the graves are all distinct and separate, having each of them a stone placed upright, both at the head and feet, inscribed with the name of the person who lieth there interred, while the intermediate space is either planted with flowers, bordered round with stone, or paved all over with tiles. The graves of the principal citizens are farther distinguished by some square chambers or cupolas that are built over them, Mark v, 3. Now, as all these different sorts of tombs and sepulchres, with the very walls likewise of the inclosures, are constantly kept clean, white-washed, and beautified, they continue to this day to be an excellent comment upon that expression of our Saviour, where he mentions the garnishing of the sepulchres, Matt. xxiii, 29; and again, verse 27, where he compares the scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, to whited sepulchres.” With respect to the demoniacs who are said by St. Matthew to come out of the tombs, Light observes, “I trod the ground celebrated for the miracle of the unclean spirit, driven by our Saviour among the swine. The tombs still exist in the form of caverns, on the sides of the hills that rise from the shore of the lake; and from their wild appearance may well be considered the habitation of men exceeding fierce, possessed by a devil; they extend at a distance for more than a mile from the present town.” In the account we have of the resurrection of Lazarus, when Mary went suddenly out to meet Jesus, the Jews supposed that she was gone to the grave, “to weep there.” The following extract from Buckingham illustrates this: “Not far from the spot at which we halted to enjoy this enchanting view, was an extensive cemetry, at which we noticed the custom so prevalent among eastern nations of visiting the tombs of their deceased friends. These were formed with great care, and finished with extraordinary neatness: and at the foot of each grave was enclosed a small earthen vessel, in which was planted a sprig of myrtle, regularly watered every day by the mourning friend who visited it. Throughout the whole of this extensive place of burial we did not observe a single grave to which this token of respect and sorrow was not attached; and, scattered among the tombs, in different quarters of the cemetry, we saw from twenty to thirty parties of females, sitting near the honoured remains of some recently lost and deeply regretted relative or friend, and either watering their myrtle plants, or strewing flowers over the green turf that closed upon their heads.” See Burial.

SERPENT. In Egypt and other oriental countries, a serpent was the common symbol of a powerful monarch; it was embroidered on the robes of princes, and blazoned on their diadem, to signify their absolute power and invincible might, and that, as the wound inflicted by the basilisk is incurable, so the fatal effects of their displeasure were neither to be avoided nor endured. These are the allusions involved in the address of the prophet, to the irreconcilable enemies of his nation: “Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken; for out of the serpent’s roots shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent,” Isaiah xiv, 29. Uzziah, the king of Judah, had subdued the Philistines; but taking advantage of the weak reign of Ahaz, they again invaded the kingdom of Judea, and reduced some cities in the southern part of the country under their dominion. On the death of Ahaz, Isaiah delivers this prophecy, threatening them with a more severe chastisement from the hand of Hezekiah, the grandson of Uzziah, by whose victorious arms they had been reduced to sue for peace; which he accomplished, when “he smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza and the borders thereof,” 2 Kings xviii, 8. Uzziah, therefore, must be meant by the rod that smote them, and by the serpent from whom should spring the fiery flying serpent, that is, Hezekiah, a much more terrible enemy than even Uzziah had been. But the symbol of regal power which the oriental kings preferred to all others, was the basilisk. This fact is attested by its Arabian name melecha, from the Hebrew verb malach, “to reign;” from its Greek name ass, and its Latin name regulus: all of which, it is asserted, referred to the conspicuous place it occupied among the regal ornaments of the east. The basilisk is of a reddish colour, and its head is decorated with a crest in the form of a crown; it is not entirely prostrate, like other serpents, but moves along with its head and half the body erect; the other parts sweep the ground behind,

And wind its spacious back in rolling spires.

All the other species of serpents are said to acknowledge the superiority of the real or the fabled basilisk, by flying from its presence, and hiding themselves in the dust. It is also supposed to live longer than any other serpent; 853the ancient Heathens therefore pronounced it immortal, and placed it in the number of their deities; and because it had the dangerous power, in general belief, of killing with its pestiferous breath the strongest animals, it seemed to then invested with the power of life and death. It became, therefore, the favourite symbol of kings; and was employed by the prophet, to symbolize the great and good Hezekiah, with strict propriety.

2. The cerastes, or horned snake. The only allusion to this species of serpent in the sacred volume occurs in the valedictory predictions of Jacob, where he describes the character and actions of Dan and his posterity: “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder, , in the path, that biteth the horse’s heels, so that his rider shall fall backward,” Gen. xlix, 17. It is indisputably clear, that the patriarch intended some kind of serpent; for the circumstances will not apply to a freebooter watching for his prey. It only remains to investigate the species to which it belongs. The principal care of the Jewish writers is to ascertain the etymology of the name, about which their sentiments are much divided. The Arabian authors quoted by Bochart inform us, that the sephiphon is a most pernicious reptile, and very dangerous to man. It is of a sandy colour, variegated with black and white spots. The particulars in the character of Dan, however, agree better with the cerastes, or horned snake, than with any other species of serpent. It lies in wait for passengers in the sand, or in the rut of the wheels on the highway. From its lurking place it treacherously bites the horse’s heels, so that the rider falls backward, in consequence of the animal’s hinder legs becoming almost immediately torpid by the dreadful activity of the poison. The cerastes is equally formidable to man and the lower animals; and the more dangerous, because it is not easy to distinguish him from the sand in which he lies; and he never spares the helpless traveller who unwarily comes within his reach. Like the cerastes, Dan was to excel in cunning and artifice, to prevail against his enemies rather by his policy in the cabinet than by his valour in the field.

3. The seraph, or fiery flying serpent, to a Biblical student, is one of the most interesting creatures that has yet been mentioned. It bears the name of an order among the hosts of heaven, whom Isaiah beheld in vision, placed above the throne of Jehovah in the temple; the brazen figure of this serpent is supposed to be a type of our blessed Redeemer, who was for our salvation lifted up upon the cross, as the serpent was elevated in the camp of Israel, for the preservation of that people. It is the only species of serpent which the almighty Creator has provided with wings, by means of which, instead of creeping or leaping, it rises from the ground, and leaning upon the extremity of its tail, moves with great velocity. It is a native of Egypt, and the deserts of Arabia; and receives its name from the Hebrew verb seraph, which signifies to burn, in allusion to the violent inflammation which its poison produces, or rather to its fiery colour, which the brazen serpent was intended to represent. Bochart is of opinion, that the seraph is the same as the hydrus, or, as Cicero calls it, the serpent of the waters. For, in the book of Isaiah, the land of Egypt is called the region from whence come the viper and flying seraph, or burning serpent. Ælian says, they come from the deserts of Libya and Arabia, to inhabit the streams of the Nile; and that they have the form of the hydrus.

The existence of winged serpents is attested by many writers of modern times. A kind of snakes were discovered among the Pyrenees, from whose sides proceeded cartilages in the form of wings; and Scaliger mentions a peasant who killed a serpent of the same species which attacked him, and presented it to the king of France. Le Blanc, as quoted by Bochart, says, at the head of lake Chiamay are extensive woods and vast marshes, which it is very dangerous to approach, because they are infested with very large serpents, which, raised from the ground on wings resembling those of bats, and leaning on the extremity of their tails, move with great rapidity. They exist, it is reported, about these places in so great numbers, that they have almost laid waste the neighbouring province. And, in the same work, Le Blanc affirms that he had seen some of them of immense size, which, when hungry, rushed impetuously on sheep and other tame animals. But the original term does not always signify flying with wings; it often expresses vibration, swinging backward and forward, a tremulous motion, a fluttering; and this is precisely the motion of a serpent, when he springs from one tree to another. Niebuhr mentions a sort of serpent at Bassorah, which they call heie thiare. “They commonly keep upon the date trees; and as it would be laborious for them to come down from a very high tree, in order to ascend another, they twist themselves by the tail to a branch of the former, which, making a spring by the motion they give it, throws them to the branches of the second. Hence it is that the modern Arabs call them flying serpents, heie thiare. Admiral Anson also speaks of the flying serpents that he met with at the island of Quibo, but which were without wings.” From this account it may be inferred, that the flying serpent mentioned in the prophet was of that species of serpents which, from their swift darting motion, the Greeks call aconitias, and the Romans, jaculus. The original phrase will bear another interpretation, which, perhaps, approaches still nearer the truth. The verb sometimes means to sparkle, to emit coruscations of light. In this sense, the noun frequently occurs in the sacred volume; thus Zophar says: “The coruscation, , shall be as the morning.” The word in the verse under consideration may therefore refer to the ruddy colour of that serpent, and express the sparkling of the blazing sunbeams upon its scales, which are extremely brilliant.

4. The dragon. In Hebrew, the word signifies either a dragon or a whale. As the name of a serpent, it frequently denotes one 854of any species; as when the rod of Moses is said to have been turned into a serpent, . But, in its more strict and appropriate application, it is the proper name of the dragon, which differs from the serpent chiefly in its size. “Three kinds of dragons were formerly distinguished in India. 1. Those of the hills and mountains. 2. Those of the valleys and caves. 3. Those of the fens and marshes. The first is the largest, and covered with scales resplendent as burnished gold. They have a kind of beard hanging from their lower jaw, their aspect is frightful, their cry loud and shrill, their crest bright yellow, and they have a protuberance on their heads, as the colour of a burning coal. Those of the flat country are of a silver colour, and frequent rivers, to which the former never come. Those of the marshes are black, slow, and have no crest. Their bite is not venomous, though the creatures be dreadful.” This description agrees in every particular with the boa, which is justly considered as the proper dragon. But so great is the inconsistency of the human mind, that the creature which is now an object of universal dislike was, in early times, honoured with religious worship by every nation of the earth. Rites were devised and temples built to its honour; and priests were appointed to conduct the ceremonies. These miserable idolaters appeared before the altars of their contemptible deity in gorgeous vestments, their heads adorned with serpents, or with the figures of serpents embroidered on their tiaras, when the creatures themselves were not to be had; and in their frantic exclamations cried out, in evident allusion to the triumph which the old serpent obtained over our first mother, Eva, Eva. So completely was Satan permitted to insult our fallen race, that the serpent, his chosen agent in accomplishing our ruin, was actually raised to the first place among the deities of the Heathen world, and reverenced by the most solemn acts of worship. The figure of the serpent adorned the portals of the proudest temples in the east.

The serpent was a very common symbol of the sun; and he is represented biting his tail, and with his body formed into a circle, in order to indicate the ordinary course of this luminary; and under this form it was an emblem of time and eternity. The serpent was also the symbol of medicine, and of the gods which presided over it, as of Apollo and Æsculapius. In most of the ancient rites we find some allusion to the serpent, under the several titles of Ob, Ops, Python, &c. This idolatry is alluded to by Moses, Lev. xx, 27. The woman of Endor, who had a familiar spirit, is called Oub, or Ob, and it is interpreted Pythonissa: the place where she resided, says the learned Mr. Bryant, seems to have been named from the worship then instituted; for Endor is compounded of En-ador, and signifies fons pithonis, the “fountain of light,” the oracle of the god Ador; which oracle was probably founded by the Canaanites, and had never been totally suppressed. His pillar was also called Abbadir, or Abadir, compounded of ab and adir, and meaning the serpent deity Addir, the same as Adorus. In the orgies of Bacchus, the persons who partook of the ceremony, used to carry serpents in their hands, and with horrid screams call upon Eva! Eva! Eva being, according to the writer just mentioned, the same as epha, or opha, which the Greeks rendered ophis, and by it denoted a serpent, and containing no allusion to Eve, as above conjectured. These ceremonies, and this symbolic worship, began among the magi, who were the sons of Chus; and by them they were propagated in various parts. Wherever the Ammonians founded any places of worship, and introduced their rites, there was generally some story of a serpent. There was a legend about a serpent at Colchis, at Thebes, and at Delphi; and likewise in other places. The Greeks called Apollo himself Python, which is the same as Oupis, Opis, or Oub. In Egypt there was a serpent named Thermuthis, which was looked upon as very sacred; and the natives are said to have made use of it as a royal tiara, with which they ornamented the statues of Isis. The kings of Egypt wore high bonnets, terminating in a round ball, and surrounded with figures of asps; and the priests likewise had the representation of serpents upon their bonnets. Abadon, or Abaddon, mentioned in the Revelation, ix, 11, is supposed by Mr. Bryant to have been the name of the Ophite god, with whose worship the world had been so long infected. This worship began among the people of Chaldea, who built the city of Ophis upon the Tigris, and were greatly addicted to divination, and to the worship of the serpent. From Chaldea the worship passed into Egypt, where the serpent deity was called Canoph, Can-eph, and C’neph; it also had the name of Ob, or Oub, and was the same as the Basiliscus, or royal serpent, the same as the Thermuthis, and made use of by way of ornament to the statues of their gods. The chief deity of Egypt is said to have been Vulcan, who was styled Opas; he was the same as Osiris, the sun, and hence was often called Ob-el, or Pytho, sol; and there were pillars sacred to him, with curious hieroglyphical inscriptions bearing the same name, whence among the Greeks, who copied from the Egyptians, every thing gradually tapering to a point was styled obelos, or obeliscus. As the worship of the serpent began among the sons of Chus, Mr. Bryant conjectures that from thence they were denominated Ethiopians and Aithiopians, from Ath-ope, or Ath-opes, the god whom they worshipped, and not from their complexion: the Ethiopes brought these rites into Greece, and called the island where they first established them, Ellopia, Solis Serpentis insula, the same with Eubœa, or Oubaia, that is, the Serpent Island. The same learned writer discovers traces of the serpent worship among the Hyperboreans, at Rhodes, named Ophiusa, in Phrygia, and upon the Hellespont, in the island Cyprus, in Crete, among the Athenians, in the name of Cecrops, among the natives of Thebes in Bœotia, among the Lacedæmonians, in Italy, in Syria, &c, and in the names of many places, as well as the people where the 855Ophites settled. One of the most early heresies introduced into the Christian church was that of the Ophitæ, who introduced serpents emblematically among their rites. This is seen in many of the medals, the relics of Gnosticism which are still preserved.

The form assumed by the tempter when he seduced our first parents, has been handed down in the traditions of most ancient nations; and, though animals of the serpent tribe were very generally worshipped by the Pagans, as symbols of the Agathodemon; they were likewise viewed as types or figures of the evil principle. 1. One of the most remarkable accounts of the primeval tempter under the shape of a serpent occurs in the Zend-Avesta of the ancient Persians. 2. To the dracontian Ahriman of the Persians, the malignant serpent caliya of Hindoo theology appears to be very closely allied. He is represented, at least, as the decided enemy of the mediatorial god; whom he persecutes with the utmost virulence, though he is finally vanquished by his celestial adversary. 3. The serpent typhon of the Egyptians, who is sometimes identified with the ocean, because the deluge was esteemed the work of the evil principle; and the serpent python of the Greeks, who is evidently the same as the monster typhon; appear to have similarly originated, in the first instance, from some remembrance of the form which Satan assumed when in paradise. Perhaps also the notion, that python was oracular,--a notion which caused the so frequent use of serpents in the rites of divination, may have sprung from a recollection of the vocal responses which the tempter gave to Eve under the borrowed figure of that reptile. 4. We may still ascribe to the same source that rebellious serpent whose treason seems to have been so well remembered among the inhabitants of Syria. Pherecydes, a native of that country, bestows upon him the Greek name of ophioneus, or the “serpent god;” which, in fact, is a mere translation of the Syriac or Chaldaic nachash. He represents him as being the prince of those evil spirits who contended with the supreme god Cronus, and who in consequence were ejected from heaven. Their happiness being thus justly forfeited, they were henceforth plunged in the depths of Tartarus, hateful and mutually hating each other. From Syria and the east the legend passed into Greece, mingled, however, with allusions to the deluge. 5. The same evil being, in the same form, appears again in the mythology of the Goths or Scythians. We are told by the ancient Scalds, that the bad principle, whom they denominate loke, unites great personal beauty with a malignant and inconstant nature: and he is described as surpassing all creatures in the depth of his cunning and the artfulness of his perfidy. Here the pristine glory and majesty of Satan, before the lineaments of celestial beauty were defaced by his rebellious apostasy, seem not obscurely to be alluded to; while the craft and malevolence, which mark his character as a fallen angel, are depicted with sufficient accuracy.

The most remarkable corroboration, however, of the Mosaic history is to be found in those fables which involve the mythological serpent, and in the worship which was so generally offered to him throughout the world. The worship of the serpent may be traced in almost every religion through ancient Asia, Europe, Africa, America. But how an object of abhorrence could have been exalted into an object of veneration, must be referred to the subtlety of the arch enemy himself, whose constant endeavour has been rather to corrupt than obliterate the true faith, that, in the perpetual conflict between truth and error, the mind of man might be more surely confounded and debased. Among other devices, that of elevating himself into an object of adoration, has ever been the most cherished. It was that which he proposed to our Lord: “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” We cannot, therefore, wonder that the same being who had the presumption to make this proposal to the Son of God, should have had the address to insinuate himself into the worship of the children of men. In this he was unhappily but too well seconded by the natural tendency of human corruption. The unenlightened Heathen, in obedience to the voice of nature, acknowledged his dependence upon a superior being. His reason assured him that there must be a God; his conscience assured him that God was good; but he felt and acknowledged the prevalence of evil, and attributed it, naturally to an evil agent. But as the evil spirit, to his unillumined mind, seemed as omnipotent as the good agent, he worshipped both; the one, that he might propitiate his kindness; the other that he might avert his displeasure. The great point of devil worship being gained, namely, the acknowledgment of the evil spirit as God, the transition to idolatry became easy. The mind, once darkened by the admission of an allegiance divided between God and Satan, became gradually more feeble and superstitious, until at length sensible objects were called in to aid the weakness of degraded intellect; and from their first form as symbols, passed rapidly through the successive stages of apotheosis, until they were elevated into gods. Of these the most remarkable was the serpent; upon the basis of tradition, regarded, first as the symbol of the malignant being; subsequently considered talismanic and oracular; and lastly, venerated and worshipped as divine.

SERPENT, Brazen. This was a figure of a serpent, called above the seraph, which Moses caused to be put on the top of a pole, Num. xxi, 9, that all those bitten by the serpent, who should look upon this image, might be healed. Our Saviour, in the Gospel of St. John, iii, 14, declares, that “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up,” alluding to his own death which, through faith, was to give life to the world. The brazen serpent was preserved among the Israelites down to the time of Hezekiah; who, being informed that the people paid a superstitious worship to it, had it broken 856in pieces, and by way of contempt gave it the name of Nehushtan, that is to say, a brazen bauble or trifle, 2 Kings xviii, 4. See Type.

SERVANT. This word generally signifies a slave. For formerly among the Hebrews, and the neighbouring nations, the greater part of servants were slaves, that is to say, they belonged absolutely to their masters, who had a right to dispose of their persons, their bodies, goods, and even of their lives, in some cases. The Hebrews had two sorts of servants or slaves, Leviticus xxv, 44, 45, &c. Some were strangers, either bought, or taken in the wars. The others were Hebrew slaves, who, being poor, sold themselves, or were sold to pay their debts; or were delivered up for slaves by their parents, in cases of necessity. This sort of Hebrew slaves continued in slavery but to the year of jubilee; then they might return to liberty again, and their masters could not retain them against their wills. If they would continue voluntarily with their masters, they were brought before the judges; there they made a declaration, that for this time they disclaimed the privilege of the law, had their ears bored with an awl, by applying them to the door-posts of their master, Exod. xxi, 2, 5–7, &c; and after that they had no longer any power of recovering their liberty, except at the next year of jubilee. Servant is also taken for a man that dedicates himself to the service of another, by the choice of his own will and inclination. Thus Joshua was the servant of Moses, Elisha of Elijah, Gehazi of Elisha; St. Peter, St. Andrew, St. Philip, and the rest, were servants of Jesus Christ.

SETH, son of Adam and of Eve, was born A. M. 130, Gen. v, 3, 6, 10, 11. Seth, at the age of one hundred and five years, begat Enos, A. M. 235. He lived after this eight hundred and seven years, in all nine hundred and twelve years, and died A. M. 1042. Seth was the chief of “the children of God,” as the Scripture calls them, Gen. vi, 2; that is, those who before the flood preserved true religion and piety in the world, while the descendants of Cain gave themselves up to wickedness. The invention of letters and writing is by the rabbins ascribed to this patriarch.

SEVEN. The number seven is consecrated, in the holy books and in the religion of the Jews, by a great number of events and mysterious circumstances. God created the world in the space of seven days, and consecrated the seventh day to repose. This rest of the seventh day, according to St. Paul, Heb. iv, 4, intimates eternal rest. And not only the seventh day is honoured among the Jews, by the repose of the Sabbath, but every seventh year is also consecrated to the rest of the earth, by the name of a sabbatical year; as also the seven times seventh year, or forty-ninth year, is the year of jubilee. In the prophetic style, a week often stands for seven years, Dan. ix, 24–26. Jacob served his father-in-law Laban seven years for each of his daughters. Pharaoh’s mysterious dream represented to his imagination seven fat oxen, and seven lean ones; seven full ears of corn, and as many that were empty and shrivelled. These stood for seven years of plenty, and seven of scarcity. The number of seven days is observed in the octaves of the great solemnities of the passover, of tabernacles, and of the dedication of the tabernacle and the temple; the seven branches of the golden candlestick, the number of seven sacrifices appointed on several occasions, Numbers xxvii, 11; xxix, 17–21, &c. Seven trumpets, seven priests that sounded them, seven days to surround the walls of Jericho, Joshua vi, 4, 6, 8. In the Revelation, are the seven churches, seven candlesticks, seven spirits, seven stars, seven lamps, seven seals, seven angels, seven phials, seven plagues, &c. In certain passages, the number seven is put for a great number. Isaiah, iv, 1, says that seven women should lay hold on one man, to ask him to marry them. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, says, 1 Sam. ii, 5, that she who was barren should have seven children. Jeremiah, xv, 9, makes use of the same expression. God threatens his people to smite them seven times for their transgressions, Lev. xxvi, 24, that is to say several times. The Psalmist, speaking of very pure silver, says it is “purified seven times,” Psalm xii, 6. And elsewhere, “Render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom,” Psalm lxxix, 12; punish them severely, and as often as they deserve it. The slayer of Cain was to be punished seven times; but of Lamech seventy times seven times, Gen. iv, 15, 24. The slothful man thinks himself wiser than seven men, that set forth proverbs, Prov. xxvi, 16; he thinks himself of more worth than many wise men. St. Peter asks our Saviour, Matthew xviii, 21, 22, How many times should he forgive his brother till seven times And Christ answers him, I say not only seven times, but seventy times seven; meaning, as often as he may offend, however frequent it may be.

SHARON, Plain of, a beautiful and spacious plain, extending from Cæsarea to Joppa on the sea coast, and eastward to the mountains of Judea; and is celebrated for its wines, its flowers, and its pastures. It still preserves some portions of its natural beauty, and is adorned in the spring with the white and red rose, the narcissus, the white and orange lily, the carnation and other flowers; but for the rest of the year it appears little better than a desert, with here and there a ruined village, and some clumps of olive trees and sycamores. This name was almost become a proverb, to express a place of extraordinary beauty and fruitfulness, Isaiah xxxiii, 9; xxxv, 2. But there are three cantons of Palestine known by the name of Sharon. The first, according to Eusebius and St. Jerom, is a canton between Mount Tabor and the sea of Tiberias. The second, a canton between the city of Cæsarea of Palestine and Joppa. And the third a canton beyond Jordan, in the country of Basan, and in the division of the tribe of Gad. Modern travellers give this name also to the plain that lies between Ecdippe and Ptolemais.

SHAVING. In time of mourning the Jews shaved their heads, and neglected to trim their 857beards. The king of the Ammonites shaved off half the beards of David’s ambassadors, which was the greatest insult he could offer. This will appear from the regard which the easterns have ever paid to the beard. D’Arvieux gives a remarkable instance of an Arab who, having received a wound in his jaw, chose to hazard his life rather than to suffer his surgeon to take off his beard. It was one of the most infamous punishments of cowardice in Sparta, that they who turned their backs in the day of battle were obliged to appear abroad with one half of their beard shaved, and the other half unshaved. The easterns considered the beard as venerable, because it distinguished men from women, and was the mark of freemen in opposition to slaves. It was still, in times comparatively modern, the greatest indignity that could be offered in Persia. Shah Abbas, king of that country, enraged that the emperor of Hindostan had inadvertently addressed him by a title far inferior to that of the great shah-in-shah, or king of kings, ordered the beards of the ambassadors to be shaved off, and sent them home to their master. “One of the buffoons of the bashaw,” says Belzoni, “took it into his head one day, for a frolic, to shave his beard, which is no trifle among the Turks; for some of them, I really believe, would sooner have their head cut off than their beard. In this state he went home to his women, who actually thrust him out of the door; and such was the disgrace of cutting off his beard, that even his fellow buffoons would not eat with him till it was grown again.”

SHEAF. After the feast of the passover the Jews brought a sheaf into the temple, as the first fruits of the barley harvest, Lev. xxiii, 10, 12; and these were the ceremonies that were then performed. On the 16th of the month Nisan, in the evening, when the feast day of the passover was ended, and the second day was begun, which was a working day, the house of judgment deputed three men to go in solemnity, and gather the sheaf of barley. The inhabitants of the neighbouring cities came together, to be present at the ceremony. The barley was gathered in the territory of Jerusalem. The deputies demanded three times successively if the sun was set; and were as often answered that it was. Then they demanded three times if they might be permitted to cut the sheaf, and permission was as often granted. They reaped it out of three different fields, with three different sickels, and put the ears into three boxes to carry to the temple. This sheaf was threshed in the court; and of the grain they took a full omer, and after it had been winnowed, parched, and bruised, they sprinkled oil over it, and added a handful of incense; then the priest who received the offering, waved it before the Lord to the four quarters of the world, crosswise; he cast part of it upon the altar, and the rest was his own. After this every one might begin to reap the harvest.

SHEBA. Of “the queen of Sheba,” mention is made 1 Kings x, 1, 2, &c; 2 Chron. ix, 1, 2, &c; Matt. xii, 42; Luke xi, 31. She is called “queen of the south,” and was, according to some, a queen of Arabia; and, according to others, a queen of Ethiopia. Josephus says, that Sheba was the ancient name of the city of Meroe, before Cambyses gave it that of his sister; and that it was from thence the queen came of whom we are speaking. This opinion has much prevailed. The Abyssinians at this day, maintain, that this princess was of their country, and that her posterity reigned there a long time. They preserve a catalogue of them, their names and successions.

SHEEP, , occurs frequently, and , a general name for both sheep and goats, considered collectively in a flock, Arabic zain. The sheep is a well known animal. The benefits which mankind owe to it are numerous. Its fleece, its skin, its flesh, its tallow, and even its horns and bowels are articles of great utility to human life and happiness. Its mildness and inoffensiveness of temper, strongly recommend it to human affection and regard; and have designated it the pattern and emblem of meekness, innocence, patience, and submission. It is a social animal. The flock follow the ram as their leader; who frequently displays the most impetuous courage in their defence: dogs, and even men, when attempting to molest them, have often suffered from his sagacious and generous valour. There are two varieties of sheep found in Syria. The first, called the “Bidoween sheep,” differs little from the large breed among us, except that the tail is somewhat longer and thicker. The second is much more common, and is more valued on account of the extraordinary bulk of its tail, which has been remarked by all the eastern travellers. The carcass of one of these sheep, without including the head, feet, entrails, and skin, weighs from fifty to sixty pounds, of which the tail makes up fifteen pounds. Some of a larger size, fattened with care, will sometimes weigh one hundred and fifty pounds, the tail alone composing one third of the whole weight. It is of a substance between fat and marrow, and is not eaten separately, but mixed with the lean meat in many of their dishes, and often also used instead of butter. A reference to this part is made in Exod. xxix, 22; Lev. iii, 9; where the fat and the tail were to be burnt on the altar of sacrifice. Mr. Street considers this precept to have had respect to the health of the Israelites; observing that “bilious disorders are very frequent in hot countries; the eating of fat meat is a great encouragement and excitement to them; and though the fat of the tail is now considered as a delicacy, it is really unwholesome.” The conclusion of the seventeenth verse, which is, “Ye shall eat neither fat nor blood,” justifies this opinion. The prohibition of eating fat, that is of fat unmixed with the flesh, the omentum or caul, is given also, Lev. vii, 23.

SHEKEL, , signifies weight, money, shekel, siclus, a Hebrew weight and money, Exod. xxx, 23, 24; 2 Sam. xiv, 26. Shekel is used to denote the weight of any thing; as iron, hair, spices, &c. Dr. Arbuthnot makes the weight of the shekel equal to 9 dwt. 24/7 gr. 858English troy weight; and the value equal to 2s. 3d. sterling money: but the golden shekel was worth 1l. 16s. 6d. English money. Some are of opinion that the Jews had two kinds of shekels, namely, the common one already noticed, and the shekel of the sanctuary, which last they make double the former. But most authors make them the same, and think that the word sanctuary is added to express a just and exact weight, according to the standards kept in the temple or tabernacle. Moses, Num. xviii, 16, and Ezekiel, xlv, 12, say, that the shekelshekel was worth twenty gerahs.

SHEM, the son of Noah, Gen. vi, 10. He was born A. M. 1558. It is the opinion of the generality of commentators, that Shem was younger than Japheth, and the second son of Noah, for reasons given under the article Japheth. See also Gen. ix, 23–25. He lived six hundred years, and died A. M. 2158. The posterity of Shem obtained their portion in the best parts of Asia. The Jews ascribe to Shem the theological tradition of the things that Noah had learned from the first men. Shem communicated them to his children, and by this means the true religion was preserved in the world. Some have thought Shem the same as Melchisedec, and that he himself had been at the school of Methuselah before the deluge: that he gave to Abraham the whole tradition, the ceremonies of the sacrifices of religion, according to which this patriarch afterward offered his sacrifices. But this opinion has no adequate support. Lastly, the Jews say, that he taught men the law of justice, and the manner of reckoning months and years, and the intercalations of the months. All that can be said as to these speculations is, that Noah and all his sons were the depositaries of the knowledge which existed among men before the flood, and were perhaps both specially qualified by God first to attain it, and then to transmit it to their descendants. Shem had five sons, Elam, Asher, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aran, who peopled the richest provinces of Asia.

SHEPHERDS. The patriarchal shepherds, rich in flocks and herds, in silver and gold, and attended by a numerous train of servants purchased with their money, or hired from the neighbouring towns and villages, acknowledge no civil superior; they held the rank, and exercised the rights, of sovereign princes; they concluded alliances with the kings in whose territories they tended their flocks; they made peace or war with the surrounding states; and, in fine, they wanted nothing of sovereign authority but the name. Unfettered by the cumbrous ceremonies of regal power, they led a plain and laborious life, in perfect freedom and overflowing abundance. Refusing to confine themselves to any particular spot, (for the pastures were not yet appropriated,) they lived in tents, and removed from one place to another in search of pasture for their cattle. Strangers in the countries where they sojourned, they refused to mingle with the permanent settlers, to occupy their towns, and to form with them one people. They were conscious of their strength, and jealous of their independence; and although patient and forbearing, their conduct proved, on several occasions, that they wanted neither skill nor courage to vindicate their rights and avenge their wrongs. In the wealth, the power, and the splendour of patriarchal shepherds, we discover the rudiments of regal grandeur and authority; and in their numerous and hardy retainers, the germ of potent empires. Hence the custom so prevalent among the ancients, of distinguishing the office and duties of their kings and princes, by terms borrowed from the pastoral life: Agamemnon, shepherd of the people, aµeµa pµea a, is a phrase frequently used in the strains of Homer. The sacred writers very often speak of kings under the name of shepherds, and compare the royal sceptre to the shepherd’s crook: “He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheep folds; from following the ewes great with young, he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.” And Jehovah said to David himself: “Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.” The royal Psalmist, on the other hand, celebrates under the same allusions, the special care and goodness of God toward himself, and also toward his ancient people. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” “Give ear, O shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth.” In many other places of Scripture, the church is compared to a sheep fold, the saints to sheep, and the ministers of religion to shepherds, who must render, at last, an account of their administration to the Shepherd and Overseer to whom they owe their authority.

The patriarchs did not commit their flocks and herds solely to the care of menial servants and strangers; they tended them in person, or placed them under the superintendence of their sons and their daughters, who were bred to the same laborious employment, and taught to perform, without reluctance, the meanest services. Rebecca, the only daughter of a shepherd prince, went to a considerable distance to draw water; and it is evident, from the readiness and address with which she let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and gave drink to the servant of Abraham, and afterward drew for all his camels, that she had been long accustomed to that humble employment. From the same authority we know that Rachel, the daughter of Laban, kept her father’s flocks, and submitted to the various privations and hardships of the pastoral life, in the deserts of Syria. The patriarch Jacob, though he was the son of a shepherd prince, kept the flocks of Laban, his maternal uncle; and his own sons followed the same business, both in Mesopotamia, and after his return to the land of Canaan. This primeval simplicity was long retained among the Greeks. Homer often sends the daughters of princes and nobles to tend the flocks, to wash the clothes of the family at the fountain, or in the flowing stream, 859and to perform many other menial services. Adonis, the son of Cinyras, a king of Cyprus, fed his flocks by the streaming rivers:

Et formosus oves ad flumina pavit Adonis.
Vir. Ecl. x, l. 18.
“Along the streams his flock Adonis fed.”

Andromache, the wife of Hector, complains that Achilles had slain her seven brothers when they were tending their flocks and herds. Æneas pastured his oxen on Mount Ida, when Achilles seized them, and forced the Trojan hero to flee. Phœbus himself was a keeper of oxen in the groves and valleys of Mount Ida. This custom has descended to modern times; for in Syria the daughters of the Turcoman and Arabian shepherds, and in India the Brahmin women of distinction, are seen drawing water at the village wells, and tending their cattle to the lakes and rivers.

The flocks and herds of these shepherds were immensely numerous. The sheep of the Bedoween Arabs in Egypt, and probably throughout the east, are very fine, black-faced and white-faced, and many of them clothed in a brown coloured fleece: and of this superior breed the ample flocks of the Syrian shepherds consisted. So great was the stock of Abraham and Lot, that they were obliged to separate, because “the land was not able to bear them.” From the present which Jacob made to his brother Esau, consisting of five hundred and eighty head of different sorts, we may form some idea of the countless numbers of great and small cattle which he had acquired in the service of Laban. In modern times, the numbers of cattle in the Turcoman flocks, which feed on the fertile plains of Syria, are almost incredible. They sometimes occupy three or four days in passing from one part of the country to another. Chardin had an opportunity of seeing a clan of Turcoman shepherds on their march, about two days’ distance from Aleppo. The whole country was covered with them. Many of their principal people with whom he conversed on the road, assured him, that there were four hundred thousand beasts of carriage, camels, horses, oxen, cows, and asses, and three millions of sheep and goats. This astonishing account of Chardin is confirmed by Dr. Shaw, who states, that several Arabian tribes, who can bring no more than three or four hundred horses into the field, are possessed of more than as many thousand camels, and triple the number of sheep and black cattle. Russel, in his “History of Aleppo,” speaks of vast flocks which pass that city every year, of which many sheep are sold to supply the inhabitants. The flocks and herds which belonged to the Jewish patriarchs were not more numerous.

The care of such overgrown flocks, says Paxton, required many shepherds. These were of different kinds; the master of the family and his children, with a number of herdsmen who were hired to assist them, and felt but little interest in the preservation and increase of their charge. In Hebrew, these persons, so different in station and feeling, were not distinguished by appropriate names; the master, the slave, and the hired servant, were all known by the common appellation of shepherds. The distinction, not sufficiently important to require the invention of a particular term, is expressed among every people by a periphrasis. The only instance in the Old Testament, in which the hired servant is distinguished from the master, or one of his family, occurs in the history of David, where he is said to have left the sheep, , “in the hand of a keeper,” while he went down to visit his brethren, and the armies who were fighting against the Philistines under the banners of Saul, 1 Samuel xvii, 20. This word exactly corresponds with the Latin term custos, “a keeper,” which Virgil uses to denote a hireling shepherd, in his tenth Eclogue:

Atque utinam ex vobis unus vestrique fuissem,
Aut custos gregis, aut maturæ vinitor uvæ.
“O that your birth and business had been mine,
To feed the flock and prune the spreading vine!”

In such extensive pastoral concerns, the vigilance and activity of the master were often insufficient for directing the operations of so many shepherds, who were not unfrequently scattered over a considerable extent of country. An upper servant was therefore appointed to superintend their labours, and take care that his master suffered no injury. In the house of Abraham, this honourable station was held by Eliezer, a native of Damascus, a servant in every respect worthy of so great and good a master. The numerous flocks of Pharaoh seem to have required the superintending care of many overseers, Gen. xlvii, 6. Doeg, an Edomite, was entrusted with the whole pastoral establishment of Saul, 1 Sam. xxi, 7. But in the reign of David, the important office of chief herdsman was abolished, and the vast flocks and herds of that monarch were entrusted to a number of superintendents; animals of the same species forming a separate flock, under its proper overseer, 1 Chronicles xxvii, 29. These overseers, in the language of the Hebrews, were called the princes of the flock; they were treated with great distinction, and seem to have been selected in the reign of David from among the nobles of his court. Eumæus, a person of noble birth, agreeably to this custom, was charged with the care of the herds of swine belonging to Ulysses. The office of chief shepherd is frequently mentioned by the classic authors of antiquity. Diodorus relates from Ctesias, that Simma was overseer of the royal flocks under Ninus, king of Assyria. According to Plutarch, one Samo managed the flocks and herds of Neoptolemus, the king of the Molossians. The office of chief shepherd was also known among the Latins; for, in the seventh Æneid, Tyrrheus is named as governor of the royal flocks:

Tyrrheusque pater, cui regia parent
Armenta, et late custodia credita camp.
“Their father, Tyrrheus, did his fodder bring;
Tyrrheus, chief ranger to the Latian king.”

And Livy informs us, that Faustulus held the 860same office under Numitor, king of the Latins. But it is needless to multiply quotations; every scholar knows that the Greek and Roman classics abound with allusions to this office, which in those days was one of great importance and dignity, on the faithful discharge of which the power and splendour of an eastern potentate greatly depended. The office of chief shepherd, therefore, being in pastoral countries one of great trust, of high responsibility, and of distinguished honour, is with great propriety applied to our Lord by the Apostle Peter: “And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory which fadeth not away,” 1 Peter v, 4. The same allusion occurs in these words of Paul: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will,” Hebrews xiii, 20.

SHIBBOLETH, “an ear of corn,” was a word which the Gileadites used as the test of an Ephraimite. For the Ephraimites could not, from disuse, pronounce the Hebrew letter shin; therefore, they said Sibboleth instead of Shibboleth, Judges xii, 6. The Greeks, says Hartley, have not the sound sh in their language: hence they are liable to be detected, like the Ephraimites. I was struck with this circumstance, in learning Turkish from a Greek tutor; pasha, he pronounced pasa; shimdi, he called simdi; Dervish, Dervis, &c. Shibboleth he would, of course, pronounce Sibboleth.

SHIELD. See Arms.

SHILOH, Gen. xlix, 10. The Hebrew text is, “until Shiloh come.” All Christian commentators agree, that this word ought to be understood of the Messiah, that is, of Jesus Christ. The LXX. read it, “Until the coming of him to whom it is reserved.” It must be owned that the signification of the Hebrew word Shiloh is not well known. Some translate the clause, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, till he comes to whom it belongs;” others, “till the coming of the peacemaker, or the pacific, or prosperity;” and some, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah till its end, its ruin,” till the downfall of the kingdom of the Jews. However, this much is clear, that the ancient Jews are in this matter agreed with the Christians, in acknowledging that the word stands for Messiah, the King. It is thus that the paraphrasts, Onkelos and Jonathan, and the ancient Hebrew commentaries upon Genesis, and the Talmudists explain it. If Jesus Christ and his Apostles did not make use of this passage to prove the coming of the Messiah, it was because then the completion of this prophecy was not sufficiently manifest. The sceptre still continued among the Jews; they had still kings of their own nation, in the persons of the Herods; but soon after the sceptre was entirely taken away from them, and a people began to be gathered to Christ, out of the Gentile nations.

2. Shiloh, a celebrated city of the tribe of Ephraim, twelve miles from Shechem, Joshua xviii, xix, xxi. It was in this place that the tabernacle of the Lord was set up, when the people were settled in the country. The ark and the tabernacle of the Lord continued at Shiloh from A. M. 2560 till 2888, when it was taken by the Philistines, under the administration of the high priest Eli, 1 Sam. iv. Here the Prophet Ahijah dwelt, 1 Kings xiv, 2.

SHINAR, a province of Babylonia, where men undertook to build the tower of Babel, Genesis xi, 2; x, 10. Calneh was built in this country. Amraphel was king of Shinar in the days of Abraham, Genesis xiv, 1. See Babylon.

SHISHAK, king of Egypt, declared war against Rehoboam in the fifth year of the reign of that prince, 2 Chron. xii, 2, 3, &c. This Shishak, according to Sir Isaac Newton, was the greatest conqueror, and the most celebrated hero, of all antiquity, being the son of Ammon, or the Egyptian Jupiter, and known to the Greeks by the name of Bacchus, Osiris, and Hercules; was the Belus of the Chaldeans, and the Mars or Mavors of the Thracians, &c. He made great conquests in India, Assyria, Media, Scythia, Phenicia, Syria, Judea, &c. His army was at last routed in Greece by Perseus; which, with other circumstances, compelled him to return home.

SHITTIM, SITTIM, SITTAH, , Exod. xxv, 5, 10, 13, 23, 28; xxvi, 26, 32, 37; xxvii, 1, 6; xxx, 5; xxxv, 7, 24; xxxvi, 20, 31, 36; xxxvii, 1, 4, 10, 15, 25, 28; xxxviii, 1, 6; Deut. x, 3; Isaiah xli, 19. What particular species of wood this is, interpreters are not agreed. The LXX. render spta a, incorruptible wood. St. Jerom says, the shittim wood grows in the deserts of Arabia, and is like white thorn, as to its colour and leaves: but the tree is so large as to furnish very long planks. The wood is hard, tough, smooth, and extremely beautiful. It is thought that this wood is the black acacia, because that, it is said, is the most common tree growing in the deserts of Arabia; and agrees with what the Scriptures say of the shittim wood. The acacia vera grows abundantly in Egypt, in places far from the sea; in the mountains of Sinai, near the Red Sea, and in the deserts. It is of the size of a large mulberry tree. The spreading branches and larger limbs are armed with thorns which grow three together; the bark is rough; the leaves are oblong, and stand opposite each other; the flowers, though sometimes white, are generally of a bright yellow; and the fruit which resembles a bean, is contained in pods like those of the lupin. “The acacia tree,” says Dr. Shaw, “being by much the largest and most common tree in these deserts, Arabia Petræa, we have some reason to conjecture, that the shittim wood was the wood of the acacia; especially as its flowers are of an excellent smell, for the shittah tree is, in Isaiah xli, 19, joined with the myrtle and other fragrant shrubs.”

SHOES. To put off the shoes from one’s feet, was an act of reverence to the Divine majesty of God, Exod. iii, 5. It was likewise 861a sign of mourning and humiliation. David went up the ascent of Mount Olivet barefoot, 2 Sam. xv, 30; Isa. xx, 2, 4; Ezek. xxiv, 17. See Sandal.

SHOULDER. To give or lend the shoulder for the bearing of a burden, signifies to submit to servitude. “Issachar bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute,” Gen. xlix, 15. And Isaiah, x, 27, comforting Israel with the promise of deliverance from Assyria, says, “His burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder.” The Scripture calls that a rebellious shoulder, a withdrawing shoulder, which will not submit to the yoke; and to bear it together with joint consent, is termed “serving with one shoulder.” To bear any thing upon the shoulder, is to sustain it, and this is applied to government and authority. Thus Messiah was to bear the government upon his shoulder: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,” &c, Isa. ix, 6; and God promises Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, to give him the key of the house of David, and to lay it upon his shoulder; “so he shall open, and none shall shut, and he shall shut, and none shall open;” that is, the sole authority shall rest upon him.

SHUSHAN, or SUSA, the ancient capital of Persia, seated on the river Ulai, the modern Abzal. After the union of the kingdoms of Media and Persia by Cyrus, Susa was made the winter residence of the kings of Persia, from its southern position, and the shelter afforded by a range of mountains on the north and east, which rendered the heat insupportable in the summer season; while Ecbatana, in Media, from its greater elevation, and more northern situation, was preferred at this season, as being more cool and agreeable. Here the transactions occurred related in the book of Esther. Here also Daniel had the vision of the ram with two horns, and the goat with one horn, &c, in the third year of Belshazzar’s reign. Susa was situated in the ancient province of Elam, or Elymais, called also Susiana, and now forming a part of Kuzestan. It has for several hundred years, like Babylon, been reduced to a heap of undistinguished ruins. Mr. Kinneir says, “About seven or eight miles to the west of Dezphoul, commence the ruins of Shus, stretching not less, perhaps, than twelve miles, from one extremity to the other. They extend as far as the eastern bank of the Kerah; occupying an immense space between that river and the Abzal; and, like the ruins of Ctesiphon, Babylon, and Kufa, consist of hillocks of earth and rubbish, covered with broken pieces of brick and coloured tile. The largest and most remarkable of these mounds stand at the distance of about two miles from the Kerah. The first is, at the lowest computation, a mile in circumference, and nearly a hundred feet in height; and the other, although not quite so high, is double the circuit of the former. These mounds bear some resemblance to the pyramids of Babylon; with this difference, that instead of being entirely made of brick, they are formed of clay and pieces of tile, with irregular layers of brick and mortar, five or six feet in thickness, to serve, it should seem, as a kind of prop to the mass. Large blocks of marble, covered with hieroglyphics, are not unfrequently here discovered by the Arabs when digging in search of hidden treasure; and at the foot of the most elevated of the pyramids stands the tomb of Daniel, a small and apparently a modern building, erected on the spot where the relics of that prophet are believed to rest. The site of the city of Shus is now a gloomy wilderness, infested by lions, hyænas, and other beasts of prey. The dread of these furious animals compelled Mr. Monteith and myself to take shelter for the night within the walls that encompass Daniel’s tomb.” Of this tomb Sir John Malcom observes, that “it is a small building, but sufficient to shelter some dervishes who watch the remains of the prophet, and are supported by the alms of pious pilgrims who visit the holy sepulchre. These dervishes are now the only inhabitants of Susa; and every species of wild beast roams at large over that spot on which some of the proudest palaces ever raised by human art once stood.” He also observes, respecting the authenticity of this tomb, that “although the building at the tomb of Daniel be comparatively modern, nothing could have led to its being built where it is, but a belief that this was the real site of the prophet’s sepulchre.”

SIDON, or ZIDON, a celebrated city and port of Phenicia, and one of the most ancient cities in the world; as it is supposed to have been founded by Sidon, the eldest son of Canaan, which will carry it up to above two thousand years before Christ. But if it was founded by Sidon, his descendants were driven out by a body of Phenician colonists, or Cushim from the east; who are supposed either to have given it its name, or to have retained the old one in compliment to their god Siton, or Dagon. Its inhabitants appear to have early acquired a preëminence in arts, manufactures, and commerce; and from their superior skill in hewing timber, by which must be understood their cutting it out and preparing it for building, as well as the mere act of felling it, Sidonian workmen were hired by Solomon to prepare the wood for the building of his temple. The Sidonians are said to have been the first manufacturers of glass; and Homer often speaks of them as excelling in many useful and ingenious arts, giving them the title of dad. Add to this, they were, if not the first shipwrights and navigators, the first who ventured beyond their own coasts, and in those early ages engrossed the greatest part of the then commerce of the world. The natural result of these exclusive advantages to the inhabitants of Sidon was, a high degree of wealth and prosperity; and content with the riches which their trade and manufactures brought them, they lived in ease and luxury, trusting the defence of their city and property, like the Tyrians after them, to hired troops; so that to live in ease and security, is said in Scripture to be after the manner of the Sidonians. 862In all these respects, however, Sidon was totally eclipsed by her neighbour and rival Tyre; whose more enterprising inhabitants pushed their commercial dealings to the extremities of the known world, raised their city to a rank in power and opulence unknown before, and converted it into a luxurious metropolis, and the emporium of the produce of all nations. After the subversion of the Grecian empire by the Romans, Sidon fell into the hands of the latter; who, to put an end to the frequent revolt of the inhabitants, deprived it of its freedom. It then fell successively under the power of the Saracens, the Seljukian Turks, and the sultans of Egypt; who, in 1289, that they might never more afford shelter to the Christians, destroyed both it and Tyre. But it again somewhat revived, and has ever since been in the possession of the Ottoman Turks.

SIGN. This word is used in the sense of token and pledge; as, when the Lord gave to Noah the rainbow, as a sign of his covenant, Gen. ix, 12, 13; and when he appointed to Abraham the use of circumcision, as the seal of the covenant he had made with him and his posterity, Gen. xvii, 11. Sign is also put for a miracle: “Thou shalt do these signs and wonders in the midst of Egypt,” Exodus iv, 7–9, &c. A sign or token is often put for the proof or evidence of a thing: For example, “This shall be a token or sign unto thee, that I have sent thee,” Exod. iii, 12. “Shew me a sign, that thou talkest with me,” Judges vi, 17, that is a proof. “What shall be the sign,” or evidence, “that the Lord will heal me” 2 Kings xx, 8. This acceptation agrees with the first above mentioned; as also what is said in Gen. iv, 15, “And the Lord set a mark or sign upon Cain;” he gave him a pledge that his life should not be taken away. The signs of heaven, and the signs of the magicians, are the phenomena of the heavens, and the impostures of magicians, which they made use of for the purposes of deception: “The Lord frustrateth the tokens or signs of the liars, and maketh diviners mad,” Isaiah xliv, 25. “Be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Heathen are dismayed at them,” Jer. x, 2. To be a sign was farther to be a type, or prediction, of what should happen. Thus the Prophet Isaiah, viii, 18, “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel.” See also Ezek. iv, 3.

SILAS, or Sylvanus, was, according to St. Luke, Acts xv, 22, one of the “chief men among the brethren,” which makes it probable, that he was of the number of the seventy disciples. When a dispute was raised at Antioch about the observation of the legal ceremonies, they chose Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas, to go to Jerusalem, to advise with the Apostles concerning this question. He is thought to be the same Silas who is mentioned by the name of Sylvanus, in the title of the two epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians. St. Peter sent his first epistle by him from Rome, wherein he styles him “a faithful brother.” Silas joined himself to St. Paul; and after Saul and Barnabas had parted, on account of John Mark, Acts xv, 37–41, Silas followed St. Paul, and went with him to visit the churches of Syria and Cilicia.

SILENCE. This word not only signifies to refrain from speaking; but also in the style of the Hebrews, it is taken for, “to be quiet, to remain immovable.” As for example: “Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon,” in Hebrew, be silent. “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed,” Joshua x, 12, 13, or were silent, at the commandment of Joshua.

SILOAH, the same as Siloam, Neh. iii, 15; Luke xiii, 4; a fountain under the walls of Jerusalem, toward the east, between the city and the brook Kidron, perhaps the same with Enrogel. Near this was a tower, Luke xiii, 4.

SILK, . As the word which is rendered “silk” in our version more probably meant cotton, or rather muslin, it is doubtful whether silk is mentioned expressly in the Scripture, unless, perhaps, in Isaiah xix, 9, where we find the Hebrew word , from , yellowish, tawny; which is generally the natural colour of raw silk; hence the Latin sericum: or it may be from the Seres, a nation whence the Greeks and Romans first obtained the article silk. Calmet remarks that the ancient Greeks and Romans had but little knowledge of the nature of silk. The Seres communicated their silk to the Persians, from whom it passed to the Greeks, and from them to the Romans. But the Persians and orientals for a long time kept the secret of manufacturing it among themselves. Silk was first brought into Greece after Alexander’s conquest of Persia, and came into Italy during the flourishing times of the Roman empire; but was long so dear in all these parts as to be worth its weight in gold. At length the emperor Justinian, who died in the year 365, by means of two monks, whom he sent into India for that purpose, procured great quantities of silk worms’ eggs to be brought to Constantinople, and from these have sprung all the silk worms and all the silk trade that have been since in Europe, See Flax.

SILVER, , Gen. xx, 16; , 1 Pet. i, 18; Acts iii, 4; xx, 33; a well known metal, of a white shining colour; next in value to gold. It does not appear to have been in use before the deluge; at least Moses says nothing of it: he speaks only of the metals brass and iron, Gen. iv, 22. But in Abraham’s time it was become common, and traffic was carried on with it, Gen. xxiii, 2, 15. Yet it was not then coined, but was only in bars or ingots; and in commerce was always weighed.

SIMEON, son of Jacob and Leah, was born A. M. 2247, Genesis xxix, 33; xxxiv, 25. Jacob, on his death bed, showed his indignation against Simeon and Levi for their cruelty to the Shechemites, Gen. xlix, 5: “I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” And in effect these two tribes were scattered in Israel. As to Levi, he never had any fixed lot or portion; and Simeon received only a canton that was dismembered from the tribe of Judah, Joshua xix, 1, &c, and some other 863lands they went to conquer in the mountains of Seir, and the desert of Gedor, 1 Chronicles iv, 27, 39, 42.

2. Simeon, a holy man, who was at Jerusalem, full of the Holy Ghost, and expecting the redemption of Israel, Luke ii, 25, 26, &c. The Holy Ghost had assured him, that he should not die before he had seen the Christ of the Lord; he therefore came into the temple, prompted by inspiration, just at the time when Joseph and Mary presented Jesus Christ there, in obedience to the law. Simeon took the child into his arms, gave thanks to God, and then blessed Joseph and Mary. It is believed, with good reason, that he died soon after he had given his testimony to Jesus Christ. Some have conjectured, that Simeon, who received Jesus Christ into his arms, was the same as Simeon the Just, the son of Hillel, and master of Gamaliel, whose disciple St. Paul was. See Sanhedrim.

SIMON MACCABÆUS, surnamed Thossi, son of Mattathias, and brother of Judas and Jonathan. He was chief prince and pontiff of the Jews from A. M. 3860 to 3869, and was succeeded by John Hyrcanus. For the particulars of his life and transactions, see 1 Mac. ii, 65; v, 17; x, 74–82; xii, 33, &c; xiii, 1, &c; xiv, 4, &c; xv, 1, &c.

2. Simon, the Canaanite, an Apostle of Jesus Christ. It is doubtful whether the name of Canaanite was derived to him from the city Cana in Galilee, or whether it should not be taken according to its signification in the Hebrew, by deriving it from the root kana, “to be zealous,” and this is the opinion of some learned men. See Luke vi, 15; Acts i, 13, where he is surnamed Zelotes; see also Matt. x, 4; Mark iii, 18.

3. Simon, brother of our Lord, Matt. xiii, 55; Mark vi, 3; that is to say, his cousin-german, being son of Mary, sister to the holy virgin. He is thought to be the same with Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, and son of Cleopas.

4. Simon Magus. Of this heretic, or rather father of heresy, Dr. Burton gives the following account:--Justin Martyr, about A. D. 140, presented a defence of Christianity to the emperor Antoninus Pius, in which he mentions, as a well known fact, that Simon, a native of Gittum, a village in Samaria, came to Rome in the reign of Claudius, was looked upon there as a god, and had a statue erected to him, with a Latin inscription, in the river Tiber, between the two bridges. Justin adds, that nearly all the Samaritans, and a few also in other nations, acknowledged and worshipped him as the supreme God. There is in this passage such a minute detail, such a confident appeal to the emperor’s own knowledge of what the apologist was saying, that we can hardly suppose the story to be false, when not only the emperor, but every person in Rome would have been able to detect it. I would observe, also, that Justin Martyr was himself a native of Samaria; hence he was able to name the very place where Simon was born; and when he says, in his second defence, which was presented a few years later, “I have despised the impious and false doctrine of Simon which is in my country;” when we see the shame which he felt at the name of Christian being assumed by the followers of that impostor; we can never believe that he would have countenanced the story, if the truth of it had not been notorious, much less would he have given to his own country the disgrace of originating the evil.

Simon Magus was a native of Gittum, a town in Samaria; and it is stated in a suspicious document of ancient though doubtful date, that he studied for some time at Alexandria. Concerning the time of his birth, and of his first rising into notice, little can now be known. The only contemporary document which mentions him is the Acts of the Apostles; and we there read, that, when Philip the deacon preached the Gospel in Samaria after the death of Stephen, “there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one; to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries,” Acts viii, 9–11. According to my calculation, the death of Stephen happened in the same year with the crucifixion of our Lord; and it appears from the passage now quoted, that Simon’s celebrity had begun some time before. We are then told that “Simon himself believed also; and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done,” Acts viii, 13. I need not mention how he shortly fell away from the faith which he had embraced, and how St. Peter rebuked him for thinking that the gift of God might be purchased for money, Acts viii, 20; but I would observe, that some of those persons who insist upon the fact that Simon was not a Christian appear to have forgotten that he was actually baptized. For a time, at least, he believed in Jesus Christ; and part of this belief he appears always to have retained; that is, he always believed that Jesus Christ was a being more than human, who came from God. If these events happened, as I have supposed, within a short time of our Lord’s ascension, the fathers had good reason to call Simon Magus the parent of all heresies; for he must then have been among the first persons, beyond the limits of Jerusalem, who embraced the Gospel; and we might hope that there was no one before him who perverted the faith which he had professed.

From the detailed account which we have of Simon in the Acts of the Apostles, I should be inclined to infer these two things: 1. That St. Luke knew no earlier instance of apostasy from the Gospel; and he mentions this because it was the first: and 2. That when St. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles the heresy of Simon was widely spread; and therefore he tells his readers how it had begun. Concerning the remainder of Simon’s life we know little, and in that little it is difficult to separate truth 864from fiction. I should be inclined, for the reasons given above, to believe the account of Justin Martyr, who says that Simon Magus went to Rome in the reign of Claudius, and attracted numerous followers. Eusebius quotes this passage of Justin Martyr; but he adds, upon some other authority, which he does not name, that St. Peter came to Rome at the same time; and that, in consequence of his preaching, the popularity of the impostor was entirely destroyed. This would be a most interesting and important fact, if we were certain of its being true; but Eusebius contradicts himself in his account of Simon Magus going to Rome; and later writers have so embellished the story of this meeting, and made the death of Simon so astonishingly miraculous, that criticism is at a loss to know what to believe. The account which we have of Simon’s death is, in a few words, as follows: St. Peter and St. Paul being both at Rome, Simon Magus gave out that he was Christ; and, in proof of his assertion, he undertook to raise himself aloft into the air. The attempt at first appeared as if it would succeed; but the two Apostles addressing themselves in prayer to God, the impostor fell to the ground, and his death ensued shortly after. It is difficult to give this marvellous narration, without forgetting that we are treating of a grave and sacred subject; and the question for us to consider is, whether we are to look upon the whole as a fiction, or whether, as is most probable, it contains a basis and groundwork of truth. I must observe, in the first place, that Arnobius, who did not write till the fourth century, is the first person who says anything of Simon’s death at all approaching to this story; nor does he by any means give it all the particulars which later writers have supplied. It will be observed, also, that Eusebius, who wrote after Arnobius, does not say any thing of Simon’s extraordinary end; but merely states that his credit and influence were extinguished, as soon as St. Peter began to preach in Rome. It is probable, therefore, that no Greek writer before the time of Eusebius had mentioned this story; but, on the other hand, there is such a host of evidence, that the death of Simon Magus was in some way or other connected with the presence of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome, that we might be carrying our skepticism too far if we rejected it.

With respect to the doctrines of Simon Magus, we know for certain that Christ held a conspicuous place in the philosophy which he taught; but to define with accuracy the various points of this philosophy, is a difficult, if not impossible, task. The fathers perhaps may be suspected of laying too many impieties to the charge of this heretic; and some of their accounts cannot be reconciled with each other. Still, however, we may extract from their writings an outline of the truth; and in this instance, as before, I would attach particular weight to the authority of Justin Martyr. That writer says that nearly all the inhabitants of Samaria, and a few persons in other countries, acknowledged and worshipped Simon Magus as the first or supreme God: and in another place he says that they styled him God, above all dominion and authority and power. Later writers have increased the blasphemy of this doctrine, and said that Simon declared himself to the Samaritans as the Father, to the Jews as the Son, and to the rest of the world as the Holy Ghost. But I cannot bring myself to believe that he ever advanced so far in wickedness or absurdity. The true state of the case may perhaps be collected from the words of St. Luke, who tells us that Simon gave himself out to be “some great one,” and that the people said of him, “This man is the great power of God,” Acts viii, 10. Such is the title which he bore before he had heard of Christ; and there is no reason to think that he afterward raised his pretensions, and identified himself with God. He gave himself out as “the great power of God,” that is, a person in whom divine power resided: and, after he had heard the Apostles, he seems to have so far enlarged his doctrine, as to have said, that the God whose minister he was, and who had always been worshipped in Samaria, had revealed himself to the Jews by his Son, and to the rest of the world by the Holy Ghost. There is reason to believe that he declared himself to be the Christ who appeared to the Jews; or rather, he said that the same spirit which descended upon Jesus had descended afterward upon himself; for he did not believe that Jesus had a real body, but he taught that he was only a phantom. To this he added, that the Holy Ghost, by which God was revealed to the Gentiles, resided in himself: and this I take to be the real origin of the story, that he was the God who revealed himself as the Father to the Samaritans, as the Son to the Jews, and as the Holy Ghost to the rest of the world.

Another charge, which is equally difficult to believe, relates to a female companion, whom he is said to have declared to be the first idea, or conception, which he, as God, put forth from his mind. By another mental process, in which this first idea was a partner, he produced the angels, and they created the world. All this was highly mystical, and writers have had recourse to different allegories, by which the absurdity may be explained. That Simon never identified a real living person with an idea emanating from the mind of God, may, I think, be assumed as certain. But we see, in this story, evident traces of the Gnostic doctrines. Valentinus, in the second century, made the first cause, or Bythus, act upon S, or a, that is, upon his own mind, and produce the first pair of æons. This then was the doctrine of Simon: the supreme God, by a mental process, produced different orders of angels, and they created the world. It was this same God, whose first or principal power resided in Simon Magus. But when later writers had said that he actually proclaimed himself as God, it followed that it was he, who, by an operation of his own mind, produced the angels. If I have argued rightly, I have freed the doctrine of Simon Magus from some of its impieties; but there is still much which is absurd, and 865much which is impious; for he believed that the world was created, not by the supreme God, but by inferior beings: he taught also, that Christ was one of those successive generations of æons which were derived from God; not the æon which created the world; but he was sent from God to rescue mankind from the tyranny of the demiurgus, or creative æon. Simon was also inventor of the strange notion, that the Jesus who was said to be born and crucified had not a material body, but was only a phantom. His other doctrines were, that the writers of the Old Testament were not inspired by the supreme God, the Fountain of good, but by those inferior beings who created the world, and who were the authors of evil. He denied a general resurrection; and the lives of himself and his followers are said to have been a continued course of impure and vicious conduct.

Such was the doctrine and the practice of Simon Magus, from whom all the pseudo-Christian or Gnostic heresies were said to be derived. Simon himself seems to have been one of those Jews who, as we learn from the Acts of the Apostles, travelled about the country, exorcising evil spirits. But he was also a man of speculative mind; and, having studied the doctrines of Plato, he entered into the questions which were then so commonly agitated, concerning the eternity of matter, and the origin of evil. Hence we find him embracing the opinion, that the world was created by angels, who were themselves produced from God. This was a corrupted Platonism. Plato imagined that the ideas which were in the mind of the Deity created intellectual beings: Simon taught that the supreme God by an operation of his own mind produced the angels. The first intelligences of Plato were employed by God to create the world: Simon also taught that the angels, or æons, created the world; but in one respect the Gnostics had totally changed the philosophy of Plato; for they taught that the angel, or angels, who created the world, acted contrary to the wishes of the supreme God.

SIN, the transgression of the law, or want of conformity to the will of God, 1 John iii, 4. Original sin is that whereby our whole nature is corrupted, and rendered contrary to the nature and law of God; or, according to the ninth article of the church of England, “It is that whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is, of his own nature, inclined to evil.” This is sometimes called, “indwelling sin,” Rom. vii. The imputation of the sin of Adam to his posterity, is also what divines call, with some latitude of expression, original sin. Actual sin is a direct violation of God’s law, and generally applied to those who are capable of committing moral evil; as opposed to idiots or children, who have not the right use of their powers. Sins of omission consist in leaving those things undone which ought to be done. Sins of commission are those which are committed against affirmative precepts, or doing what should not be done. Sins of infirmity are those which arise from ignorance, surprise, &c. Secret sins are those committed in secret, or those of which, through blindness or prejudice, we do not see the evil, Psalm xix, 7–12. Presumptuous sins are those which are done boldly against light and conviction. The unpardonable sin is, according to some, the ascribing to the devil the miracles which Christ wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost. This sin, or blasphemy, as it should rather be called, many scribes and Pharisees were guilty of, who, beholding our Lord do his miracles, affirmed that he wrought them by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, which was, in effect, calling the Holy Ghost Satan, a most horrible blasphemy; and, as on this ground they rejected Christ, and salvation by him, their sin could certainly have no forgiveness, Mark iii, 22–30. No one therefore could be guilty of this blasphemy, except those who were spectators of Christ’s miracles. There is, however, another view of this unpardonable offence, which deserves consideration: The sin or blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, says Bishop Tomline, is mentioned in the first three Gospels. It appears that all the three evangelists agree in representing the sin or blasphemy against the Holy Ghost as a crime which would not be forgiven; but no one of them affirms that those who had ascribed Christ’s power of casting out devils to Beelzebub, had been guilty of that sin, and in St. Luke it is not mentioned that any such charge had been made. Our Saviour, according to the account in St. Matthew and St. Mark, endeavoured to convince the Jews of their error; but so far from accusing them of having committed an unpardonable sin in what they had said concerning him, he declares that “whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him;” that is, whatever reproaches men may utter against the Son of man during his ministry, however they may calumniate the authority upon which he acts, it is still possible that hereafter they may repent and believe, and all their sins may be forgiven them; but the reviling of the Holy Ghost is described as an offence of a far more heinous nature: “The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” “He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness.” “Unto him that blasphemeth againstagainst the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.” It is plain that this sin against the Holy Ghost could not be committed while our Saviour was upon earth, since he always speaks of the Holy Ghost as not being to come till after his ascension into heaven. A few days after that great event, the descent of the Holy Ghost enabled the Apostles to work miracles, and communicated to them a variety of other supernatural gifts. If men should ascribe these powers to Beelzebub, or in any respect reject their authority, they would blaspheme the Holy Ghost, from whom they were derived; and that sin would be unpardonable, because this was the completion of the evidence of the divine authority of Christ and his religion; and they who rejected these last means of conviction, could have no other opportunity of being brought to faith in 866Christ, the only appointed condition of pardon and forgiveness. The greater heinousness of the sin of these men would consist in their rejecting a greater body of testimony; for they are supposed to be acquainted with the resurrection of our Saviour from the dead, with his ascension into heaven, with the miraculous descent of the Holy Ghost, and with the supernatural powers which it communicated; circumstances, all of which were enforced by the Apostles when they preached the Gospel; but none of which could be known to those who refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah during his actual ministry. Though this was a great sin, it was not an unpardonable one, it might be remedied by subsequent belief, by yielding to subsequent testimony. But, on the other hand, they who finally rejected the accumulated and complete evidence of Jesus being the Messiah, as exhibited by the inspired Apostles, precluded themselves from the possibility of conviction, because no farther testimony would be afforded them, and consequently, there being no means of repentance, they would be incapable of forgiveness and redemption. Hence it appears that the sin against the Holy Ghost consisted in finally rejecting the Gospel as preached by the Apostles, who confirmed the truth of the doctrine which they taught “by signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost,” Heb. ii, 4. It was unpardonable, because this was the consummation of the proofs afforded to the men of that generation of the divine mission of Christ. This sin was manifestly distinct from all other sins; it indicated an invincible obstinacy of mind, an impious and unalterable determination to refuse the offered mercy of God. It would appear from this, that those only committed or could commit this irremissible offence, who were witnesses of the mighty works wrought by the Holy Spirit in the Apostles after Christ’s ascension and the day of pentecost. Our Lord’s declaration appears chiefly to respect the Jews. This view will serve to explain those passages in the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which the hopeless case of Jewish apostates is described. But see Blasphemy.

SIN, Desert of. To this the tenth station the Israelites came exactly a month after they left Egypt. And here again they murmured for “the bread and the flesh-pots of Egypt.” So the Lord gave them quails for a day, and manna for forty years, till they came to the borders of Canaan. On this occasion the institution of the Sabbath was revived, as a day of rest, which had been intermitted during their Egyptian bondage. On this day there fell no manna, but on the preceding they were directed to gather two days’ provision. To perpetuate the memorial of “this bread from heaven” to future generations, a pot of manna, which was preserved fresh, by a standing miracle, was ordered to be laid up beside the ark of the covenant, in the sanctuary, Exod. xvi.

SINAI, a famous mountain of Arabia Petræa, on which God gave the law to Moses, Exod. xix, 1; xxiv, 16; xxxi, 18; xxxiv, 2, 4, &c; Lev. xxv, 1; xxvi, 46. It stands in a kind of peninsula, formed by the two arms of the Red Sea; one extending north, called the Gulf of Kolsom; the other extending east, called the Gulf of Elan. The Arabs call Mount Sinai by the name of Tor, that is, the mountain, by way of excellence; or Gibel Mousa, “the mountain of Moses.” It is two hundred and sixty miles from Cairo, which is a journey of ten days. The wilderness of Sinai, where the Israelites continued encamped almost a year, and where Moses erected the tabernacle of the covenant, is considerably elevated above the rest of the country; the ascent to it is very craggy, the greater part cut out of the rock; then one comes to a large space of ground, which is a plain surrounded on all sides by rocks and eminences, whose length is nearly twelve miles. Toward the extremity of this plain, on the north, two high mountains appear; the highest is called Sinai, the other Horeb. They are of very steep ascent, and do not stand on much ground in comparison to their extraordinary height. Sinai is at least one third part higher than the other, and its ascent more upright and difficult. The top of the mountain terminates in an uneven and rugged space, which might contain about sixty persons. On this eminence is built a little chapel, called St. Catherine’s, where it is thought the body of this saint rested for three hundred and sixty years; but afterward it was removed into a church at the foot of the mountain. Near this chapel issues a fountain of very good fresh water; it is looked upon as miraculous, it not being conceivable how water can flow from the brow of so high and so barren a mountain. Mount Horeb stands west of Sinai; so that at sun-rising the shadow of Sinai covers Horeb. Beside the little fountain at the top of Sinai, there is another at the foot of Horeb, which supplies the monastery of St. Catherine. Five or six paces from thence they show a stone, whose height is four or five feet, and breadth about three, which they say is the very stone from whence Moses caused the water to gush out. Its colour is of a spotted grey; and it is, as it were, set in a kind of earth, where no other rock appears. This stone has twelve holes or channels, which are about a foot wide, from whence they say the water issued which the Israelites drank.

“Sinai,” says Sandys, “has three tops of a marvellousmarvellous height; that on the west side, where God appeared to Moses in a bush, fruitful in pasturage, far lower than the middlemost, and shadowed when the sun riseth thereon; which is that whereon God gave the law to Moses, and which is now called the Mount of Moses, at the foot of which stands the monastery called St. Catherine’s, from which there were steps formerly up to the very top of the mountain, and were computed fourteen thousand in number. At present some of them are broken, but those that remain are well made, and easy to go up and down. There are, in several places of the ascent, good cisterns; and especially near the top, a fair and good one. The third or most easterly summit is called by the 867religious in those parts, Mount Catherine; on the top of which there is a dome, under which they say was interred the body of this saint, brought thither by angels after she was beheaded at Alexandria.” One may judge of the height of St. Catherine’s Mount, which certainly is not so high as that of Moses by a third part, from this circumstance, that Thevenot found much snow on both when he was there, which was in February. The monastery of St. Catherine is from Cairo some eight days’ journey over the deserts.

SION, or ZION, Mount, a mount or hill on the south of Old Jerusalem or Salem, and higher than that on which the ancient city stood. This hill was, perhaps, on this account, made choice of by the Jebusites for building a fort or citadel upon; which fort was taken by David, who transferred his court thither from Hebron, and brought the ark of the Lord and set it in a tabernacle or tent pitched for it. On this account it is, that this hill is so frequently styled in the Psalms the “holy hill;” and, by way of excellence, is used in the poetical language of Scripture to denote the whole city of Jerusalem. Here David built a palace, and a city, called after him the city of David; and which subsequently formed a part of Jerusalem, enclosed within the same walls, although a great part of the hill is now left without them; while, on the contrary, Calvary, which is supposed to have stood formerly without the walls, is now enclosed within them, the city having drawn itself round about this sacred mount. “This hill,” says M. Chateaubriand, “is of a yellowish colour, and barren appearance; open in form of a crescent, toward Jerusalem; and is about as high as Montmartre at Paris, but rounder at the top. This sacred summit is distinguished by three monuments, or, more properly, by three ruins, the house of Caiaphas, the place where Christ celebrated his last supper, and the tomb or palace of David. From the top of the hill you see, to the south, the valley of Ben Hinnom; beyond this, the field of blood, purchased with the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas; the hill of Evil Counsel, the tombs of the judges, and the whole desert toward Hebron and Bethlehem. To the north, the wall of Jerusalem, which passes over the top of Sion, intercepts the view of the city, the site of which gradually slopes toward the Valley of Jehoshaphat.”

Dr. Richardson observes of Sion, “At the time when I visited this sacred ground, one part of it supported a crop of barley, another was undergoing the labour of the plough, and the soil turned up consisted of stones and lime mixed with earth, such as is usually met with in the foundations of ruined cities. It is nearly a mile in circumference, is highest on the west side, and toward the east falls down in broad terraces on the upper part of the mountain, and narrow ones on the side as it slopes down toward the brook Kedron. Each terrace is divided from the one above it by a low wall of dry stone, built of the ruins of this celebrated spot. The terraces near the bottom of the hill are used as gardens, and are watered from the pool of Siloam. We have here another remarkable instance of the special fulfilment of prophecy. ‘Therefore shall Zion for your sakes be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps,’ Micah iii, 12.” Mr. Jolliffe represents the hill of Sion as not more raised above the city than the Aventine hill above the Roman forum; but conjectures that its height, from its base in the Valley of Gehinnon, from which it rises abruptly, may be equivalent to some of the lowest hills which encompass Bath; that is, if the estimate be correct, about three hundred and sixty feet, which is the height of the lowest of the hills above that city.

SISTER, in the style of the Hebrews, has equal latitude as brother. It is used not only for a sister by natural relation from the same father and mother, but also for a sister only by the same father or by the same mother, or a near relation only. Sarah is called sister to Abraham, Gen. xii, 13; xx, 12, though only his niece according to some, or sister by the father’s side according to others. In the law, Lev. xviii, 18, it is forbidden to take to wife the sister of a wife; to marry two sisters; or, according to some interpreters, to marry a second wife, having one already. Literally, “Thou shalt not take a wife over her sister to afflict her;” as if meaning to forbid polygamy. In the Gospels, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ are his cousins, children of the sisters of the holy virgin, Matt. xiii, 56; Mark vi, 3.

SLAVE. See Servant.

SLEEP, Sleeping, Slumbering, is taken either for the sleep or repose of the body; or for the sleep of the soul, which is supineness, indolence, stupidity; or for the sleep of death. “You shall sleep with your fathers;” you shall die, as they are dead. Jeremiah, li, 39, threatens Babylon, in the name of the Lord, with a perpetual sleep, out of which they shall not awake. Daniel, xii, 2, speaks of those that sleep in the dust of the grave. “Lazarus our friend sleepeth; let us go and awake him,” John xi, 11; he is dead, let us go and raise him up. “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light,” Eph. v, 14. Here St. Paul speaks to those that were dead in sin and infidelity. St. Peter says of the wicked, “Their damnation slumbereth not,” 2 Peter ii, 3. God is not asleep, he will not forget to punish them in his own due time. Isaiah, lxv, 4, speaks of a superstitious practice among the Pagans, who went to sleep in the temples of their idols, to obtain prophetic dreams: “They remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments.” The word, which we translate “monuments,” signifies places “kept” or “observed.” Some interpret it of idol temples, some of caves and dens, in which the Heathens used to worship their idols; and some of tombs or monuments for dead persons. Thus also the superstitious and idolatrous Jews, in contempt of the prophets, and of the temple of the Lord, went into the tombs and temples of idols to sleep there, and to have dreams that might discover future events to them. The Pagans for this 868purpose used to lie upon the skins of the sacrificed victims.

SLINGS. See Arms.

SMYRNA, a city of Asia Minor, and one of the finest in all the Levant. It contended for the honour of giving birth to Homer, and its title is by many thought to be the best founded. The Christian church in Smyrna was one of the seven churches of Asia to which the Apostle John was commanded to address an epistle, Rev. ii, 8–10. The present Smyrna, which the Turks call Esmir, is about four miles in circumference, and contains a population of about a hundred thousand souls. It is less remarkable for the elegance of its buildings than for the beauty of its situation, the extent of its commerce, and the riches of its inhabitants.

SOCINIANS, a sect so called from Faustus Socinus, who died in Poland in 1604. This celebrated man was born in Tuscany, and was descended from an ancient and noble family. In the earlier period of his life he devoted little time to literary acquisitions, but he was possessed of a vigorous understanding, and of that steady fortitude which qualified him for the memorable part which he afterward acted. His connection with his uncle Lælius probably gave a bias to his mind with respect to religion. He warmly embraced his tenets, and he spent a great part of his days in studying and disseminating them. Having left his native country, he visited Poland; and finally he settled in it for the express purpose of propagating his own peculiar views of religious truth. The fundamental principles which he assumed were, the rejection of all mystery from revelation, and the necessity of trying its doctrines by the light of reason; and he rigorously applied this latter maxim in conducting his theological investigations. He inculcated in the strictest sense, the unity of God; considered the Word and the Holy Ghost as attributes of the supreme Being; taught that Christ was a man peculiarly honoured by the Almighty, having been born through the operation of the Spirit; and that he was so highly exalted, in consequence of his office as the Saviour of the world, that he might be styled the Son of God, and ought to be worshipped. Struck with several declarations of our Lord which seemed to imply that he had descended from heaven, and which militated against his leading tenet respecting Jesus, he endeavoured to evade the application of them, by supposing or affirming that, previous to the commencement of our Saviour’s ministry, he had, through the power of God, been taken up to the celestial regions, and had in them received from the Almighty the truths which he was commissioned to reveal.

The first reception of Socinus in Poland, even by those who might have been expected to welcome him, was most discouraging. The Unitarian churches which had been previously established in that kingdom, differing from him in several points, would not admit him into their communion; and he had to encounter the enmity of the great majority of Christians, who abhorred his tenets, and branded them as impious. But, notwithstanding all this, and although he was visited with much suffering and affliction, his perseverance, his talents, and his zeal soon excited admiration; his views were adopted by many even in the highest stations of life; his principles were embodied in a catechism, which, though not imposed upon his followers, they read with very extensive acquiescence; and he had the satisfaction of beholding the sentiments which he had long cherished, embraced by various churches enjoying the protection of government, and permitted to establish seminaries of education by which the impression made on the public mind might be preserved and deepened. There was not, however, perfect unanimity of faith among all his associates who united in denying the divinity of our Lord. Vast numbers of these, previous to their having perused the papers of Lælius Socinus, had so far received the system of Arianism, that they believed Christ to have existed before he entered into the world; and although many, in consequence of the reasonings and representations of Socinus, abandoned this doctrine, it was retained by some, who, from their leader, were called Farnovians. Socinus conducted himself toward these men with admirable address. Fully aware that the tendency of their having departed so far from the orthodox tenets was to lead them to still farther recession, and sensible that his own system naturally and consequentially resulted from what they readily admitted, he used every method to conciliate them, and he permitted them to remain with his followers, upon condition of their not openly insisting on the preëxistence of Christ. They did, however, at length separate from the great body of his adherents; but they gradually approached nearer and nearer to them, and, upon the death of Farnovius, most of them incorporated themselves with the Socinians, and all trace of them as a distinct party was obliterated.

Socinus was much more agitated by the promulgation of an opinion very opposite to those now mentioned. As might have been anticipated, there were some who, having adopted the sentiments of Lælius Socinus as to the simple humanity of Christ, deduced from this tenet consequences which appeared to them obviously to flow from it, although these had not been perceived or admitted by Lælius himself. A striking example of this took place in the time of Faustus Socinus. Francis David, a man of considerable influence among the Unitarians, being the superintendent of their churches in Transylvania, maintained that, as Christ was born just like other men, so he continued, notwithstanding his exaltation, to be merely a human being; and that therefore all invocation of him, and worship paid to him, were to be shunned as impiety or idolatry. Socinus inveighed with the utmost warmth against this opinion; he used every method to induce David to renounce it; and, at the desire of one of his friends, he resided for a considerable time at the house of his opponent, that the subject at issue might be fully and 869calmly discussed. He failed, however, in accomplishing his object. David persisted, as he had, upon the ground which he had taken, good reason to do, in asserting the doctrine which he had announced; and he was soon after this thrown by the prince of Transylvania into prison, where he lingered for several years, and then died at an advanced age. It has been insinuated that Socinus was accessary to this cruel deed of detestable persecution; and, although attempts have been made to wipe off the imputation, there is too much cause to think that it is not wholly unfounded. Most certain it is, that he had it much at heart to root out what he viewed as the heresy of David, and that the support of it after the death of the unhappy sufferer by some distinguished Unitarians gave him much uneasiness. It is not unlikely that the zeal which he thus displayed arose from his apprehension that the tenets which he opposed would supplant his own, and from the difficulty that he must have experienced in turning aside the inferences which were affirmed to follow from what he admitted. If such was the case, and it seems in many respects more probable than the conjecture of Mosheim, that it is to be attributed to the dread of rendering the sect more odious than it actually was, we have a striking proof of his discernment, though at the expense of his candour; for the present creed of Unitarianism approaches much nearer to that of David than to the doctrines of the founder of Socinianism himself.

But, while he was thus disquieted by opposition which, after the liberty with which he had himself departed from the faith of the most ancient and numerous Christian churches, should have created no surprise, he was highly gratified by the zeal and the establishment of his followers. Under the protection of the ample toleration which they enjoyed in Poland they were sedulous in their attempts to imprint their tenets upon those among whom they lived, and to send these tenets abroad to foreign nations. The Anti-trinitarians in Poland had early translated the Scriptures, and their successors under Socinus composed many works with the design of defending the principles of their faith. They also sent missionaries to propagate their views and to disseminate the books which supported them, anticipating success similar to that which had accompanied their efforts in Transylvania. But in Hungary and in Austria they were successfully opposed by the united and cordial efforts of Catholics and Protestants. In Holland they were more fortunate; and in England they established only one congregation, which differed in some points from the parent sect, and which soon dwindled away.

These failures, which the ardour, the ability, and the high rank of many who engaged in the diffusion of Socinianism were unable to prevent, were soon followed by their expulsion from the country in which they had so long remained in security and peace. Toward the middle of the seventeenth century some of the students attending the academy at Racow, wantonly insulted the feelings and the principles of the Catholics, by a contemptible act of outrage against a crucifix, which, with stones, they threw down from the place in which it had been erected. By men warmly attached to their own religion, and who had at all times regarded the Socinians as undermining its foundation, this youthful excess was represented as confirming all the charges that had been made against the community to which the perpetrators belonged, and they determined to exert themselves to procure their punishment or extirpation. The supporters of the established religion accordingly applied to the diet at Warsaw; and, notwithstanding the powerful influence used in favour of the Socinians, a cruel edict was passed, abolishing their academy at Racow, banishing the learned men who had taught in it, breaking the printing presses, and shutting up the churches. This edict was carried into effect with much severity; but it did not exhaust the enmity now cherished against the sect; for within a few years after, by a solemn act of the Polish diet, they were banished from the territories of the republic, and, with sad departure from the tolerant and beneficent spirit of the Gospel, death was denounced against all who held their opinions, or who even sheltered and protected those who entertained them. A short time was allowed to the unfortunate victims to arrange their affairs before they bade an eternal adieu to scenes which all the ties of human life must have endeared to them; but this period was abridged. Some, however, had escaped the operation of the law, and had remained in Poland; but three years after the edict was renewed, and the Socinians who still lingered in their beloved country were driven from it with a rigour and an inhumanity reflecting infamy upon those who were guilty of them, and leading to the most melancholy reflections upon that dismal perversion of all that is amiable in our nature, which has so often been effected by a mistaken zeal for a religion breathing the tenderest concern for the happiness of mankind. The principles of Socinus were, notwithstanding, secretly fostered, and various causes tended to perpetuate them even where in profession they were abjured. The propensity, so natural to man, of dissipating every shade of mystery, and casting the light of his own understanding around the subjects of his contemplation, did not cease to operate; and the application of this principle, so gratifying to the pride of human reason, carried many farther than even Socinus had probably anticipated.

The Socinians hold, that Jesus Christ was a mere man, who had no existence before he was born of the virgin Mary; that the Holy Ghost is no distinct person; but that the Father only is truly and properly God. They own that the name of God is given in Scripture to Jesus Christ, but contend that it is only a deputed title; which, however, invests him with a great authority over all creatures. They deny the doctrine of satisfaction and imputed righteousness, and say, that Christ only preached the truth to mankind, set before them in 870himself an example of heroic virtue, and sealed his doctrines with his blood. Original sin they esteem a mere scholastic chimera. Some of them, likewise, maintain the sleep of the soul, which, they say, becomes insensible at death, and is raised again with the body at the resurrection, when the good shall be established in the possession of eternal felicity, while the wicked shall be consigned to a fire that will torment them, not eternally, but for a certain duration, proportioned to their demerits.

SODOM, the capital of Pentapolis, which for some time was the residence of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. The history of its destruction is given in the book of Genesis. See Abraham, Lot, and Dead Sea.

SOLOMON, or SALOMON, son of David and Bathsheba, was born A. M. 2971. The Lord loved him, and sent Nathan to David to give Solomon the name of Jedidiah, or, “beloved of the Lord,” 2 Sam. xii, 24, 25. This was probably when Nathan assured David that his son should succeed him, and that he should inherit those promises which had been made to him some years before, when he had conceived the design of building a temple to the Lord; for then God declared, by the prophet Nathan, that the honour of building a temple should be reserved for his son, 2 Sam. vii, 5, &c. Solomon, being confirmed in his kingdom, contracted an alliance with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and married his daughter, A.M. 2291. He brought her to Jerusalem, and had apartments for her in the city of David, till he should build her a palace, which he did some years afterward, when he had finished the temple. It is thought that on occasion of this marriage, Solomon composed the Canticles, which are a kind of epithalamium. The Scripture speaks of the daughter of Pharaoh, as contributing to pervert Solomon, 1 Kings xi, 1, 2; Neh. xiii, 26; and it is very likely, that if at first this princess might seem converted to the Lord, she afterward might retain her private disposition to idolatry, and might engage her husband in it.

Solomon, accompanied by his troops and all Israel, went up to Gibeon, where was then the brazen altar, upon which he offered a thousand burnt-offerings. The night following, God appeared to him in a dream, and said, “Ask of me what thou wilt.” Solomon begged of God a wise and understanding heart, and such qualities as were necessary for the government of the people committed to him. This request pleased the Lord, and was fully granted by him. Solomon returned to Jerusalem, where he offered a great number of sacrifices on the altar before the ark of the Lord, and made a great feast for his servants. He enjoyed a profound peace throughout his dominions; Judah and Israel lived in security; and his neighbours either paid him tribute, or were his allies; he ruled over all the countries and kingdoms from the Euphrates to the Nile, and his dominions extended even beyond the former; he had abundance of horses and chariots of war; he exceeded the orientals, and all the Egyptians, in wisdom and prudence; he was the wisest of mankind, and his reputation was spread through all nations. He composed or collected, three thousand proverbs, and one thousand and five canticles. He knew the nature of plants and trees, from the cedar on Libanus to the hyssop on the wall; also of beasts, of birds, of reptiles, of fishes. There was a concourse of strangers from all countries to hear his wisdom, and ambassadors from the most remote princes.

When Hiram, king of Tyre, knew that Solomon was made king of Israel, he sent ambassadors to congratulate him on his accession to the crown. Some time afterward, Solomon desired him to supply wood and workmen, to assist in building a temple to the Lord. Hiram gladly undertook this service, and Solomon, on his part, obliged himself to give twenty thousand measures of wheat, and twenty thousand measures of oil. The Hebrew and the Vulgate have only twenty measures of oil; but the reading ought no doubt to be twenty thousand. Solomon began to build the temple in the fourth year of his reign, and the second after the death of David; four hundred and eighty years after the exodus from Egypt. He employed in this great work seventy thousand proselytes, descendants of the ancient Canaanites, in carrying burdens, fourscore thousand in cutting stones out of the quarries, and three thousand six hundred overseers of the works; beside thirty thousand Israelites in the quarries of Libanus.

The temple was completed in the eleventh year of Solomon, so that he was but seven years in performing this vast work. The dedication was made the year following, A. M. 3001. To make this ceremony the more august, Solomon chose for it the eighth day of the seventh month of the holy year, which was the first of the civil year, and answered to our October. The ceremony of the dedication lasted seven days, at the end of which began the feast of tabernacles, which continued seven days longer; so that the people continued at Jerusalem fourteen or fifteen days, from the eighth to the twenty-second of the seventh month. When the ark was placed in the sanctuary, while the priests and Levites were celebrating the praises of the Lord, the temple was filled with a miraculous cloud, so that the priests could no longer stand to perform the functions of their ministry. Then Solomon, being on his throne, prostrated himself with his face to the ground; and rising up, and turning toward the sanctuary, he addressed his prayer to God, and besought him that the house which he had built might be acceptable to him, that he would bless and sanctify it, and hear the prayers of those who should address him from this holy place. He besought him also to fulfil the promises he had made to David his servant in favour of his family, and of the kings his successors. Then turning himself to the people, he solemnly blessed them. Fire coming down from heaven consumed the victims and burnt sacrifices on the altar, and the glory of the Lord filled the whole temple. On this day the king caused to be 871sacrificed twenty-two thousand oxen, and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep for peace-offerings. And because the altar of burnt-offerings was not sufficient for all these victims, the king consecrated the court of the people.

Solomon afterward built a palace for himself, and another for his queen, the king of Egypt’s daughter. He was thirteen years in finishing these buildings, and employed in them whatever the most exquisite art, or the most profuse riches, could furnish. The palace in which he generally resided was called the house of the forest of Lebanon; probably because of the great quantity of cedar used in it. Solomon also built the walls of Jerusalem, and the place called Millo in this city; he repaired and fortified Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer, the two Bethhorons, Upper and Lower, Baalath, and Palmyra in the desert of Syria. He also fortified the cities where he had magazines of corn, wine, and oil; and those where his horses and chariots were kept. He brought under his government the Hittites, the Hivites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, which remained in the land of Israel. He made them tributaries, and compelled them to work at the public works. He fitted out a fleet at Ezion-Geber, and at Elath, on the Red Sea, to go to Ophir. Hiram, king of Tyre, furnished him with mariners, who instructed the subjects of Solomon. They performed this voyage in three years, and brought back gold, ivory, ebony, precious wood, peacocks, apes, and other curiosities. In one voyage they brought Solomon four hundred and fifty talents of gold, 2 Chron. ix, 21. About the same time, the queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem, attracted by the great fame of the king. She brought rich presents of gold, spices, and precious stones; and proposed several enigmas and hard questions, to which Solomon gave her such satisfactory answers, that she owned what had been told her of his wisdom and magnificence was far short of what she had found. The king, on his part, made her rich presents in return.

Solomon was one of the richest, if not the very richest, of all princes that have ever lived; and the Scripture expressly tells us he exceeded in riches and wisdom all the kings of the earth. His annual revenues were six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, without reckoning tributes from kings and nations, or paid by Israelites, or sums received for customs. The bucklers of his guards, and the throne he sat on, were overlaid with gold. All the vessels of his table, and the utensils of his palaces, were of gold. From all parts he received presents, vessels of gold and silver, precious stuffs, spices, arms, horses, and mules; and the whole earth desired to see his face, and to hear the wisdom which God had put into his heart. But the latter actions of his life disgraced his character. Beside Pharaoh’s daughter, he married wives from among the Moabites, Ammonites, Idumeans, Sidonians, and Hittites. He had seven hundred wives, who were so many queens, beside three hundred concubines. These women perverted his heart in his declining age, so that he worshipped Ashtoreth, goddess of the Sidonians, Moloch, idol of the Ammonites, and Chemosh, god of the Moabites. To these he built temples on the Mount of Olives, over against and east of Jerusalem, and thus insulted openly the Majesty he had adored.

Solomon died after he had reigned forty years, A. M. 3029. He might be about fifty-eight years of age; for he was about eighteen when he began to reign. Josephus makes him to have reigned eighty years and to have lived ninety-four years; but this is a manifest error. The history of this prince was written by the prophets Nathan, Ahijah, and Iddo. He was buried in the city of David; and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead. Of all the ingenious works composed by Solomon, we have nothing remaining but his Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Canticles; that is, every literary monument respecting him has perished, except those written under inspiration--the inspired history which registers his apostasy, and his own inspired works, which, in all the principles they contain, condemn his vices. Some have ascribed to him the book of Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus; but these were written by Hellenistic Jews.

SOUL, that immortal, immaterial, active substance or principle in man, whereby he perceives, remembers, reasons, and wills. See Materialism.

SOWING. Our Lord, in his parable of the sower, says, “Some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them.” Buckingham, in his Travels in Palestine, remarks, “We ascended to an elevated plain where husbandmen were sowing, and some thousands of starlings covered the ground, as the wild pigeons do in Egypt, laying a heavy contribution on the grain thrown into the furrows, which are not covered by harrowing, as in Europe.” The sowing “beside all waters,” mentioned by Isaiah, seems to refer to the sowing of rice, which is done on low grounds flooded, and prepared for sowing by being trodden by oxen and asses, mid-leg deep; thus, they send “forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.”

SPARROW, , Gen. vii, 14, and afterward frequently; , Matt. x, 29; Luke xii, 6, 7; a little bird every where known. The Hebrew word is used not only for a sparrow, but for all sorts of clean birds, or for those the use of which was not forbidden by the law. That the sparrow is not intended in Psalm cii, 7, is evident from several circumstances; for that is intimated to be a bird of night, one that is both solitary and mournful; none of which characteristics is applicable to the sparrow, which rests by night, is gregarious and cheerful. It seems rather to mean a bird melancholy and drooping, much like one confined in a cage. See Swallow.

SPEECH. See Language.

SPIDER, , Job viii, 14; Isa. lix, 5. An insect well known, remarkable for the thread which it spins, with which it forms a web of curious texture, but so frail that it is 872exposed to be broken and destroyed by the slightest accident. To the slenderness of this filmy workmanship, Job compares the hope of the wicked. This, says Dr. Good, was “doubtless a proverbial allusion; and so exquisite, that it is impossible to conceive any figure that can more fully describe the utter vanity of the hopes and prosperity of the wicked.”

“Deceiving bliss! in bitter shame it ends,
His prop a cobweb, which an insect rends.”

So Isaiah says, “They weave the web of the spider; of their webs no garment shall be made; neither shall they cover themselves with their works.”

SPIKENARD, . By this was meant a highly aromatic plant growing in the Indies, called “nardostachys,” by Dioscorides and Galen; from whence was made the very valuable extract or unguent, or favourite perfume, used at the ancient baths and feasts, unguentum nardinum, unguentum nardi spicatæ, [the perfume or unction of spikenard,] which it appears from a passage in Horace, was so valuable, that as much of it as could be contained in a small box of precious stone, was considered as a sort of equivalent for a large vessel of wine, and a handsome quota for a guest to contribute at an entertainment, according to the custom of antiquity:

Nardo vina merebere:
Nardi parvus onyx eliciet cadum.
“Bring you the odours, and a cask is thine.
Thy little box of ointment shall produce
A mighty cask.”

St. Mark, xiv, 3, mentions “ointment of spikenard very precious,” which is said to be worth more than three hundred denarii; and John, xii, 3, mentions a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly; the house was filled with the odour of the ointment; it was worth three hundred denarii. It is not to be supposed that this was a Syrian production, but the true “atar” of Indian spikenard; an unguent, containing the very essence of the plant, and brought at a great expense from a remote country.

SPIRIT, in Hebrew, , in Greek, eµa, and in Latin, spiritus, is in the Scriptures sometimes taken for the Holy Ghost, the third person of the Holy Trinity. The word signifies also the reasonable soul which animates us, and continues in existence even after the death of the body: that spiritual, thinking and reasoning substance, which is capable of eternal happiness, Num. xvi, 22; Acts vii, 59. The term spirit is also often used for an angel, a demon, and a ghost, or soul separate from the body. It is said, in Acts xxiii, 8, that the Sadducees denied the existence of angels and spirits. Jesus Christ appearing to his disciplesdisciples, said to them, Luke xxiv, 39, “Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” And St. Paul calls the good angels “ministering spirits,” Heb. i, 14. In 1 Sam. xvi, 14; xviii, 10; xix 9, it is said that an evil spirit from the Lord troubled Saul: and we have also the expression unclean spirits. Add to this, spirit is sometimes put for the disposition of the heart or mind: see Num. v, 14; Zech. xii, 10; Luke xiii, 11; Isa. xi, 2. Discerning of spirits, or the secret character and thoughts of men, was a gift of God, and placed among the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. xii, 10; 1 John iv, 1.

STAR, in Hebrew, . Under the name of stars, the ancient Hebrews comprehended all the heavenly bodies, constellations, and planets; in a word, all the luminaries, the sun and moon excepted. The number of the stars was looked upon as infinite. And the Psalmist, to exalt the power and magnificence of God, says, that he numbers the stars and calls them by their names; and so are they put to express a vast multitude, Gen. xv, 5; xxii, 17; Exod. xxxiii, 13.

STEPHEN, the first martyr. He is always put at the head of the seven deacons; and it is believed he had studied at the feet of Gamaliel. As he was full of the Holy Ghost, and of zeal, Acts vi, 5, 6, &c, he performed many wonderful miracles: and those of the synagogue of the Libertines, of the Cyrenians, of the Alexandrians, and others, disputing with him, could not withstand the wisdom and the power with which he spoke. Then having suborned false witnesses, to testify that they had heard him blaspheme against Moses, and against God, they drew him before the sanhedrim. Stephen appeared in the midst of this assembly, with a countenance like that of an angel; and the high priest asking him what he had to answer, in his defence he rapidly traced the history of the Jews, showing that they had always opposed themselves to God and his prophets; faithfully upbraided them with the hardness of their hearts, with their putting the prophets to death, and, lastly, with slaying Christ himself. At these words they were filled with rage, and gnashed their teeth against him. But Stephen, lifting up his eyes to heaven, calmly exclaimed, “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” Then the Jews cried out, and stopped their ears as though they had heard blasphemy, and falling on him, they drew him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul, afterward St. Paul, who then appears to have commenced his career of persecution. “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit; and he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep,” an example of the majesty and meekness of true Christian heroism, and as the first, so also the pattern, of all subsequent martyrsmartyrs. His Christian brethren forsook not the remains of this holy man; but took care to bury him, and accompanied his funeral with great mourning, Acts viii, 2.

STOICS, a sect of Heathen philosophers, Acts xvii, 18. Their distinguishing tenets were, that God is underived, incorruptible, and eternal; possessed of infinite wisdom and goodness; the efficient cause of all the qualities and forms of things; and the constant 873preserver and governor of the world: That matter, in its original elements, is also underived and eternal; and is by the powerful energy of the Deity impressed with motion and form: That though God and matter subsisted from eternity, the present regular frame of nature had a beginning originating in the gross and dark chaos, and will terminate in a universal conflagration, that will reduce the world to its pristine state: That at this period all material forms will be lost in one chaotic mass; and all animated nature be reunited to the Deity: That from this chaotic state, however, the world will again emerge by the energy of the efficient principle; and gods, and men, and all forms of regulated nature be renewed and dissolved, in endless succession: And that after the revolution of the great year all things will be restored, and the race of men will return to life. Some imagined, that each individual would return to its former body; while others supposed, that similar souls would be placed in similar bodies. Those among the stoics who maintained the existence of the soul after death, supposed it to be removed into the celestial regions of the gods, where it remains until, at the general conflagration, all souls, both human and divine, shall be absorbed in the Deity. But many imagined that, before they were admitted among the divinities, they must purge away their inherent vices and imperfections, by a temporary residence in some aërial regions between the earth and the planets. According to the general doctrine of the stoics, all things are subject to a stern irresistible fatality, even the gods themselves. Some of them explained this fate as an eternal chain of causes and effects; while others, more approaching the Christian system, describe it as resulting from the divine decrees--the fiat of an eternal providence. Considering the system practically, it was the object of this philosophy to divest men of their passions and affections. They taught, therefore, that a wise man might be happy in the midst of torture; and that all external things were to him indifferent. Their virtues all arose from, and centred in, themselves; and self approbation was their great reward.

STONE. This word is sometimes taken in the sense of rock, and is applied figuratively to God, as the refuge of his people. See Rock, The Hebrews gave the name of “stones” to the weights used in commerce; no doubt because they were originally formed of stone. “Just weights,” is therefore in Hebrew, “just stones.” “The corner stone,” or “the head stone of the corner,” is a figurative representation of Christ. It is the stone at the angle of a building, whether at the foundation or the top of the wall. Christ was that corner stone, which, though rejected by the Jews, became the corner stone of the church, and the stone that binds and unites the synagogue and the Gentiles in the unity of the same faith. Some have thought the showers of stones cast down by the Lord out of heaven, mentioned several times in the Old Testament, to be showers of hail of extraordinary size; which was probably the case, as they even now sometimes occur in those countries in a most terrific and destructive form, and show how irresistible an agent this meteor is in the hands of an offended God. The knives of stone that were made use of by the Jews in circumcision, were not enjoined by the law; but the use of them was founded, either upon custom, or upon the experience that this kind of instrument is found to be less dangerous than those made of metal. Zipporah made use of a stone to circumcise her sons, Exod. iv, 25. Joshua, v, 2, did the same, when he caused such of the Israelites to be circumcised at Gilgal, as had not received circumcision during their journey in the wilderness. The Egyptians, according to Herodotus, made use of knives of stone to open dead bodies that were to be embalmed; and Pliny assures us, that the priests of the mother of the gods had sharp stones, with which they cut and slashed themselves, which they thought they could not do with any thing else without danger. Great heaps of stones, raised up for a witness of any memorable event, and to preserve the remembrance of some matter of great importance, are among the most ancient monuments. In those elder ages, before the use of writing, these monuments were instead of inscriptions, pyramids, medals, or histories. Jacob and Laban raised such a monument upon Mount Gilead in memory of their covenant, Gen. xxxi, 46. Joshua erected one at Gilgal, made of stones taken out of the Jordan, to preserve the memorial of his miraculous passage over this river, Josh. iv, 5–7. The Israelites that dwelt beyond Jordan also raised one upon the banks of the river, as a testimony that they constituted but one nation with their brethren on the other side, Joshua xxii, 10. Sometimes they heaped up such a collection of stones upon the burying place of some odious persons, as was done in the case of Achan and Absalom, Joshua vii, 26; 2 Kings xviii, 17.

A “heart of stone” may be understood several ways. Job, xli, 24, speaking of the leviathan, says, that “his heart is as firm as a stone, yea as hard as a piece of the nether millstone:” that is, he is of a very extraordinary strength, boldness, and courage. It is said, 1 Sam. xxv, 37, that Nabal’s heart died within him, and he became as a stone, when he was told of the danger he had incurred by his imprudence; his heart became contracted or convulsed, and this was the occasion of his death. Ezekiel, xxxvi, 26, says, that the Lord will take away from his people their heart of stone, and give them a heart of flesh; that is, he will render them contrite, and sensible to spiritual things. “I will give him a white stone,” Rev. ii, 17; that is, I will give him full and public pardon and absolution. It is spoken in allusion to an ancient custom of delivering a white stone to such as they acquitted in judgment. They used likewise to give a white stone to such as conquered in the Grecian games.

STORK, , Lev. xi, 19; Deut. xiv, 18; Job xxxix, 13; Psalm civ, 17; Jer. viii, 7; 874Zech. v, 9; a bird similar to the crane in size, has the same formation as to the bill, neck, legs, and body, but is rather more corpulent. The colour of the crane is ash and black; that of the stork is white and brown. The nails of its toes are also very peculiar; not being clawed like those of other birds, but flat like the nails of a man. It has a very long beak, and long red legs. It feeds upon serpents, frogs, and insects, and on this account might be reckoned by Moses among unclean birds. As it seeks for these in watery places, nature has provided it with long legs; and as it flies away, as well as the crane and heron, to its nest with its plunder, therefore its bill is strong and jagged, the sharp hooks of which enable it to retain its slippery prey. It has long been remarkable for its love to its parents, whom it never forsakes, but tenderly feeds and cherishes when they have become old, and unable to provide for themselves. The very learned and judicious Bochart has collected a variety of passages from the ancients, in which they testify this curious particular. Its very name in the Hebrew language, chasida, signifies mercy or piety: and its English name is taken, if not directly, yet secondarily, through the Saxon, from the Greek word st, which is often used for natural affection.

The stork’s an emblem of true piety;
Because, when age has seized and made his dam
Unfit for flight, the grateful young one takes
His mother on his back, provides her food,
Repaying thus her tender care of him
Ere he was fit to fly.

It is a bird of passage, and is spoken of as such in Scripture: “The stork knoweth her appointed time,” Jer. viii, 7.

Who bid the stork, Columbus-like, explore
Heavens not its own, and worlds unknown before
Who calls the council, states the certain day,
Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way

Bochart has collected several testimonies of the migration of storks. Ælian says, that in summer time they remain stationary, but at the close of autumn they repair to Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia. “For about the space of a fortnight before they pass from one country to another,” says Dr. Shaw, “they constantly resort together, from all the adjacent parts, in a certain plain; and there forming themselves, once every day, into a ‘douwanne,’ or council, (according to the phrase of these eastern nations,) are said to determine the exact time of their departure, and the place of their future abodes.” See Swallow.

STRANGER. Moses inculcated and enforced by numerous and by powerful considerations, as well as by various examples of benevolent hospitality, mentioned in the book of Genesis, the exhibition of kindness and humanity to strangers. There were two classes of persons who, in reference to this subject, were denominated strangers, . One class were those who, whether Hebrews or foreigners, were destitute of a home, in Hebrew . The others were persons who, though not natives, had a home in Palestine; the latter were , strangers or foreigners, in the strict sense of the word. Both of these classes, according to the civil code of Moses, were to be treated with kindness, and were to enjoy the same rights with other citizens, Lev. xix, 33, 34; xxiv, 16, 22; Num. ix, 14; xv, 14; Deut. x, 18; xxiii, 7; xxiv, 17; xxvii, 19. In the earlier periods of the Hebrew state, persons who were natives of another country, but who had come, either from choice or from necessity, to take up their residence among the Hebrews, appear to have been placed in favourable circumstances. At a later period, namely, in the reigns of David and Solomon, they were compelled to labour on the religious edifices which were erected by those princes; as we may learn from such passages as these: “And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found a hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred; and he set three score and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens,” &c, 1 Chron. xxii, 2; 2 Chron. ii, 1, 16, 17. The exaction of such laborious services from foreigners was probably limited to those who had been taken prisoners in war; and who, according to the rights of war, as they were understood at that period, could be justly employed in any offices, however low and however laborious, which the conqueror thought proper to impose. In the time of Christ, the degenerate Jews did not find it convenient to render to the strangers from a foreign country those deeds of kindness and humanity which were not only their due, but which were demanded in their behalf by the laws of Moses. They were in the habit of understanding by the word , neighbour, their friends merely, and accordingly restricted the exercise of their benevolence by the same narrow limits that bounded in this case their interpretation; contrary as both were to the spirit of those passages which have been adduced above, Lev. xix, 18.

STREETS, Corners of. Our Lord reproves the Pharisees for praying in the corners of the streets, that is, choosing public places for what ought to have been private devotion. The Hindoos, Mohammedans, and others still have this practice. “Both Hindoos and Mussulmans offer their devotions in the most public places; as, at the landing places of rivers, in the public streets, and on the roofs of boats, without the least modesty or attempt at concealment.” “An aged Turk,” observes Richardson, “is particularly proud of a long flowing white beard, a well shaved cheek and head, and a clean turban. It is a common thing to see such characters, far past the bloom of life, mounted on stone seats, with a bit of Persian carpet, at the corner of the streets, or in front of their bazaars, combing their beards, smoking their pipes, or drinking their coffee, with a pitcher of water standing beside them, or saying their prayers, or reading the Koran.”

STUMBLING, Stone of. “We set out from Argos very early in the morning,” says 875Hartley, “and were almost eleven hours in reaching Tripolitza. The road is, for the most part, dreary; leading over lofty and barren hills, the principal of which is Mount Parthenius. In England, where the roads are so excellent, we do not readily perceive the force and just application of the Scriptural figures, derived from a ‘stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence,’ Isaiah viii, 14, and similar passages; but in the east, where the roads are, for the most part, nothing more than an accustomed track, the constant danger and impediment arising to travellers from stones and rocks fully explain the allusion.”

In the grand description which Isaiah gives, lxiii, 13, of God “with his glorious arm” leading his people through the Red Sea, it is said, “That led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble;” that is, who preserved them from falling amidst the numerous inequalities in the bed of the sea, caused in some instances by deep cavities, and in others by abrupt intervening rocks. The figure is a very natural one, especially in the east, where the Arabs and Tartars are famed for their dexterity in the management of even bad horses. A curious instance of this occurs in Colonel Campbell’s “Overland Journey to the East Indies.” Speaking of the Tartar, an accredited courier of the Turkish government, under whose guidance he travelled in disguise across the desert from Aleppo to Mosul, he says, “One day, after riding about four miles from a caravansera, at which we had changed our cattle, I found that a most execrably bad horse had fallen to my lot. He was stiff, feeble, and foundered; in consequence of which he stumbled very much, and I every minute expected that he would fall and roll over me. I therefore proposed to the guide to exchange with me; a favour which he had hitherto never refused, and for which I was the more anxious as the beast that he rode was of the very best kind. To my utter astonishment, he peremptorily refused; and as this had been a day of unusual taciturnity on his part, I attributed his refusal to peevishness and ill temper, and was resolved not to let the matter rest there. I therefore desired the interpreter to inform him, that as he had at Aleppo agreed to change horses with me as often as I pleased, I should consider our agreement infringed if he did not comply, and would write to the consul at Aleppo to that effect. As soon as this was conveyed to him, he seemed strongly agitated by anger, yet endeavoured to conceal his emotions under affected contempt and derision, which produced from him one of the most singular grins that ever yet marred the human physiognomy. At length he broke forth:--‘You will write to Aleppo, will you Foolish Frank! they will not believe you,’ &c.--‘Why do you not, then,’ said I, interrupting him; ‘why do you not perform your promise by changing horses, when you are convinced in your conscience (if you have any) that it was part of our agreement’--‘Once for all, I tell you,’ interrupted he, ‘I will not give up this horse. There is not,’ said he gasconadingly, ‘there is not a Mussulman that ever wore a beard, not to talk of a wretched Frank, who should get this horse from under me. I would not yield him to the Commander of the Faithful this minute, were he in your place; and I have my own reasons for it.’--‘I dare say you have,’ returned I, ‘love of your ease, and fear of your bones.’ At hearing this he grew quite outrageous; called Mohammed and Allah to witness, that he did not know what it was to fear any thing; declared that he was convinced some infernal spirit had that day got possession of me, &c. At length observing that I looked at him with sneering contemptuous defiance, he rode up alongside of me. I thought it was to strike, and prepared to defend myself. I was however mistaken: he snatched the reins out of my hand, and caught hold of them collected close at the horse’s jaw, then began to flog my horse and to spur his own, till he got them both into full speed: nor did he stop there, but continued to belabour mine with his whip and to spur his own, driving headlong over every impediment that came in our way, till I really thought he had run mad, or designed to kill me. Several times I was on the point of striking him with my whip, in order to knock him off his horse; but as often patience providentially came in to my assistance, and whispered to me to forbear, and see it out. Meantime I considered myself as being in some danger; and yet such was the power which he had over the cattle, that I found it impossible to stop him. So, resigning the event to the direction of Providence, I suffered him, without a farther effort, to proceed. He continued this for some miles, over an uncultivated tract, here and there intersected with channels formed by rills of water in the periodical rains, thickly set with low furze, ferns, and other dwarf bushes, and broken up and down into little hills. His horse carried him clear over all; and though mine was every minute stumbling and nearly down, yet, with a dexterity inexpressible and a vigour altogether amazing, he kept him up by the bridle, and, I may say, carried him gallantly over every thing. At all this I was very much astonished; and, toward the end, as much pleased as astonished; which he perceiving, cried out frequently and triumphantly, ‘Behold, Frank, behold!’ and at last, drawing in the horses, stopping short, and looking me full in the face, he exclaimed, ‘Frank, what say you now’ For some time I was incapable of making him any answer, but continued surveying him from head to foot as the most extraordinary savage I had ever beheld; while he stroked his whiskers with great self-complacency and composure, and nodded his head every now and then, as much as to say, ‘Look at me! Am I not a very capital fellow’ We alighted on the brow of a small hill, whence was to be seen a full and uninterrupted prospect of the country all round. The interpreter coming up, the Tartar called to him, and desired him to explain to me carefully the meaning of what he was about to say. ‘You see those mountains,’ said he, pointing to the east; 876‘they are in the province of Kurdestan, and inhabited by a vile race of robbers, who pay homage to a god of their own, and worship the devil from fear. They live by plunder; and often descend from those mountains, cross the Tigris which runs between them and us, and plunder and ravage this country in bands of great number and formidable strength, carrying away into slavery all they can catch, and killing all who resist them. This country therefore, for some distance round us, is very dangerous to travellers, whose only safety lies in flight. Now it was our misfortune this morning to get a very bad horse. Should we meet with a band of those Curds, what could we do but fly And if you, Frank, rode this horse, and I that, we could never escape; for I doubt you could not keep him up from falling under ME, as I did under YOU. I should therefore come down and be taken; you would lose your guide and miss your way; and all of us would be undone.’ As soon as the interpreter had explained this to me, ‘Well,’ continued the Tartar, ‘what does he say to it now’--‘Why, I say,’ returned I, ‘that you have spoken good sense and sound reason; and I am obliged to you.’ This, when fully interpreted, operated most pleasingly upon him, and his features relaxed into a broad look of satisfaction.”

SUPERSTITION may be described to be either the careful and anxious observation of numerous and unauthorized ceremonies in religion, under the idea that they possess some virtue to propitiate God and obtain his favour, or, as among Pagans and others, the worship of imaginary deities, and the various means of averting evil by religious ceremonies, which a heart oppressed with fears, and a perverted fancy, may dictate to those ignorant of the true God, and the doctrines of salvation. Dr. Neander observes, The consideration of human nature and history shows us that the transition from unbelief to superstition is always easy. Both these conditions of the human heart proceed from the self-same ground, the want of that which may be properly called faith, the want of a life in God, of a lively communion with divine things by means of the inward life; that is, by means of the feelings. Man, whose inward feelings are estranged from the divine nature, is inclined, sometimes to deny the reality of that of which he has nothing within him, and for the conception and application of which to himself he has no organ. Or else, the irresistible force of his inward nature impels man to recognize that higher power from which he would fain free himself entirely, and to seek that connection with it which he cannot but feel needful to his comfort; but, inasmuch as he is without any real inward sympathy of disposition with the Divinity, and wants a true sense of holiness, the Divinity appears to his darkened religious conscience only under the form of power and arbitrary rule. His conscience paints to him this power as an angry and avenging power. But as he has no idea of that which the Divinity really is, he cannot duly understand this feeling of estrangement from God, this consciousness of divine wrath; and, instead of seeking in moral things the source of this unquiet feeling, which leaves him no rest by day or night, and from which there is no escape, he fancies that by this or that action, which of itself is perfectly indifferent, he may have offended this higher power, and he seeks by outward observances again to reconcile the offended power. Religion here becomes a source, not of life, but of death; the source, not of consolation and blessing, but of the most unspeakable anxiety which torments man day and night with the spectres of his own imagination. Religion here is no source of sanctification, but may unite in man’s heart with every kind of untruth, and serve to promote it. There is one kind of superstition in which, while man torments himself to the utmost, he still remains estranged from the true nature of inward holiness; and while he is restrained from many good works of charity by his constant attendance on mischievous, arbitrary, and outward observances, he is still actuated by a horror of any great sin, a superstition in which man avoids pleasure so completely that he falls into the opposite extreme; and even the most innocent enjoyments, which a childlike simplicity would receive with thankfulness from the hand of a heavenly Father, he dares not indulge in. But there is also another kind of superstition, which makes it easy for man, by certain outward observances, to silence his conscience under all kinds of sin, and which therefore serves as a welcome support to it.

SUPPER, Lord’s, derives its name from having been instituted by Jesus, after he had supped with his Apostles, immediately before he went out to be delivered into the hands of his enemies. In Egypt, for every house of the children of Israel, a lamb was slain upon that night, when the Almighty punished the cruelty and obstinacy of the Egyptians by killing their first-born, but charged the destroying angel to pass over the houses upon which the blood of the lamb was sprinkled. This was the original sacrifice of the passover. In commemoration of it, the Jews observed the annual festival of the passover, when all the males of Judea assembled before the Lord in Jerusalem. A lamb was slain for every house, the representative of that whose blood had been sprinkled in the night of the escape from Egypt. After the blood was poured under the altar by the priests, the lambs were carried home to be eaten by the people in their tents or houses at a domestic feast, where every master of a family took the cup of thanksgiving, and gave thanks with his family to the God of Israel. Jesus having fulfilled the law of Moses, to which in all things he submitted, by eating the paschal supper with his disciples, proceeded after supper to institute a rite, which, to any person that reads the words of the institution without having formed a previous opinion upon the subject, will probably appear to have been intended by him as a memorial of that event which was to happen not many hours after. “He took bread, and gave thanks, 877and brake it, and gave it unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you,” Luke xxii, 19, 20. He took the bread which was then on the table, and the wine, of which some had been used in sending round the cup of thanksgiving; and by saying, “This is my body, this is my blood, do this in remembrance of me,” he declared to his Apostles that this was the representation of his death by which he wished them to commemorate that event. The Apostle Paul, not having been present at the institution, received it by immediate revelation from the Lord Jesus; and the manner in which he delivers it to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. xi, 23–26, implies that it was not a rite confined to the Apostles who were present when it was instituted, but that it was meant to be observed by all Christians till the end of the world. “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” Whether we consider these words as part of the revelation made to St. Paul, or as his own commentary upon the nature of the ordinance which was revealed to him, they mark, with equal significancy and propriety, the extent and the perpetuity of the obligation to observe that rite which was first instituted in presence of the Apostles.

There is a striking correspondence between this view of the Lord’s Supper, as a rite by which it was intended that all Christians should commemorate the death of Christ, and the circumstances attending the institution of the feast of the passover. Like the Jews, we have the original sacrifice: “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us,” and by his substitution our souls are delivered from death. Like the Jews, we have a feast in which that sacrifice, and the deliverance purchased by it, are remembered. Hence the Lord’s Supper was early called the eucharist, from its being said by St. Luke, “Jesus, when he took the bread, gave thanks;” and his disciples in all ages, when they receive the bread, keep a feast of thanksgiving. To Christians, as to Jews, there is “a night to be much observed unto the Lord,” in all generations. To Christians, as to Jews, the manner of observing the night is appointed. To both it is accompanied with thanksgiving.

The Lord’s Supper exhibits, by a significant action, the characteristical doctrine of the Christian faith, that the death of its author, which seemed to be the completion of the rage of his enemies, was a voluntary sacrifice, so efficacious as to supersede the necessity of every other; and that his blood was shed for the remission of sins. By partaking of this rite, his disciples publish an event most interesting to all the kindreds of the earth; they declare that, far from being ashamed of the suffering of their Master, they glory in his cross; and, while they thus perform the office implied in that expression of the Apostle, “Ye do show forth the Lord’s death,” they at the same time cherish the sentiments by which their religion ministers to their own consolation and improvement. They cannot remember the death of Christ, the circumstances which rendered that event necessary, the disinterested love and the exalted virtues of their deliverer, without feeling their obligations to him. Unless the vilest hypocrisy accompany an action, which, by its very nature, professes to flow from warm affection, the love of Christ will constrain them to fulfil the purposes of his death, by “living unto him who died for them;” and we have reason to hope, that, in the places where he causes his name to be remembered, he will come and bless his people. As the object of faith is thus explicitly set before them in every commemoration, so the renewed exercise of that faith, which the ordinance is designed to excite, must bring renewed life, and a deeper experience of the “great salvation.” See Sacrament.

SURETY, in common speech, is one who gives security for another; and hence it has become prevalent among theological writers to confound it with the terms substitute and representative, when applied to Christ. In fact, the word “surety” occurs only once in our translation of the Scriptures, namely, Heb. vii, 22: “By so much was Jesus made the surety of a better covenant.” It is certainly true that the Son of God, in all that he has done or is still doing as Mediator, may be justly viewed as the surety of the new and everlasting covenant, and as affording the utmost security to believers that, as the Father hath given all things into his hands, they will be conducted with effect, and all the exceeding great and precious promises of that covenant assuredly be accomplished. But this does not appear to be the precise idea which the Apostle has in view in the above passage. This has been sufficiently evinced by many critics and commentators, particularly by Pierce, Macknight, and M’Lean, in their notes on the place. The substance of their remarks is, that the original term employed by the Apostle, and which occurs no where else in Scripture, is , which is derived from , near, and signifies one who draws near, or who brings others near; which sense of the word will not very well accord with that of a substitute or representative. The Greek commentators very properly explain the word by µest, a mediator. Now, as in this passage a comparison is stated between Jesus, as a high priest, and the Levitical high priests; and as the latter were considered by the Apostle to be the mediators of the Sinai covenant, because through their mediation the Israelites worshipped God with sacrifices; it is evident that the Apostle in this passage terms Jesus the High Priest or Mediator of the better covenant, because, through his mediation, or in virtue of the sacrifice which he offered of himself to God, believers receive all the blessings of the new covenant. And as in verse 16 the Apostle had said that “by the introduction of a better hope we draw near to God,” he, in verse 22, very properly calls Jesus , “he by whom we draw nigh,” thereby denoting the effect of his mediation. From the whole, 878therefore, it is plain that the word “surety” in this place is equivalent with that of mediator or high priest.

SWALLOWS, , a bird too well known to need description. Our translators of the Bible have given this name to two different Hebrew words. The first, , in Psalm lxxxiv, 3, and Prov. xxvi, 2, is probably the bird which Forskal mentions among the migratory birds of Alexandria, by the name of dururi; and the second, , Isa. xxxviii, 14, and Jer. viii, 7, is the crane; but the word , in the two last places rendered in our version “crane,” is really the swallow. So the Septuagint, Vulgate, and two ancient manuscripts, Theodotion, and Jerom, render it, and Bochart and Lowth follow them. Bochart assigns the note of this bird for the reason of its name, and ingeniously remarks that the Italians about Venice call a swallow zizilla, and its twittering zizillare. The swallow being a plaintive bird, and a bird of passage, perfectly agrees with the meaning of Isaiah and Jeremiah. The annual migration of the swallow has been familiarly known in every age, and perhaps in every region of the earth. In Psalm lxxxiv, 3, it is said, “The sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts.” By the altars of Jehovah we are to understand the temple. The words probably refer to the custom of several nations of antiquity,--that birds which built their nests on the temples, or within the limits of them, were not suffered to be driven away, much less killed; but found a secure and uninterrupted dwelling. Hence, when Aristodicus disturbed the birds’ nests of the temple of Kumæ, and took the young from them, a voice, according to a tradition preserved by Herodotus, is said to have spoken these words from the interior of the temple: “Most villainous of men, how darest thou to drive away such as seek refuge in my temple” The Athenians were so enraged at Atarbes, who had killed a sparrow which built on the temple of Æsculapius, that they killed him. Among the Arabs, who are more closely related to the Hebrews, birds which build their nests on the temple of Mecca have been inviolable from the earliest times. In the very ancient poem of a Dschorhamidish prince, published by a Schulten, in which he laments that his tribe had been deprived of the protection of the sanctuary of Mecca, it is said,

“We lament the house, whose dove
Was never suffer’d to be hurt:
She remain’d there secure; in it, also,
The sparrow built its nest.”

In another ancient Arabian poet, Nabega, the Dhobianit swears “by the sanctuary which affords shelter to the birds which seek it there.” Niebuhr says, “I will observe, that among the Mohammedans, not only is the kaba a refuge for the pigeons, but also on the mosques over the graves of Ali and Hassein, on the Dsjamea, or chief mosque, at Helle, and in other cities, they are equally undisturbed.” And Thevenot remarks: “Within a mosque at Oudjicum lies interred the son of a king, called Schah-Zadeh-Imam Dgiafer, whom they reckon a saint. The dome is rough cast over; before the mosque there is a court, well planted with many high plane trees, on which we saw a great many storks, that haunt thereabout all the year round.” See Sparrow.

SWAN, , Lev. xi, 18; Deut. xiv, 16. The Hebrew word is very ambiguous, for in the first of these places, it is ranked among water-fowls; and by the Vulgate, which our version follows, rendered “swan,” and in the thirtieth verse, the same word is rendered “mole,” and ranked among reptiles. Some translate it in the former place, “the bat,” which they justify by the affinity which there is between the bat and the mole. The LXX. in the former verse render it fa, the porphyrion, or “purple bird,” probably the “flamingo;” and in the latter, “ibis.” Parkhurst shows that the name is given from the creature’s breathing in a strong and audible manner; and Michaëlis learnedly conjectures, that in verse eighteen, and Deut. xiv, 16, it may mean the “goose,” which every one knows is remarkable for its manner of “breathing out” or “hissing,” when approached.

SWEDENBORGIANS denote that particular denomination of Christians who admit the testimony of Baron Swedenborg, and receive the doctrines taught in the theological writings of that author. Emanuel Swedenborg was the son of a bishop of West Gothnia, in the kingdom of Sweden, whose name was Swedberg, a man of considerable learning and celebrity in his time. The son was born at Stockholm, January 29, 1688. He enjoyed early the advantages of a liberal education, and being naturally endowed with uncommon talents for the acquirement of learning, his progress in the sciences was rapid and extensive; and he soon distinguished himself by several publications in the Latin language, which gave proof of equal genius and erudition. It may reasonably be supposed that under the care of his pious and reverend father our author’s religious instruction was not neglected. This, indeed, appears plain from the general tenor of his life and writings, which are marked with strong and lively characters of a mind deeply impressed with a sense of the divine Being, and of all the relative duties thence resulting. He was ennobled in the year 1719, by Queen Ulrica Eleonora, and named Swedenborg, from which time he took his seat with the nobles of the equestrian order, in the triennial assembly of the states. The philosophical works, published in Latin, by Baron Swedenborg, are numerous; but his theological works are said to be still more so.

1. The first and principal distinguishing doctrine contained in the writings of Baron Swedenborg, and maintained by his followers, relates to the person and character of Jesus Christ, and to the redemption wrought by him. On this subject it is insisted that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, manifested in the flesh; and that he came into the world to glorify his human nature, by making it one with the divine. It 879is therefore insisted farther that the humanity of Jesus Christ is itself divine, by virtue of its indissoluble union with the indwelling Father, agreeably to the testimony of St. Paul, that, “in Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” Col. ii, 9; and that thus, as to his humanity, he is the Mediator between God and man, since there is now no other medium of God’s access to man, or of man’s access to God, but this divine humanity, which was assumed for this purpose. Thus it is taught, that in the person of Jesus Christ dwells the whole Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the Father constituting the soul of the above humanity, while the humanity itself is the Son, and the divine virtue or operation proceeding from it is the Holy Spirit; forming altogether one God, just as the soul, the body, and operation of man, form one man. On the subject of the redemption wrought by this incarnate God, it is lastly taught that it consisted not in the vicarious sacrifice of Christ, but in the real subjugation of the powers of darkness and their removal from man, by continual combats and victories over them, during his abode in the world; and in the consequent descent to man of divine power and life, which was brought near to him in the thus glorified humanity of this victorious God. They who receive this testimony concerning Jesus Christ therefore acknowledge no other God but him; and believe that in approaching his divine humanity, they approach, at the same time, and have communication with, all the fulness of the Godhead, seeing and worshipping the invisible in the visible, agreeably to the tenor of those words of Jesus Christ: “He that believeth on me believeth not on me, but on him that sent me; and he that seeth me, seeth him that sent me,” John xii, 44, 45.

2. A second doctrine taught by the same author relates to the sacred Scripture, or word of God, which is maintained to be divinely inspired throughout, and, consequently, to be the repository of the whole will and wisdom of the most high God. It is, however, insisted, that this will and wisdom are not in all places discoverable from the letter or history of the sacred pages, but lie deeply concealed under the letter. For it is taught by Baron Swedenborg, that the sense of the letter of the holy word is the basis, the continent, and the firmament, of its spiritual and celestial senses, being written according to the doctrine of correspondencies between things spiritual and things natural, and thus designed by the Most High as the vehicle of communication of the eternal spiritual truths of his kingdom to the minds of men. It is farther endeavoured to be shown that Jesus Christ spake continually according to this same doctrine, veiling divine and spiritual truths under natural images, especially in his parables, and thus communicating to man the most important mysteries relative to himself and his kingdom, under the most beautiful and edifying figures taken from the natural things of this world. Thus, according to Baron Swedenborg, even the historical parts both of the Old and New Testament contain vast stores of important and spiritual wisdom under the outward letter; and this consideration, as he farther asserts, justifies the pages of divine revelation, even in those parts which to a common observer appear trifling, nugatory, and contradictory. It is lastly maintained, on this subject, that the sacred Scripture, or word of God, is the only medium of communication and conjunction between God and man, and is likewise the only source of all genuine truth and knowledge respecting God, his kingdom, and operation, and the only sure guide for man’s understanding, in whatever relates to his spiritual or eternal concerns.

3. The next branch of the system is practical, and relates to the life, or to that rule of conduct on the part of man which is truly acceptable to the Deity, and at the same time conducive to man’s eternal happiness and salvation, by conjoining him with his God. This rule is taught to be simply this: to shun all known evils as sins against God, and at the same time to love, to cherish, and to practise whatsoever is wise, virtuous, and holy, as being most agreeable to the will of God, and to the spirit of his precepts. On this subject it is strongly and repeatedly insisted that evil must of necessity remain with man, and prove his eternal destruction, unless it be removed by sincere repentance, leading him to note what is disorderly in his own mind and life; and, when he has discovered it, to fight resolutely against its influence, in dependence on the aid and grace of Jesus Christ. It is insisted farther, that this opposition to evil ought to be grounded on the consideration that all evil is against God, since, if evil be combated from any inferior motive, it is not radically removed, but only concealed, and on that account is even more dangerous and destructive than before. It is added, that when man has done the work of repentance, by shunning his hereditary evils as sins against God, he ought to set himself to the practice of what is wise and good by a faithful, diligent, and conscientious discharge of all the duties of his station; by which means his mind is preserved from a return of the power of disorder, and kept in the order of heaven, and the fulfilment of the great law of charity.

4. A fourth doctrine inculcated in the same writings, is the coöperation on the part of man with the divine grace or agency of Jesus Christ. On this subject it is insisted that man ought not indolently to hang down his hands, under the idle expectation that God will do every thing for him in the way of purification and regeneration, without any exertion of his own; but that he is bound by the above law of coöperation to exert himself, as if the whole progress of his purification and regeneration depended entirely on his own exertions; yet, in exerting himself, he is continually to recollect, and humbly to acknowledge, that all his power to do so is from above, agreeably to the declaration of Jesus Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing,” John xv, 5.

5. A fifth and last distinguishing doctrine taught in the theological writings of our author, 880relates to man’s connection with the other world, and its various inhabitants. On this subject, it is insisted, not only from his view of the sacred Scriptures, but also from the experience of the author himself, that every man is in continual association with angels and spirits, and that without such association he could not possibly think or exert any living faculty. It is insisted farther, that man, according to his life in the world, takes up his eternal abode, either with angels of light, or with the spirits of darkness; with the former, if he is wise to live according to the precepts of God’s holy word; or with the latter, if, through folly and transgression, he rejects the counsel and guidance of the Most High.

Some other peculiar doctrines of minor importance might be enlarged on in this place if it was deemed necessary; such as the doctrine concerning the human soul, as being in a human form; concerning the marriage of the good and the true, as existing in the holy word, and in all things in nature. But it may be observed generally, that the fundamental error of the system is a denial of the divinity of Christ, while it appears to be acknowledged, and of the doctrine of the atonement. Many true things are said also of the figurative and typical character of the word of God; but the interpretation of it in this view runs into the wildest extravagance for want of principles; while the whole is clothed with mysticism on the one hand and gross and carnal conceptions of spiritual things on the other. There is, indeed, much in which this sect agrees with other Christians, and much, therefore, that is true in their strange system; but it is unconnected with other great and vital truths of the Gospel; and is joined also with great errors. It is a dreamy delusion, which defies all rational defence: it rests upon the assumed experience of a man of genius, it is true, but one who was not always in his wits.

In London, and some of the other cities and great towns in England, places of public worship have been opened, for the express purpose of preaching the preceding doctrines. In all such places particular forms of prayer have been adopted, in agreement with the ideas of the worshippers, as grounded in the religious sentiments above stated, especially respecting the supreme object of adoration, who is acknowledged to be the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in his divine humanity. But in no place have any peculiar rites and ceremonies been introduced, the worshippers being content with retaining the celebration of the two sacraments of baptism and the holy supper, since no other rites are insisted on by the author whose testimony they receive. It is believed, by a large majority of them, that it was never his intention that any particular sect should be formed upon his doctrines, but that all who receive them, whether in the establishment, or in any other communion of Christians, should be at perfect liberty either to continue in their former communion, or to quit it, as their conscience dictates. England appears to be the country where the system has been most generally received. Baron Swedenborg had many eccentricities; but perhaps the most remarkable circumstance respecting him, was his asserting, that, during the uninterrupted period of twenty-seven years, he enjoyed open intercourse with the world of departed spirits, and during that time was instructed in the internal sense of the sacred Scriptures, hitherto undiscovered! This is a correspondence with the invisible world, to which few or no writers, before or since his time, ever pretended, if we except the Arabian prophet.

SWINE, , Lev. xi, 7; Deut. xiv, 8; Psalm lxxx, 13; Prov. xi, 22; Isaiah lxv, 4; lxvi, 3, 17; , Matt. vii, 6; viii, 30; Mark v, 14; Luke viii, 33; xv, 15; the plural of hog, an animal well known. In impurity and grossness of manners, this creature stands almost unrivalled among the order of quadrupeds; and the meanness of his appearance corresponds to the grossness of his manners. He has a most indiscriminate, voracious, and insatiable appetite. The Prophet Isaiah, lxv, 4, charges his degenerate people with eating swine’s flesh, and having broth of abominable things in their vessels, Isaiah lxvi, 3. Conduct so contrary to their solemn engagements, so hateful in the sight of the Holy One, though long endured, was not always to pass with impunity. “They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens, behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord,” Isaiah lxvi, 17. Such a sacrifice was an abomination to the Lord, because the eating of the blood was prohibited, and because the sacrifice consisted of swine’s flesh. To these precepts and threatenings, which were often enforced by severe judgments may be traced the habitual and unconquerable aversion of the latter Jews to the use of swine’s flesh; an aversion which the most alluring promises and the most cruel sufferings have been found alike insufficient to subdue.

In such detestation was the hog held by the Jews that they would not so much as pronounce its name, but called it “the strange thing;” and we read in the history of the Maccabees, that Eleazer, a principal scribe, being compelled by Antiochus Epiphanes to open his mouth and receive swine’s flesh, spit it forth, and went of his own accord to the torment, choosing rather to suffer death than to break the law of God, and give offence to his nation, 2 Mac. vi, 18; vii, 1. It is observed that when Adrian rebuilt Jerusalem, he set up the image of a hog, in bas-relief, upon the gates of the city, to drive the Jews away from it, and to express the greater contempt for that miserable people. It was avarice, a contempt of the law of Moses, and a design to supply the neighbouring idolaters with victims, that caused whole herds of swine to be fed on the borders of Galilee. Whence the reason is plain of Christ’s permitting the devils to throw the swine headlong into the lake of Genesareth, Matthew viii, 32. We read, in Matthew vii, 6, “Give not that which is holy unto the 881dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” There is a similar maxim in the Talmudical writings: “Do not cast pearls before swine;” to which is added, by way of explanation, “Do not offer wisdom to one who knows not the value of it, but profanes its glory.”

SYCAMINE, sµ, in Arabic sokam, Luke xvii, 6. This is a different tree from the sycamore, mentioned Luke xix, 4. Dioscorides says that this tree is the mulberry, though he allows that some apprehend that it is the same with the sycamore. Galen has a separate article on the sycamorus, which he speaks of as rare, and mentions as having seen it at Alexandria in Egypt. The Greeks name the morus the sycamine. Grotius says the word sµ has no connection with s, the fig-tree, but is entirely Syrian, , in Hebrew, . It should seem, indeed, to be very similar to the mulberry, as not only the Latin, but the Syriac and the Arabic, render it by morus; and thus Coverdale’s, the Rheim’s, and Purver’s English translations render it by the mulberry; and so it is in Bishop Wilson’s Bible.

SYCAMORE, , , 1 Kings x, 27; 1 Chron. xxvii, 28; 2 Chron. i, 15; Psalm lxxviii, 47; Isa. ix, 9; Amos viii, 14; sµa, Luke xix, 4; a large tree, according to the description of Theophrastus, Dioscorides, and Galen, resembling the mulberry-tree in the leaf, and the fig in its fruit; hence its name, compounded of s fig, and µ, mulberry; and some have fancied that it was originally produced by ingrafting the one tree upon the other. Its fruit is palatable. When ripe it is soft, watery, somewhat sweet, with a little of an aromatic taste. The trees are very common in Palestine, Arabia, and Egypt; grow large, and to a great height; and though their grain is coarse are much used in building. To change sycamores into cedars, Isa. ix, 10, means, to render the buildings of cities, and the state of the nation, much more magnificent than before. Dr. Shaw remarks, that as the grain and texture of the sycamore is remarkably coarse and spongy, it could therefore stand in no competition at all with the cedar for beauty and ornament. We meet with the same opposition of cedars to sycamores in 1 Kings x, 27, where Solomon is said to have made silver as the stones, and cedars as the sycamores of the vale for abundance. “By this mashal, or figurative and sententious speech,” says Bishop Lowth, “they boast, in this place of Isaiah, that they shall be easily able to repair their present losses, suffered, perhaps, by the first Assyrian invasion under Tiglath-Pileser, and to bring their affairs to a more flourishing condition than ever.” The wood of this tree is very durable. “The mummy chests,” says Dr. Shaw, “and whatever figures and instruments of wood are found in the catacombs, are all of them of sycamore, which, though spongy and porous to appearance, has, notwithstanding, continued entire and uncorrupted for at least three thousand years. From its value in furnishing wood for various uses, from the grateful shade which its wide-spreading branches afforded, and on account of the fruit which Mallet says the Egyptians hold in the highest estimation, we perceive the loss which the ancient inhabitants of Egypt must have felt when their vines were destroyed with hail, and their sycamore trees with frost,” Psalm lxxviii, 47. “The sycamore,” says Mr. Norden, “is of the height of a beech, and bears its fruit in a manner quite different from other trees; it has them on the trunk itself, which shoots out little sprigs, in form of grape stalks, at the end of which grow the fruit close to one another, almost like clusters of grapes. The tree is always green, and bears fruit several times in the year, without observing any certain seasons; for I have seen some sycamores that have given fruit two months after others. The fruit has the figure and smell of real figs, but is inferior to them in the taste, having a disgustful sweetness. Its colour is a yellow, inclining to an ochre, shadowed by a flesh colour. In the inside it resembles the common figs, excepting that it has a blackish colouring with yellow spots. This sort of tree is pretty common in Egypt; the people, for the greater part, live upon its fruit, and think themselves well regaled when they have a piece of bread, a couple of sycamore figs, and a pitcher of water.” There might be many of these trees in Judea. David appointed a particular officer, whose sole duty it was to watch over the plantations of sycamore and olive-trees, 1 Chron. xxviii, 28; and being joined with the olive, the high estimation in which it was held is intimated; for the olive is considered as one of the most precious gifts which the God of nature has bestowed on the oriental nations. There seem to have been great numbers of them in Solomon’s time, 1 Kings x, 27; and in the Talmud they are mentioned as growing in the plains of Jericho.

One curious particular in the cultivation of the fruit must not be passed over. Pliny, Dioscorides, and Theophrastus observe that the fruit must be cut or scratched, either with the nail or with iron, or it will not ripen; but four days after this process it will become ripe. To this same purpose Jerom, on Amos vii, 14, says, that without this management the figs are excessively bitter. These testimonies, together with the Septuagint and Vulgate version, are adduced to settle the meaning of the word , in Amos vii, 14, which must signify scraping, or making incisions in the sycamore fruit; an employment of Amos before he was called to the prophetic office: “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit.” Hasselquist, describing the ficus sycamorus, or Scripture sycamore, says, “It buds the latter end of March, and the fruit ripens in the beginning of June. At the time when the fruit has arrived to the size of an inch diameter, the inhabitants pare off a part at the centre point. They say that without this paring it would not come to maturity.” The figs thus prematurely ripened are called djumeis 882bædri, that is, “precocious sycamore figs.” As the sycamore is a large spreading tree, sometimes shooting up to a considerable height, we see the reason why Zaccheus climbed up into a sycamore tree to get a sight of our Saviour. This incident also furnishes a proof that the sycamore was still common in Palestine; for this tree stood to protect the traveller by the side of the highway.

SYENE, a city of Egypt, now called Assouan, situated at its southern extremity. Ezekiel, xxix, 10, describing the desolation to be brought upon Egypt says, “Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will make the land of Egypt utterly desolate, from the tower of Syene even to the border of Cush,” or Arabia, or, as some read it, “from Migdol to Syene,” implying, according to either version of the passage, the whole length of the country from north to south. The latitude of Syene, according to Bruce, is 24° 0´ 45´´; that of AlexandriaAlexandria, 31° 11´ 33´´; difference 7° 10´ 48´´, equal to four hundred and thirty geographical miles on the meridian, or about five hundred British miles; but the real length of the valley of Egypt, as it follows the windings of the Nile, is full six hundred miles.

SYNAGOGUE, sa, “an assembly,” Rev. ii, 9; iii, 9. The word often occurs in the Gospels and in the Acts, because Jesus Christ and his Apostles generally went to preach in those places. Although the sacrifices could not be offered, except in the tabernacle or the temple, the other exercises of religion were restricted to no particular place. Accordingly we find that the praises of God were sung, at a very ancient period, in the schools of the prophets; and those who felt any particular interest in religion, were assembled by the seers on the Sabbath, and the new moons, for prayers and religious instruction, 1 Sam. x, 5–11; xix, 18–24; 2 Kings iv, 23. During the Babylonish captivity, the Jews, who were then deprived of their customary religious privileges, were wont to collect around some prophet or other pious man, who taught them and their children in religion, exhorted to good conduct, and read out of the sacred books, Ezek. xiv, 1; xx, 1; Dan. vi, 11; Neh. viii, 18. These assemblies, or meetings, became, in progress of time, fixed to certain places, and a regular order was observed in them. Such appears to have been the origin of synagogues.

In speaking of synagogues, it is worthy to be noticed, that there is nothing said in respect to the existence of such buildings in Palestine, during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. They are, therefore, by some supposed to have been first erected under the Maccabean princes, but that, in foreign countries, they were much more ancient. Whether this statement be correct or not, it is nevertheless certain, that in the time of the Apostles, there were synagogues wherever there were Jews. They were built, in imitation of the temple of Jerusalem, with a court and porches, as is the case with the synagogues in the east at the present day. In the centre of the court is a chapel, supported by four columns, in which, on an elevation prepared for it, is placed the book of the law, rolled up. This, on the appointed days, is publicly read. In addition to the chapel, there is erected within the court a large covered hall or vestry, into which the people retire, when the weather happens to be cold and stormy, and each family has its particular seat. The uppermost seats in the synagogue, that is, those which were nearest the chapel where the sacred books were kept, were esteemed peculiarly honourable, Matt. xxiii, 6; James ii, 3. The “proseuchæ,” sea, are understood by some to be smaller synagogues, but by others are supposed to be particular places under the open sky, where the Jews assembled for religious exercise. But Josephus calls the proseucha of Tiberias a large house, which held very many persons. See Proseuchæ. The Apostles preached the Gospel in synagogues and proseuchæ, and with their adherents performed in them all the religious services. When excluded, they imitated the Jews in those places, where they were too poor to erect these buildings, and held their religious meetings in the houses of individuals. Hence we not only hear of synagogues in houses in the Talmud, but of churches in houses in the New Testament, Rom. xvi, 5; 1 Cor. xvi, 19; Col. iv, 15; Phil. ii; Acts iii, 46; v, 42. The Apostles sometimes hired a house, in which they performed religious services, and taught daily, Acts xix, 9; xx, 8. Sa means literally a convention or assembly, but by metonymy, was eventually used for the place of assembling; in the same way, that sa, which means literally a calling together, or convocation, signifies also at the present time the place of convocation. Synagogues were sometimes called by the Jews schools; but they were careful to make an accurate distinction between such, and the schools, properly so called, the , or “sublimer schools,” in which the Talmud was read, while the law merely was read in the synagogues, which they placed far behind the Talmud.

The mode of conducting religious instruction and worship in the primitive Christian churches was derived for the most part from the practice which anciently prevailed in synagogues. But there were no regular teachers in the synagogues who were officially qualified to pronounce discourses before the people; although there were interpreters who rendered into the vernacular tongue, namely, the Hebræo-aramean, the sections, which had been publicly read in the Hebrew.

The “synagogue preacher,” , whose business it is, in consequence of his office, to address the people, is an official personage that has been introduced in later times; at least we find no mention of such a one in the New Testament. On the contrary, in the time of Christ, the person who read the section for the Sabbath, or any other person who was respectable for learning and had a readiness of speech, addressed the people, Luke iv, 16–21; Acts xiii, 5, 15; xv, 21; Matt. iv, 23.

The other persons who were employed in the 883services and government of the synagogue, in addition to the one who read the Scriptures, and the person who rendered them into the vernacular tongue, were as follows: 1. “The ruler of the synagogue,” s, , who presided over the assembly, and invited readers and speakers, unless some persons who were acceptable voluntarily offered themselves, Mark v, 22, 35–38; Luke viii, 41; xiii, 14, 15; Acts xiii, 15. 2. “The elders of the synagogue,” , esßte. They appear to have been the counsellors of the head or ruler of the synagogue, and were chosen from among the most powerful and learned of the people, and are hence called s, Acts xiii, 15. The council of elders not only took a part in the management of the internal concerns of the synagogue, but also punished transgressors of the public laws, either by turning them out of the synagogue, or decreeing the punishment of thirty-nine stripes, John xii, 42; xvi, 2; 2 Cor. xi, 24. 3. “The collectors of alms,” , d, “deacons.” Although every thing which is said of them by the Jews was not true concerning them in the time of the Apostles, there can be no doubt that there were such officers in the synagogues at that time, Acts vi. 4. “The servants of the synagogue,” , pt, Luke iv, 20; whose business it was to reach the book of the law to the person who was to read it, and to receive it back again, and to perform other services. The ceremonies which prevail in the synagogues at the present day in presenting the law were not observed in the time of our Saviour. 5. “The messenger or legate of the synagogue,” . This was a person who was sent from synagogues abroad, to carry alms to Jerusalem. The name, messenger of the synagogue, was applied likewise to any person, who was commissioned by a synagogue, and sent forth to propagate religious knowledge. A person likewise was denominated the messenger, or angel, e, t e sa, &c, who was selected by the assembly to recite for them the prayers; the same that is called by the Jews of modern times the synagogue singer, or cantilator, Rev. ii, 1, 8, 12, 18; iii, 1, 7, 14.

The Jews anciently called those persons who, from their superior erudition, were capable of teaching in the synagogue, , “shepherds,” or “pastors.” They applied the same term, at least in more recent times, to the elders of the synagogue, and also to the collectors of alms, or deacons. The ground of the application of this term in such a way, is as follows: the word is, without doubt, derived from the Greek word , “bread,” or “a fragment of bread;” and, as it is used in the Targums, it corresponds to the Hebrew verb , “to feed.” It is easy to see, therefore, how the word might be applied to persons who sustained offices in the synagogue, in the same way as is applied to kings, &c.

We do not find mention made of public worship in the synagogues, except on the Sabbath, Matthew xii, 9; Mark i, 21; iii, 1; vi, 2; Luke iv, 16, 32, 33; vi, 6; xiii, 10; Acts xiii, 14; xv, 21; xvi, 13–25; xvii, 2; xviii, 4. What is said of St. Paul’s hiring the school of one Tyrannus at Ephesus, and teaching in it daily, is a peculiar instance, Acts xix, 9, 10. Yet there can be no doubt that those Jews who were unable to go to Jerusalem attended worship on their festival days, as well as on the Sabbath, in their own synagogues. Individuals sometimes offered their private prayers in the synagogue. When an assembly was collected together for worship, the services began, after the customary greeting, with a doxology. A section was then read from the Mosaic law. Then followed, after the singing of a second doxology, the reading of a portion from the prophets, Acts xv, 31; Luke iv, 16. The person whose duty it was to perform the reading, placed upon his head, as is done at the present day, a covering called tallith, to which St. Paul alludes, 2 Cor. iii, 15. The sections which had been read in the Hebrew were rendered by an interpreter into the vernacular tongue, and the reader or some other man then addressed the people, Luke iv, 16; Acts xiii, 15. It was on such occasions as these, that Jesus, and afterward the Apostles, taught the Gospel. The meeting, as far as the religious exercises, were concerned, was ended with a prayer, to which the people responded Amen, when a collection was taken for the poor.

The customs which prevail at the present day, and which Vitringa has treated of, were not all of them practised in ancient times. The readers, for instance, were not then, as they are at the present day, called upon to perform, but presented themselves voluntarily, Luke iv, 16; the persons also who addressed the people were not rabbins expressly appointed for that purpose, but were either invited from those present, or offered themselves, Acts xiii, 15; Luke iv, 17. The parts to be publicly read, likewise, do not appear to have been previously pointed out, although the book was selected by the ruler of the synagogue, Luke iv, 16. Furthermore, the forms of prayer that are used by the Jews at the present time do not appear to have been in existence in the time of Christ; unless this may perhaps have been the case in respect to the substance of some of them, especially the one called , concerning which the Talmudists, at a very early period, gave many precepts.

It was by ministering in synagogues that the Apostles gathered the churches. They retained also essentially the same mode of worship with that of the synagogues, excepting that the Lord’s Supper was made an additional institution, agreeably to the example of Christ, Acts ii, 42; xx, 7–11; 1 Cor. xi, 16–34. They were at length excluded from the synagogue and assembled at evening in the house of some Christian, which was lighted for the purpose with lamps, Acts xx, 7–11. The Apostle, with the elders, when engaged in public worship, took a position where they would be most likely to be heard by all. The first service was merely a salutation or blessing, namely, “The Lord be with you,” or, “Peace 884be with you.” Then followed the doxologies and prelexions, the same as in the synagogues. The Apostle then addressed the people on the subject of religion, and urged upon them that purity of life which it required. Prayer succeeded, which was followed by the commemoration of the Saviour’s death in the breaking and distribution of bread. The meeting was ended by taking a collection for the poor, especially those at Jerusalem, 2 Cor. ix, 1–15.

Those who held some office in the church were the regularly qualified instructers in these religious meetings; and yet laymen had liberty to address their brethren on these occasions the same as in the synagogues; also to sing hymns, and to pray; which, in truth, many of them did, especially those who were supernaturally gifted, not excepting the women. Those females who were not under a supernatural influence were forbidden by the Apostle Paul to make an address on such occasions, or to propose questions; and it was enjoined on those who did speak, not to lay aside their veils, 1 Cor. xi, 5; xiv, 34–40. The reader and the speaker stood; the others sat; all arose in the time of prayer. Whatever was stated in a foreign tongue was immediately rendered by an interpreter into the speech in common use. This was so necessary, that Paul enjoined silence on a person who was even endowed with supernatural gifts, provided an interpreter was not at hand, 1 Cor. xiv, 1–33. It was the practice among the Greek Christians to uncover their heads when attending divine service, 1 Cor. xi, 11–16; but in the east, the ancient custom of worshipping with the head covered was retained. Indeed, it is the practice among the oriental Christians to the present day, not to uncover their heads in their religious meetings, except when they receive the eucharist.

It is affirmed that in the city of Jerusalem alone there were no less than four hundred and sixty or four hundred and eighty synagogues. Every trading company had one of its own, and even strangers built some for those of their own nation. Hence we find synagogues of the Cyrenians, Alexandrians, Cilicians, and Asiatics, appointed for such as came up to Jerusalem from those countries, Acts vi, 9.

SYNODS, though actually synonymous with Councils, are in common historical parlance employed to designate minor ecclesiastical conventions. In virtue of this distinction councils have usually claimed for themselves the ample epithet of œcumenical or general, while synods have long been known only by the humbler term of local or provincial. In the apostolic age four local assemblies were held, which some have called councils and others synods. The first was convened for the election of a successor to Judas in the apostleship, Acts i, 26. At the second, seven deacons were chosen, Acts vi, 5. The third, like the two which preceded it, was held at Jerusalem, according to some authors, A. D. 47, but, according to others, A. D. 51; that is, at the latest, eighteen years after Christ’s ascension. It originated in the attempt made to oblige the Gentile converts at Antioch to submit to the rite of circumcision. St. Paul and Barnabas opposed this attempt; and, after “no small dissension and disputation,” it was determined, that the question should be referred to the judgment of the Apostles and elders at Jerusalem. Accordingly, some of the Apostles and several of the “elders came together” to deliberate on the propriety of dispensing with the ceremonial law. The result of their deliberations was, that the Mosaic ordinances, being too rigorous, should be abrogated; and that their decision should be communicated to “the brethren which were of the Gentiles,” Acts xv, 1–30. The fourth apostolic synod was convened in reference to the toleration of legal rites, Acts xxi, 18. With respect to all these, the fact is, that, instead of being councils or synods in any proper sense, they were mere meetings of the church at Jerusalem, and all of them ordinary meetings except the third, when they assembled upon the request of the deputies from Antioch who came to ask advice.

Dr. Neander, speaking of the origin, use, and abuse of synods, says,--As a closer bond of union was early formed between the churches of the same province, so also the Christian catholic spirit introduced the custom that, in all pressing matters, controversies on doctrinal points, things relating to the ecclesiastical life, and very commonly in those relating to church discipline, general deliberations should be held by deputies from these churches. Such assemblies become familiar to us in the controversies about the time of celebrating Easter, and in the transactions about the Montanistic prophecies, in the last half of the second century. But these provincial synods appear, for the first time, as a constant and regular institution, fixed to definite times, about the end of the second or the beginning of the third century; and it was in this case a peculiarity of one country, where particular local causes may have introduced such an arrangement earlier than in other regions. This country was, in fact, exactly Greece, where, from the time of the Achaic league, the system of confederation had maintained itself; and as Christianity is able to connect itself with all the peculiarities of a people, provided they contain nothing immoral, and, entering into them, to take itself a peculiar form resembling them, so, also, it might easily happen that here the civil federal spirit which already existed worked upon the ecclesiastical catholic spirit, and gave it earlier than in other regions a tolerably good form, so that out of the representative assemblies of the civil communities, the Amphictyonic councils, were formed the representative assemblies of the ecclesiastical communities, that is, the provincial synods. As the Christians, in the consciousness that they are nothing, and can do nothing, without the Spirit from above, were accustomed to begin all important business with prayer, they prepared themselves here, also, for their general deliberations by common prayer, at the opening of these assemblies, to Him who has promised 885that he will enlighten and guide, by his Spirit, those who believe in him, if they will give themselves up to him wholly, and that he will be among them, where they are gathered together in his name. It appears that this regular institution met at first with opposition as an innovation, so that Tertullian felt himself called upon to stand up in its defence. Nevertheless, the ruling spirit of the church decided for this institution; and, down to the middle of the third century, the annual provincial synods appear to have been general in the church, as we may conclude, because we find them prevalent, at the same time, in parts of the church as far distant from each other as North Africa and Cappadocia.

These provincial synods might certainly become very useful for the churches; and, in many respects, they did become so. By means of a general deliberation, the views of individuals might mutually be enlarged and corrected; wants, abuses, and necessary reforms, might thus more easily be mutually communicated, and be deliberated on in many different points of view; and the experience of every individual, by being communicated, might be made useful to all. Certainly, men had every right to trust that Christ would be among them, according to his promise, and would lead those who were assembled in his name by his Spirit. Certainly it was neither enthusiasm nor hierarchical presumption, if the deputies, collected together to consult upon the affairs of their churches, and the pastors of these churches, hoped that a higher Spirit than that of man, by his illumination, would show them what they could never find by their own reason, whose insufficiency they felt deeply, if it were left to itself. It would far rather have been a proud self-confidence, had they been so little acquainted with the shallowness of their own heart, the poverty of human reason, and the self-deceits of human wisdom, as to expect that without the influence of that higher Spirit of holiness and truth they could provide sufficiently for the advantage of their churches. But this confidence, in itself just and salutary, took a false and destructive turn, when it was not constantly accompanied by the spirit of humility and self-watchfulness, with fear and trembling; when men were not constantly mindful of the important condition under which alone man could hope to share in the fulfilment of that promise, in that divine illumination and guidance,--the condition, that they were really assembled in the name of Christ, in lively faith in him, and honest devotion to him, and prepared to sacrifice their own wills; and when the people gave themselves up to the fancy, that such an assembly, whatever might be the hearts of those who were assembled, had unalienable claims to the illumination of the Holy Spirit; for then, in the confusion and the intermixture of human and divine, men were abandoned to every kind of self-delusion; and the formula, “Spiritu Sancto suggerente,” “By the suggestion of the Holy Spirit,” might become a pretence and sanction for all the suggestions of man’s own will. And farther, the provincial synods would necessarily become prejudicial to the progress of the churches, if, instead of providing for the advantage of the churches according to the changing wants of each period, they wished to lay down unchanging laws in changeable things. Evil was it at last, that the participation of the churches was entirely excluded from these synods, that at length the bishops alone decided every thing in them, and that their power, by means of their connection with each other in these synods, was constantly on the increase. As the provincial synods were also accustomed to communicate their resolutions to distant bishops in weighty matters of general concernment, they were serviceable, at the same time, toward setting distant parts of the church in connection with each other, and maintaining that connection.

In the second century after the birth of Christ, eight local synods were held on church affairs, about which little information is now extant, except that they related to the heresy of Montanus, the rebaptizing of heretics, and the time for celebrating the festival of Easter. In the third century eighteen synods were held; the principal of which were, that of Alexandria, against Origen; that of Africa, against the schismatic Novatus; that of Antioch, against the heresy of Sabellius, and another in the same city against Paul of Samosata; that of Carthage, against such persons as fell away in time of persecution; and that of Rome, against Novatian and other schismatics. Prior to the assembling of the first general council at Nice, A. D. 325, three synods were held at Sinuessa, Cirtha, and Alexandria, the subjects discussed in which are unworthy of notice. Others were held, the discussions in which are so far interesting as they show how desirous the Ante-Nicene fathers were to regulate the doctrine and practice of the church according to the apostolic model. The fourth was that of Elvira, which rejected by its thirty-sixth canon any use whatever even of pictures. “We would not,” say they, “have pictures placed in churches, that the object of our worship and adoration should not be painted on their walls.” The synod at Carthage not having brought the rival pretensions of Cæcilian and Majorinus to the episcopate of that city to a favourable issue, the Emperors Constantine appointed a commission (there being so few bishops present, it could not deserve any other title) to sit, first at Rome, and afterward at Arles, for the purpose of rehearing the matter. At Arles, it was decreed, that Easter should be celebrated on the same Sunday throughout the world; and that heretics, who had been baptized in the name of the Trinity, should not be rebaptized. The synods of Ancyra and Neo-Cæsarea followed. The tenth canon, decreed by the latter, shows the sense of the fathers on the subject of celibacy: namely, “If deacons declare at the time of their ordination that they would marry, they should not be deprived of their function if they did marry.” Rigid decrees were passed generally against such of the clergy as ate meats 886which had been sacrificed to idols. After the forementioned synods, two were convened at Alexandria, A. D. 322, against Arius. But their acts merge in the subsequent proceedings of the church. From the termination of the council of Nice to the next œcumenical council, A. D. 381, no fewer than forty-three synods, eastern and western were convened. The professed object of these meetings was the tranquillity of the church; yet, from the unhappy divisions which prevailed in these assemblies, their deliberations were conducted with much of the violence of party feeling; and, according as the one party or the other prevailed, they severally hurled spiritual thunder-bolts against their doctrinal rivals, as if against the enemies of God himself. Of the synod of Sardica a separate and more particular account will be subsequently given, because on the authority of that unimportant assembly the church of Rome grounds the right of appeal to itself before any other church. In the whole, no fewer than eighty-one synods were assembled throughout the universal church in this century. The principal subjects which engaged their attention related to Arianism, which was generally rejected by the western church; but experienced various vicissitudes in the east, according to the view taken of it by the reigning power. Unfortunately for the peace of the church, this heresy gave birth to numerous others. Marcellus, Photinus, Macedonius, and Priscilian, were severally betrayed by their violence into systems no less revolting to reason and common sense than the Arian impieties. Of sixty synods which were convened to regulate the affairs of the church between the second and third general councils, A. D. 381–431, more than half of that number were assembled in Africa:--no inconsiderable proof of the vigilance exercised by the local bishops over the interests of that portion of the church universal committed to their care. In the latter part of the fifth century many synods were held, some eastern and others western, but none of them possessed peculiar interest. In the commencement of this century, Zosimus, bishop of Rome, absolved the heresiarchs, Pelagius and Cælestius, and by this act confirmed their errors. On the latter appealing to him for support, Zosimus sent the Sardican canon to a council held at the time in Carthage, as if that canon had been decreed by the council of Nice; because it allowed the right of appeal to the see of Rome. The African council rejected it with disdain, having found, on reference to the eastern patriarchs, that no such canons belonged to the Nicene council, or were ever before heard of. Thus was the reputed infallible head of an equally infallible church detected in a gross act of imposition; so gross as to compel our good Bishop Jewel to call Zosimus “a forger and falsifier of councils,” The same pope pronounced his unerring judgment in the dispute between the bishops of Arles and Vincennes; while Boniface, his successor, under the influence of the same inerrant principle and in the plenitude of the same apostolic power, reversed that judgment. In the year 498, Symmachus and Laurentius were elected to the pontificate on the same day by different parties; and while they maintained the validity of their respective elections, they reciprocally denounced each other. Where, then, did infallibility reside before Theodoric, king of the Goths, gave it a supposed habitation in the person of Symmachus Theodoric, an Arian, and consequently a heretic in the eyes of the Romish church, awarded the keys of St. Peter to Symmachus; a circumstance which must have vitiated the boasted apostolic succession in the bishops of Rome, and therefore have destroyed their title to infallibility! Cabals and intrigues for being elected to the popedom disgraced the commencement of the sixth century. Their prevention in future, however, was decreed; and certain rules, having in view the peace and order of the western church, were laid down by two synods convened at Rome about the same time. From this period to the middle of the century, upward of twenty local meetings of the clergy were held in different parts of Europe, fifteen in Asia, and only four in Africa. The directions for the married clergy, which occasionally present themselves to view in the proceedings of these synods, prove that celibacy was not at this period a general regulation; while communion in both kinds appears to have been an established usage. The synods which were held during the remainder of the sixth century were confined to France and Spain. They amount in number to twenty-six; and, like the rest of the minor class which preceded them, canons are interspersed among their acts which have in view the security of church property, and the rights, privileges, and powers of the different ranks of the clergy. The remaining canons relate to discipline, with the exception of the few which were at different times ordained for the suppression of heretical opinions, for the regulation of both the married and celibate clergy, and of the fees to which they should be entitled on the performance of certain duties. In none of them is to be found the least authority for the distinguishing tenets of the modern church of Rome; so that, to the very close of the sixth century, she may be considered as being orthodox, pure, and uncorrupt. Whatever deference she might claim as an elder branch of the church of Christ, she raised no pretensions to a lordly preëminence over the rights and privileges of other churches. Her jurisdiction was circumscribed within her own diocesan boundaries; and, beyond them, none was demanded. After the commencement of the seventh century, however, a complete change took place in this respect, so that if a comparison be instituted between the tenets which the church of Rome held in the first ages, and those which she subsequently professed, the precise period at which the novelties commenced which now distinguish her from her former self might easily be ascertained. The order of St. Benedict, which served as a model for the other monastic fraternities that were subsequently instituted, was founded in the early part of this century

887As the history of synods after the sixth century dwindles down into a meagre narrative of the unjust incroachments and corrupt innovations of the church of Rome, and of the ineffectual struggles of Christian churches in various parts of Europe to resist his usurpation, we shall close this article with an account of the popish synod of Sardica and of the Protestant synod of Dort. After a long night of darkness, the glimmerings of a bright day were perceived at a distance, when, in the fourteenth century, our celebrated countryman, the immortal Wickliffe, appeared as the precursor of the reformation from popery. The light increased during the succeeding century, when those brave witnesses for the truth, John Huss and Jerome of Prague, suffered martyrdom; and the sixteenth century was favoured with the full blaze of day when Luther and Melancthon were encouraged and supported in their benevolent and arduous undertaking, and succeeded in putting down the shadowy forms of superstition and idolatry. Soon was the greatest part of irradiated Europe called upon to rejoice in this light; and to some of the best patriots in those countries that slighted such an opportunity, their own culpable supineness or neglect has been a source of deep national regret from one generation to another.

The Synod of Sardica was held A. D. 347. The Emperors Constans and Constantius, being anxious to restore that peace to the church of which it was deprived by the continuance of Arius’s heresy, agreed to convene an ecclesiastical assembly in Sardica, a city of Mæsia on the verge of their respective empires. About a hundred western and seventy eastern bishops attended; but altercation, and not debate, ensued. The smaller party, apprehensive for their personal safety, withdrew to a town in Thrace; a circumstance that disclosed the first symptoms of discord and schism between the Greek and Latin churches. Before this period the right of appeal from all other churches to the see of Rome had not been claimed; but from it we date the first aspirations of Roman pontiffs to lordly preëminence, and they bent their restless energies to establish a spiritual tyranny over all the nations of the earth. Ecclesiastics, excommunicated by the oriental or African churches, fled to Rome for refuge, one after another; and as the bishop of that city afforded them his protection, gratified as he was at every occasion which made it necessary, they, in order to testify their gratitude, unwittingly compromised the rights of the clergy, when, to the extent of their individual sanction, they invested him with the appellant jurisdiction. Among the refugees at Rome was the celebrated bishop of Alexandria. Athanasius, persecuted by the Arian party in the east, knelt as a suppliant on the threshold of the Vatican. Julius gladly espoused his cause, and declared him to have been illegally condemned; a declaration that seemed to come with authority, but which the eastern bishops opposed as an usurpation of undue power. They went so far as even to excommunicate Hosius, Gaudentius, Julius the bishop of Rome, and others, on the alleged assumption of authority. They maintained the principle laid down in the canons, that the judgment passed on any individual, either by an eastern or western synod, ought to be confirmed by the other. And while they complained that the bishops of the west should disturb the whole church, on account of one or two troublesome fellows, they accused them of arrogantly attempting to establish a new law for the purpose of empowering themselves to reëxamine what had been already determined. Chrysostom, too, in his distress, implored, at a subsequent period, the interference of Innocent, the then occupant of the papal chair, with the emperor of the east, for the purpose of procuring a reversal of the sentence of deposition pronounced against him by an obscure synod in the suburbs of Chalcedon. But that father never once supposed that the Roman pontiff had any right to hear his cause. His appeal lay to the supreme tribunal of a free and general council, from a packed assembly which the empress Eudoxia had been instrumental in calling together, in order to effect his ruin. As these two cases of Athanasius and Chrysostom are pleaded by Romish writers in support of the appellant authority with which they invest the bishop of Rome, it is a matter of importance to examine the stability of this ground-work, on which is laid the immense structure of papal supremacy. Hosius, who presided in the Sardican synod, as he did at every council where he happened to be present, is reported to have proposed that an appeal should be made to Rome out of respect to the chair of St. Peter, and not, as was ruled at the council of Nice, to the bishops of the neighbouring province, when any decision had been come to in a provincial synod. But what is the language of the proposition made by Hosius “If it be a favourite object with you, let us honour the memory of Peter, so that a letter may be addressed to Julius, bishop of Rome, by those who decided on the matter; that, if necessary, the judgment may be reviewed by the bishops in his neighbourhood, and that he may appoint some to hear the cause.” Here neither canon nor Scripture is referred to; while it is left optional with the assembly whether deference was or was not to be paid to Julius, who is simply styled sepsp, “a fellow bishop.” The fourth canon of this synod ordains, “that an archbishop, &c, deposed by a provincial synod, must not be expelled, until the bishop of Rome shall determine whether the cause shall be reëxamined;” and the fifth canon decrees, “that the bishop of Rome, if he deem it proper, shall order a rehearing of the matter; that, if convenient, he shall send deputies for the purpose; if not, that he should leave the decision of the case to the synod itself.” From the third and fourth canons it appears that a novelty in discipline is established, and made obligatory on the churches of both empires, but only by a handful of bishops belonging to one of them; and from the fifth, that the bishop of Rome, if he deemed a judgment erroneous, might convene 888a new council and send deputies to it, for the purpose of reconsidering the matter. These canons, no doubt, were very flattering to the ambition of the Roman pontiff, and, accordingly, they are pleaded in behalf of his supremacy; but how preposterous is it to ascribe that to a human law, which, it is asserted, belongs to him by the law of God! There are other canons regulating the intercourse between bishops and the imperial court; after such a manner, however, as to make the bishop of Rome the judge of the propriety of the petitions which they intended to prefer. Notwithstanding all this, they can never be rescued from the imputation of being forgeries. For, 1. They were never received by either the eastern or African church as general laws. At the sixth council of Carthage, Austin strenuously denied the right of appeal to the Roman see, although a letter has been forged in his name, strenuously contending for it, which is now deposited among the pious frauds of the Vatican. It happened, also, in the early part of the fifth century, that Appiarius, who had been excommunicated by the African bishops, applied to Zosimus, bishop of Rome. This pontiff forthwith sent them the Sardican canon, which conferred on him the right of appeal. This they indignantly rejected, inasmuch as their predecessors, who attended the council of Sardica, left no record of it; and because the eastern patriarchs, whom they consulted on the occasion, not only disclaimed all knowledge of any such canon being in existence, but furnished their brethren with an exact copy of the Nicene canons, among which the Sardican one was not to be found. 2. The Sardican canons were not inserted in the code of canons approved of by the council of Chalcedon. 3. The council which passed them is not reckoned, even by the church of Rome, as one of the eighteen general councils, whose authority it acknowledges; nor does Bellarmine himself say that it is one of those councils which his church receives in part and rejects in part. 4. When the western bishops entreated the Emperor Theodosius to summon a council, A.D. 407, so far were they from making any allusion to the doctrine of an appeal to the Roman see, that they distinctly disclaimed the thought of such a prerogative, and only sought the fellowship of a common arbitration. 5. Lastly, if, as the historian Sozomen says, the Sardican synod wrote to Julius, bishop of Rome, to apprize him of what they had done, and of their decrees being drawn up in the spirit of the council of Nice, the purport of the letter was not so strong as that which they addressed to the church of Alexandria, in which they pray it to give its suffrage to the determination of the council, additional suspicions are created. From all these circumstances taken together, it is evident that no value is to be attached to the decrees of this obscure council; and that, although due respect was paid to St. Peter’s chair, it was no acknowledgment of the superiority of its possessor as to ecclesiastical authority or jurisdiction.

The Synod of Dort. The Dutch churches forsook the communion of the corrupt church of Rome soon after the church of England had cast off the papal yoke; and they were generously aided in their endeavours to recover their civil and religious liberties by our good Queen Elizabeth and her wise counsellors. The first Christian teachers among them were Lutherans; but in process of time, the celebrity of Geneva as a place of public instruction for ministers of religion induced the majority of the candidates for the ministry to repair to that university; and, as might naturally be expected, they imported into the Low Countries the peculiar views of Calvin and Beza on the subject of predestination. It is justly observed by Le Vassor, “Some learned Hollanders had boldly defended this doctrine, before Arminius became a minister at Amsterdam and a professor at Leyden, and likewise before Gomarus had risen up against him. Their writings are still extant; although it is true that certain ministers, who were too hasty, exerted themselves to bring those authors and their productions into disrepute; but the states of Holland uniformly checked this impetuous zeal. The professors of Leyden were allowed a perfect liberty of teaching conformably to the sentiments of Melancthon; and when Arminius was called to that university, his opinions were generally known; for he had declared them in the church of Amsterdam, from the consistory of which he received very honourable testimonials. Gomarus, and many others of the same opinion, having entered into conversation with Arminius, made no scruple of acknowledging immediately that the difference of sentiments which existed between them did not at all concern the foundations of the Reformation. True it is, that Gomarus did not remain long on good terms with Arminius. Whether he had taken umbrage at the reputation of his new colleague, or the enemies of Arminius had found means to provoke the anger of Gomarus by some artful insinuation or other; he violently set his face against a man whom, some time before, he looked upon as orthodox.” The struggles of the party of Arminius in Holland, after the death of that great man, to obtain a toleration for their opinions, are matters of history. The political circumstances of that country and of Europe in general were at that period very peculiar, and exercised great influence in the convening and conducting of that famous ecclesiastical assembly, the synod of Dort; but in a sketch like this, they can only be briefly mentioned. Frederic, the elector Palatine, married Elizabeth, the only daughter of our King James the First; he was nephew to Maurice the prince of Orange: and he sent his Heidelberg divines to the synod to assist his uncle in the condemnation of the Remonstrant party, as the Arminians were generally called, and to gratify his polemical father-in-law in the overthrow of the heretical Vorstius. In return, he naturally expected both of his relations to aid him in his grand enterprise of seizing on the crown of Bohemia; in which, soon after the banishment of the Remonstrants, he completely succeeded,--though 889he subsequently lost that crown and all his hereditary possessions, and embroiled nearly the whole of Protestant Europe in the famous thirty years’ war.

The Remonstrants, according to Nichols, in the ample notes to his translation of the “Works of Arminius,” had long wished to have their “Five Points” of doctrine brought for adjudication either before a provincial synod, to prepare matters for a national one; or to have them brought at once before a general council of Protestant divines. But the Calvinists would listen to neither of these equitable proposals. If a provincial synod were convened, especially in that province (Holland) which most needed such a remedy, these men well knew, from trial, how difficult it would be to combat and refute the strong and popular arguments of the Remonstrants, when both parties were placed nearly on an equality in the same assembly; and if a general council of Protestants was summoned together, they were certain that the principles of Arminius would, without demur, be recognized as integral parts of Scripture verity, and consequently entitled not only to toleration, (which was all that the Remonstrants had desired,) but to the especial patronage of the civil authorities. The latter result was anticipated, from the immense preponderance which the Lutheran divines, from all the small states of Germany, and from other parts of the north of Europe, would have had in such a council. Numerous state papers on this subject were written by the public functionaries of the different provinces in the year 1617; among which those of the composition of the learned Grotius, who conducted the arguments in favour of a general council, are very conspicuous for the superior ability which they display. A national synod was therefore the sole remedy which the wisdom, or rather the worldly prudence, of the Calvinists could discover for removing the maladies under which the churches of Holland were at that time labouring. In showing cause for their preference, they were placed in an awkward dilemma; for they perceived, that the strongest reasons to be adduced for the adoption of this measure would extend too far, and might, in the hands of their able antagonists, be made to apply with greater cogency to the convening of a general council.

The designs which Prince Maurice had long cherished against the ancient liberties and internal jurisdiction of the states, (each of which possessed by the act of union the complete management of its own affairs,) were then in a course of execution. By the forcible and illegal removal of the old burgomasters and governors, and the appointment of new ones; by the preponderance which these newly elected individuals gave to their own party in their election of persons to fill the higher offices of state in the various towns which had been ill-affected toward Calvinism and arbitrary power; and by the untrue and scandalous reports which were invented and industriously propagated respecting the alleged secret intentions of Barnevelt and the Arminians to deliver up their country to the Spaniards; the prince was enabled to succeed in his ambitious enterprises. To the party, therefore, that had forwarded his views he willingly gave all the weight of his influence, and that of the States General, the majority of whom, in virtue of the late unlawful changes effected in the provinces, were favourable, not only to Calvinism, but to any measure which the prince might think fit to propose. It was in allusion to the revolution, thus craftily completed, that Bogerman, as president of the synod of Dort, told Episcopius, in a sarcastic style, as Hales tells us, “You may remember what you told the foreign divines in your letter to them, that there had of late been a great metamorphosis in the state; you are no longer judges and men in power, but persons under citation.” In such a state of affairs, an ordinance of government was easily obtained for convening a national synod, which was to consist of native divines appointed by the different classes and presbyteries, of civil deputies chosen out of each province by the states, and of foreign divines deputed by such churches as had adopted both the platform and the doctrine of Geneva. The temper and intolerant conduct of the various ecclesiastical meetings with whom rested the inland appointments, had been but too apparent; and time had not mollified their intolerant principles; for, under the new order of things, and with the sanction of the fresh race of magistrates, they were emboldened to effect a schism in many of the chief towns, and forcibly to exclude the Arminian ministers from the churches which they occupied. In other towns, in which these bold practices could not be attempted with any probability of success, they employed the ecclesiastical arms of the classes, provincial synods, and other packed vestry-meetings, the members of which (consisting generally of Calvinists) summoned before them all the chief Arminian pastors in the various districts, accused them of holding heterodox opinions on the subject of predestination, and suspended or expelled them from the ministry. This work of expulsion and suspension was carried on by the dominant party, even during the time in which the fate of Arminianism was in a course of determination by the synod of Dort: so that, had that far-famed and reverend assembly decided in favour of a toleration of the Arminian doctrines, the minor church meetings had left few ministers of that persecuted denomination to profit from such a decision. The Calvinistic account of this summary and iniquitous process is thus given, in the preface to the acts of the National Synod: “And since there were several pastors in that province, [Guelderland,] some of whom had been suspected of many other errors beside the Five Points of the Remonstrants, others of them had illegally intruded into the office of the ministry, while others were men of profligate habits; certain persons of this description being cited before the [provincial] synod [of Guelderland and Zutphen, held at Arnheim, in July, 1618,] were suspended from the ministry for some of the before-mentioned reasons, and 890by no means on account of the opinion contained in the Five Points of the Remonstrants, which was reserved for the cognizance of the national synod. The trial of the rest of these men being dismissed in the name of the synod, was committed to a deputation from their body, to whom the states added certain of their own delegates. When they had fully investigated the cases of these men in their classes, they suspended some of them from the ministry, and entirely removed others.” In the very able memorial which the Remonstrants, on their arrival at the synod, presented to the foreign members, it is justly observed, respecting those who were accused of having taught, beside the Five Points, those doctrines which were contrary to the fundamentals of faith: “Such particular cases do not in any manner affect the common cause of the Remonstrants, but concern those alone who may be found guilty of them. Nor are we adverse to the issuing of ecclesiastical censures against such persons, provided they be lawfully put upon their trials, and fairly heard in defence of themselves against such charges.” Because the members of these Calvinistic provincial synods could not be long absent from their respective congregations, such galloping commissions as these, endowed with ample powers, were appointed to traverse every province in which Arminianism had been planted; and they soon showed to the world the most compendious method of rooting out reputed heresies. Their track through the land resembled that of the angel of destruction; it was marked by anguish, mourning, and desolation. After this detail, established by the synodical documents themselves, few words will suffice to point out the purely Calvinistic constitution of the synod of Dort. When very few Remonstrant ministers remained in the land, except such as were ejected from the church or under suspension, it was no difficult matter to procure an assemblage of men that were of one heart respecting the main object that was then sought to be accomplished.

In the original order for holding the synod, and in the list appended to it, as they were both passed by the States General, no mention was made of inviting any other churches, except those of England, France, the Palatinate, Hesse, and Switzerland, and it was a matter postponed for farther deliberation, whether any invitation should be transmitted to the churches of Bremen, Brandenburgh, Geneva, and Nassau. The clergy of the principality of Anhalt were not invited to the synod, because their opinions were understood to be similar to those of the Remonstrants, the ancient confession adopted by their churches being decided on the subject of conditional predestination. The divines of Bremen were viewed as men inclined too much to moderate counsels, and on that account improper representatives in an assembly that intended to carry every proposition with the unanimity of force. The divines of Brandenburgh were the last of those invited. Indeed no invitation was transmitted to them, till the state and temper of their churches had been ascertained with tolerable accuracy; and when it was generally thought that the deputies from that electorate were tractable and would follow in the train of the Contra-Remonstrants, it was determined to summon them to the synod. It was for some time a matter of doubt with the leading men of Holland, whether they ought to invite the divines of Geneva and Nassau, two of the greatest nurseries of Calvinism, to be present at the synod. The cause of this demur was, to avoid the appearance of partiality, which they justly thought all the world would have imputed to them had they convened an assembly consisting only of Calvinistic doctors. To keep up this semblance of moderation, the synodical summons was not transmitted to those divines when they were sent to the churches of other states and countries. But when Prince Maurice’s schemes of secular aggrandizement and political power had succeeded beyond his utmost wishes, they no longer studied to “avoid the appearance of evil,” but boldly summoned all those divines about whose presence at the synod they had formerly hesitated. This was a most notable and certain method of procuring a strict Calvinian uniformity in the members. On this topic, Hales, in his letters from Dort, to the English ambassador at the Hague, says, “For a general confession of faith, at least so far as those churches stretch who have delegates here in the synod, I think his project very possible, there being no point of faith in which they differ.” Great interest was made at the court of France, to procure the attendance of deputies from the reformed churches of that country; but the king of France prohibited the Protestant clergy within his dominions from becoming members of the synod, or assisting at its deliberations.

The letters of the States General, inviting the foreign divines to the national synod, were issued on the 25th of June, 1618; and the members were summoned to meet together in the city of Dort, on the first day of November in the same year. The letters of invitation to the divines of the united provinces were dated Sept. 20th, and the synod of Dort was formally opened Nov. 13th. Whosoever casts his eye over the list of the foreign divines that composed this last of Protestant councils, will find scarcely one man who had not distinguished himself by his decided opposition to the doctrine of conditional predestination, and who was not consequently disqualified from acting the part of an impartial judge of the existing religious differences, or that of a peace-maker. This caused the famous Daniel Tilenus to observe, that “no persons were summoned to Dort who were not well known to be zealous promoters of Calvin’s predestination. In former ages, men were accustomed, first to go to the councils, and then to declare their sentiments: just the reverse of this is the practice in our days; for no one could be admitted into the synod of Dort unless he had previously manifested the bearing of his opinions.”

It will be perceived from the preceding statement, by what kind of ecclesiastical management 891the Remonstrants had been excluded from having any deputies in the synod of Dort. So completely had the Calvinistic plan of exclusion succeeded, that three of the members from Utrecht were the only Remonstrants in that synod. The reason of their being there at all, was, because that province was almost equally divided between Remonstrant and Calvinist churches, and it had been agreed that three of each denomination should be summoned. But so obnoxious were the persons as well as the doctrines of the Remonstrants to their adversaries, that they would not allow even those three individuals to have a place in the seat of judgment. In the twenty-fourth session, it was unanimously declared, that they could only be reputed as cited persons; however, as the Acts express it, “that this synod might not be exposed to calumnies, as if they wished to exclude them, it was allowed them to sit among the judges” on five conditions, the chief of which were, “that while the affairs of the Remonstrants were under discussion, they should not disturb the proceedings of the synod by unseasonable interruptions, and not acquaint their party with any thing done or said in the synod, which concerned their cause.” Two of them, after a day’s deliberation, united themselves with their suffering brethren; and the third, who was a layman, had seen enough of the partial conduct of that venerable assembly to induce him to absent himself from their farther deliberations. As the Remonstrants formed no part of the members convened, it was debated, in the fourth session, how they ought to be summoned. It was proposed and resolved, that a letter should be composed and sent to the whole body, that they might depute three out of each province as deputies to the synod. The president Bogerman then inquired, if all the Remonstrants were to be admitted; the president of the lay commissioners answered, that the ecclesiastical president and the secretaries should receive a private explanation from him respecting their numbers. In the interview which the two presidents and the secretaries had together, they concerted matters so well, that next day the preceding resolution for writing to the whole body was withdrawn for amendment; and it was finally agreed, that it should be left to the determination of the lay commissioners, what persons, and how many, should be convened. These gentlemen selected thirteen of the Remonstrants, to each of whom they addressed a letter of citation, commanding them to appear before the synod, “within fourteen days after the receipt of it without any tergiversation, excuse, or exception, that in it they might freely propose, explain, and defend the before-mentioned five points as far as they were able and should deem to be necessary.” In the mean time the Remonstrants, without knowing the resolution of the synod, had deputed three of their body from Leyden, to obtain leave for their appearance at the synod, in a competent number and under safe conduct to defend their cause. On making their request known to the lay commissioners, they were informed of the resolution which had passed the synod only the preceding day. To which they replied, that it was unreasonable to cite those to justify themselves who were both ready and willing to come of their own accord; and that if they persisted in proceeding with their plan of citation, they would by that act furnish just cause, not only to them, but to all good men, to entertain strange notions and suspicions of the synodical proceedings. Not being permitted to choose those men from their own body whom they deemed the best qualified to state and defend their cause, they accounted it an additional hardship, that their enemies should assume that unlawful authority to themselves. But neither at that time nor afterward, when they wished to add two of the most accomplished of the brethren to their number, were their representations of the least avail. On the sixth of December these valiant defenders of the truth arrived, and requested, by a deputation, to be allowed a few days to unpack their books, arrange their papers, &c. But they were commanded immediately to appear in a body before the synod, and to prefer their own request. They were introduced by their brethren of Utrecht, and ordered to sit down at a long table placed in the middle of the hall. Episcopius then, with the permission of the president, addressed an apostolic greeting to the synod; and, having repeated the request previously made, he said, that “the cited Remonstrants appeared there to defend their good and righteous cause before that venerable assembly, by reasons and arguments drawn from the word of God,--or else to be confuted and better informed from the same word. In reference to the favour which they had asked, they left it to the discretion of the commissioners of the States General, being ready on their parts, immediately and without delay, to engage in a conference, if that should be required.” Then were they desired to withdraw into a chamber prepared for them adjoining the hall of the synod. After some time spent in deliberation, they were recalled, and informed by the president, that they would be expected at the synod next morning at nine o’clock. He added, according to Hales, “that they came not to conference, neither did the synod profess themselves an adverse party against them. Conferences had been heretofore held to no purpose. They ought to have heeded the words of the letters by which they were cited. They were called not to conference, but to propose their opinions with their reasons, and leave it with the synod to judge of them.” Episcopius replied, that it was not necessary so nicely to criticise the word conference, and that they had come there with no other view than to treat about the doctrines which were controverted, according to the summons which they had received. The next day, December 7th, the Remonstrants were called in, when after Episcopius had desired and obtained leave to speak, he uttered an oration, the delivery of which occupied nearly two hours, and which, on account of the noble sentiments contained in it, deserves 892to be recorded in letters of gold. The gracefulness, force, and energy with which it was spoken, made such an impression on the auditory as drew tears from several of them, and even from some of the states’ deputies. This effect gave mighty umbrage to the choleric Bogerman, who, as president, according to Mr. Hales’s account, “signified unto Episcopius, that, because there were in his speech many things considerable, he was therefore to deliver the copy of it. Episcopius replied, that he had none handsomely written: if the synod would have patience, he would cause a fair transcript to be drawn for them. But this excuse would not serve; fair or foul, deliver it up he must, and so he did.” In the session, December 10, after the president had ceased to speak, he desired the Remonstrants to proceed with their explanation and defence of the five points. They requested leave to have a paper read by Episcopius. Bogerman would not consent to this; but the lay president ordered another of the Remonstrants, Bernard Dwinglo, to read it. This very convincing document was addressed to the synod, and consisted of two parts. It may be seen at full length in the acts, and is in every respect worthy of the great men whose holy cause it defended. The first part declared, that the Remonstrants did not own the members of the synod for lawful judges, because the great majority of them, with the exception of the foreign divines, were their professed enemies; and that most of the inland divines then assembled, as well as those whose representatives they were, had been guilty of the unhappy schism which was made in the churches of Holland. The second part contained the twelve qualifications, of which the Remonstrants thought a well constituted synod should consist. The observance of the stipulations proposed in it, they would gladly have obtained from the synod, averring that they were exceedingly equitable, and that the Protestants had offered similar conditions for the guidance of the Papists, and the Calvinists for the direction of the Lutherans. The production of such a mass of evidence from writers of the Calvinistic persuasion, in favour of a toleration and moderate measures, and against the principle of interested parties usurping the place of judges,--gave dreadful offence to that powerful body in the synod, and especially when they were charged with being at once plaintiff, judge, and jury. No one can form an adequate conception of the scene which followed the reading of this document. Bogerman, the Remonstrants, the lay president, and the commissioners, were warm interlocutors during that session and the succeeding one which was held in the afternoon of the same day. Bogerman laboured hard to show, that, by denying the competency and impartial constitution of the tribunal before which they were summoned, they in reality were guilty of disaffection to the higher powers, who had appointed and convened the synod; and that, by charging the majority of the members with being the authors of the schism, they had in effect accused the prince of Orange and the States General, because those great personages had frequented the separate meetings. In reference to the latter circumstance, which exceedingly galled him and the inland divines, he said, “The proper time has not yet arrived for discussing it. But when it shall have been proved to the synod, what kind of doctrine is sanctioned by the church, those who have departed from it, and who are consequently guilty of the schism, will appear in their true colours.” Charles Niellius, one of the Walloon ministers, answered in behalf of the Remonstrants, that though they acknowledged the authority of the states, and held the synod in due estimation, yet it was as lawful for them to challenge this synod, as for several of the Christian fathers who challenged some of the ancient councils, and their ancestors that of Trent. The laws themselves allowed men for certain reasons to challenge even sworn judges. But it was never known, that any law allowed parties to be judges. Nor was it equitable, that those who had previously separated from the Remonstrants should sit in the synod to try them, after they had by such separation pre-judged their doctrine and entered into mutual engagements to procure its condemnation. Episcopius then said, “Mr. President, if you were in our places and we in yours, would you submit to our judgment” Bogerman replied, “If it had so happened, we must have endured it; and since government has ordered matters in a different way, it becomes you to bear it with patience.” Episcopius rejoined, “It is one thing to acknowledge a person for a judge, and it is another to bear with patience the sentence which he may impose. We also will endure it; but our consciences cannot be persuaded to acknowledge you for the judges of our doctrines, since you are our sworn adversaries, and have churches totally separated from ours.”

On the morning of the next day, the Remonstrants, being called in, were urged by the synod to present their objections in writing against the Confession and Catechism. Before they proceeded to do that, they craved permission to read another document: after some demur, leave was granted, when Dwinglo read a paper which commenced thus: “The celebrated Paræus, in his Irenicum, prudently observes, that he would advise no man to approach any council in which the same persons had to appear in the character of both adversaries and judges.” The rest of the paper was occupied in wiping off the aspersions which had been cast upon them in the four preceding sessions, and particularly the foul charge of their want of respect for the constituted authorities of their country. They declared, that in case men of peaceable dispositions had been deputed to the synod, as the States General had intended, and such men as had never been concerned in making or promoting these unhappy divisions, they would have had little reason to offer exceptions against such a synod. This document concluded with a protest. After the delivery of this protest, the synod invented various methods to vex the cited Remonstrants and to 893impede the prosecution of their cause. Among those methods one of the most artful was, to ask them questions singly, and not in a body, with an evident design to entrap them in their answers. They had with the greatest injustice chosen those Remonstrants whom they thought proper, to be cited as guilty persons at the bar of the synod, without the least regard to the useful or splendid qualifications of the individuals thus selected. Of the six prudent and accomplished men who had represented the Remonstrant party at the celebrated Hague Conference in 1611, only three were summoned to the present synod; and though those who appeared on this occasion were generally men of good natural talents and sound understandings, and well versed in the matters under discussion, yet they were not all endowed with the gift of rendering a ready and extempore reply in Latin to every question that might be suddenly asked; and if they had possessed such a gift in an eminent degree, it would still have been necessary that they should have had time for reflection, and for each to compare his own views and reasons with those of his brethren. This request, however, which cannot be viewed as a favour but as an act of justice, was almost without exception refused. Having presented to the synod their opinions relative to the Five Points and their remarks on the Catechism and Confession, the Remonstrants wished to enter on the “proposing, explanation, and defence of them, as far as they were able or should think necessary,” according to the very terms of the letters by which they had been cited; but the synod in opposition to the plain and obvious meaning which those expressions conveyed, decided that it was a privilege belonging to themselves alone to judge how far the Remonstrants might be permitted to enter into the explanation and defence of their doctrines. This was accounted an act of great injustice by the Remonstrants, who also alleged, that “they did not feel many scruples about the doctrine of election, but that it was reprobation in which the chief difficulty lay.” They were very desirous, therefore, of having reprobation discussed in the first instance: but the Calvinists of those days wished to keep unconditional reprobation enshrined in the dark penetralia of their temples, only to be produced, as opportunity might serve, for their own private purposes, either to terrify the careless among their hearers, or to quicken the occasionally sluggish current of congregational benevolence. It was not to be expected, therefore, that the Calvinists of the synod would allow the Remonstrants to give reprobation that prominence in their discussions to which it was justly entitled. In one of the debates which these two questions produced, Bogerman again took advantage of the disingenuous trickery which we have just exposed, and asked Pynakker, one of the cited ministers, “Do you imagine the synod will suffer the Remonstrants to examine the doctrine of reprobation” Pynakker replied, “Yes, I do: because, as this is the chief source of the troubles of the church, it ought to be first discussed.” Perceiving either that his meaning was not correctly understood, or that he had expressed it in an imperfect manner, Pynakker immediately explained himself by adding, that by first he meant chiefly, (both of which significations the Latin word conveys,) and by acknowledging that election ought to have the precedence of discussion. When relating this occurrence, Poppius remarks, “This, being received in a wrong sense, was imputed to all of us, as though we were unanimously of opinion, that the discussion of the doctrine of reprobation ought to precede that of election. Upon this question the foreign divines and others were desired by the president to deliver their sentiments. However, the expression imputed to us was employed by none of us, much less by all. But this was their manner: if one of us, in the name of all, said any thing that proved advantageous to the rest, the president seemed much displeased at our unanimity: then we were told that we were cited singly and personally, and that we did not compose a society or corporation. But when any of us happened to employ a word that was capable of being wrested to our common injury and misconstrued, then what was said by one was certain to be imputed to all!” After gaining a favourable opportunity like this, Bogerman always hastily dismissed the cited persons; and on this occasion he dwelt largely, in their absence, on Pynakker’s expression, and persuaded the foreign divines that the proposal of the Remonstrants, to treat of reprobation before election, was a sine quâ non, and that without it was granted to them they would not proceed. This alarmed all the Calvinistic brotherhood, who rose vi et armis, delivered seriatim their objections to such a bold proceeding, and thought, with the professor of Heidelberg, “that it was unreasonable for the Remonstrants to disturb the consciences of the elect on account of God’s judgments against the reprobated, and to plead the cause of the latter, as though they had been hired to undertake the defence of those who had by the just judgment of God been rejected; and that for these reasons the synod neither could nor ought to grant the Remonstrant brethren any farther liberty, unless the members designed to expose the orthodox doctrine of predestination to be openly ridiculed.” Finding this great aversion in the synod to the precedence of reprobation, the Remonstrants proposed, since they were forbidden to explain or defend their sentiments vivâ voce, “to explain their doctrines in writing, beginning with the article of election, and proceeding to that of reprobation; to defend their doctrines, and to refute the contrary opinions of the Contra-Remonstrants and of those whom they consider orthodox: but that, in case this explanation or defence seems to be defective, they would answer in writing the questions which the president might think proper to propose to them, or in oral communications by those of their body whom they might judge best qualified for that purpose. And that the liberty which they desired might not appear unlimited, they bound themselves to proceed in such a 894manner as should not savour in the least of an insolent licentiousness: and that their discussions might not be extended too far, the lay commissioners were empowered to curtail them at pleasure.” But these very equitable terms, which were much worse than those which the unsophisticated and grammatical sense of the citatory letters held out to them, were rejected by the synod, at the instigation and by the management of the president, who, after having had recourse to his old trick of propounding questions to each of the cited persons, and after procuring against them three or four synodical censures, had them at length, (Jan. 14th,) dismissed from the synod, with every mark of contumely and scorn which he could invent. Bogerman had previously busied himself in extracting the opinions of the Remonstrants from such writings of theirs as had been published long before, and in forming them into articles, to be separately discussed by the synod. This passing of judgment on the Remonstrants from the testimony of their own writings, was an employment which Deodatus and his colleague from Geneva had at one of the earliest sessions mentioned as very desirable, and in which they appeared eager to engage. Any one who attentively reads the Acts of the synod, and compares them with the private accounts both of Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants will find, that this had also been the intention of the president from the very commencement, and that all his shifting schemes and boisterous conduct was intended to irritate the Remonstrants, who possessed more patience than he had contemplated, and who were therefore to be removed from the synod by a greater exercise of art and with greater difficulty. But one of the greatest injuries of which the Remonstrants had to complain, was, that the book from which their supposed opinions were chiefly collected, was the production of a declared enemy, who wrote a highly coloured account of a conference respecting the Five Points, in which he pretended that the Calvinists had obtained a complete victory. A Remonstrant author had also written an able statement of the same conference, and had claimed a triumph for his party. The latter would therefore have certainly been the most proper authority from which to extract the real opinions of his body.

But though dismissed from their farther attendance on the synod, the Remonstrants were not permitted to depart from Dort; the states’ commissioners having charged them not to quit the town, without their special permission. The president, in his speech dimissory, had said, that they would receive an intimation when the synod had any farther occasion for them. When a Remonstrant deputy, by leave of the acting burgomaster of Dort, who was one of the commissioners, had hastily gone to Utrecht, to visit one of his children that was expected soon to die, he was on his return called to an account for his conduct, and the former order repeated. In the course of their detention at Dort during eight months, they were as strictly watched as if they had been condemned malefactors. One of them whose sister lay on her death-bed and earnestly desired to see him, could not obtain permission to visit her while she lived; and after her decease he was not allowed to attend her funeral. Another, whose wife was near the time of her accouchment, wished, like a good family man, to be at home for a few days at that critical period; but his request was refused. When the uncle of another of them was at the point of death, he longed for the presence of his nephew, to receive his dying commands, and to benefit him by his counsels and prayers; but the wishes of the good old man could not be gratified. After his death, the nephew was not allowed to look after the pressing concerns of his orphan cousins, although his uncle had appointed him their legal guardian. None of these favours, though reasonable and asked with much humility, could be obtained from the high bigots, in whose hands, at that time, was vested the personal liberty of the persecuted and cited Remonstrants. Toward the close of February, the magistrates of different towns deposed from the ministry three of the cited Remonstrant ministers who were present at the synod, and sent regular notices to their families, speedily to quit the parsonage houses which they severally occupied. These three good men, being heartily tired of the strict durance in which they had been held since their arrival at Dort, represented to the states’ commissioners, that, as they were not now in the ministry, they could no longer be considered amenable to the jurisdiction of the synod: this was the very argument of the commissioners, when, at the commencement of the synod, the Remonstrants had wished to have associated with them the two recently deposed ministers, Grevinchovius and Goulart. Though, for very obvious reasons, at that early stage of the business, they would permit no Remonstrants to appear among the cited, “except such as were actually in the exercise of the ministry;” yet they would not listen to the same argument when it militated against their favourite purposes: and the three ministers were commanded to remain at Dort with their brethren. One of the three, however, whose wife then far advanced in pregnancy, had been ordered to leave her house within eight days, ventured to return to Horn, and to assist her to remove from their former dwelling. But, on his arrival, he found her already removed to another house; and his return to Dort was speedily required by the higher powers. To expedite his departure, two or three of the Calvinist magistrates employed their official authority in a manner the most reprehensible: they placed him, like a criminal, in the town wagon openly before his own door, though he had provided a carriage for himself on the outside of the town, to which he wished to have retired privately and without noise. A tumult ensued between the populace who were attached to their good pastor, and the soldiers whom the magistrates had placed before his house two hours before his departure. On his 895return to Dort, he was severely examined before the commissioners respecting the unhappy commotion; but being convinced that he had not been at all to blame in that affair, they passed it over in silence. At different times the Remonstrants wished to depute a few of their small body to the Hague, to make a proper representation of the manner in which they were treated by the synod; but this indulgence was invariably refused. Their only resource then was, to write to their high mightinesses an account of their proceedings, and to implore their interference and protection. But such an attempt, in that posture of their affairs, was unavailing; for their doom was already sealed. Soon after their appearance at Dort, the magistrates of that city issued a proclamation, commanding the inhabitants, all of whom were celebrated for their attachment to Calvin, to refrain from insulting any of the foreign or native professors, divines, or other persons that were called to appear at the synod, on pain of summary punishment to the offenders. This document was not required for the protection of the Calvinists; but the persecuted Remonstrants were such objects of hatred to the populace, as scarcely to be allowed to pass along the streets without being maltreated. This bad spirit was excited and encouraged by the violent sermons which were fulminated against them, from the different pulpits in the city. Whenever these good men were required to be in attendance, (and they were liable to be summoned from their lodgings at a few minutes’ notice,) they were not permitted to enter the large hall in which the synodical sessions were held, but were ordered to wait the pleasure of that venerable body in an ante-chamber, the door of which was generally locked, and the passage leading to it guarded by two or three of the police, who hindered them from holding any communication with their friends, and kept them in as strict durance as if they had been convicted of some capital offence. At the formal conclusion of the principal business of the synod, May the 6th, when the farther attendance of the foreign divines was declared to be no longer necessary, the Remonstrants were summoned from their lodgings, and waited upon the lay commissioners, at six o’clock in the evening, when the resolution and censure of the synod were read to them in Latin by Heinsius, the secretary; in which they were accused of “having corrupted the true religion, dissolved the unity of the church, given grievous cause of scandal, and shown themselves contumacious and disobedient: for these several reasons, the synod prohibited them from the farther exercise of their ministry, deprived them of their offices in the church and university, and declared them incapable of performing any ecclesiastical function, till, by sincere repentance, they should have given the church full satisfaction, and, being thus reconciled to her, should be re-admitted into her communion.” They were then required to wait at Dort till farther orders from their high mightinesses; and when they requested to have a copy of the synodical censure and sentence against them, they were as usual refused. On the 24th of May, the cited Remonstrants were summoned to appear before three new commissioners whom the States General had deputed from their body, when each of them was called into the room and separately interrogated; after which, he who had been last called in was ordered into another room, and prevented from holding any communication with those who had not been ushered into the presence of the commissioners. The proposal and questions addressed to each of them were in substance the following: “Since you have been deprived by the synod, the States General have directed us to ask you the following questions: Whether you are, notwithstanding this decision, resolved to act as ministers Or whether you will be content in future to lead quiet and peaceable lives in obedience to the government, as private burghers, without any place or office, abstaining from all ecclesiastical ministrations in any meeting of the people of your sect, from all manner of teaching and preaching, exhorting, reading, administering the sacraments, visiting the sick, writing letters, or transmitting papers--It is the intention of their high mightinesses to allow to those who shall conform to these requisitions such a competency as may enable them to live comfortably either in or out of these united provinces, as their own choice may determine.” In addition to these things, Episcopius was required to promise, “not to write either letters or books to confirm the people in the sentiments of the Remonstrants, or to seduce them from the doctrine of the synod.” All of them professed their willingness to obey their governors in all such matters as might be performed with a safe conscience, to live peaceably themselves, and to exhort all others to the same practice. They also expressed their readiness to refrain from the exercise of their ecclesiastical functions in the public churches; but none of them, except Leo, could reconcile it to their consciences to abstain from feeding in smaller assemblies the flock of Christ over which the Holy Ghost had made them overseers. The majority of them added, “Not only those who abuse or squander away their talent will be punished, but those also who bury it in the earth, either through fear of trouble or hope of advantage. It is therefore our duty to place our lights on candlesticks, and not to hide or smother them under a bushel or an easy bed; and we hope your lordships will neither hinder us, nor be displeased with us for so doing.” In a subsequent interview with the commissioners, the Remonstrants proved, that their reasons for continuing the exercise of their ministry had formerly received the sanction of the States General themselves: for at the treaty of Cologne, in 1579, their high mightinesses had insisted, “that subjects who professed any religion different from that which was established, could not satisfy their consciences by foregoing its exercise.” But, after several unavailing conferences together, the commissioners left them in a state of suspense and confinement, about twenty days longer. During 896that time, several reports were brought to them from various quarters, “that some great calamity was impending;” and they were seriously advised to avoid it by a timely flight. They were likewise informed of Barneveldt’s execution, and of the perpetual imprisonment to which Grotius and Hogerbeets had been sentenced; and that several of their brethren in the ministry, who had lately attended a meeting at Rotterdam about their affairs in general, had been taken into custody, and brought to the Hague, for that offence. They thought, however, that all these reports were only intended to create an artificial alarm, and to induce them to attempt an escape,--thus delivering their enemies from the hatred to which they would be exposed by their farther rigorous proceedings. But their firmness on that occasion corresponded with all their previous conduct, and they refused to dishonour their good cause by flight, or any other act of cowardice. On the 3d of July, after having been summoned from Dort to the Hague, they appeared before the States General, and when they had been called in singly before their lordships, some time was spent to induce each of them to sign the act of cessation from the ministry. But to these renewed solicitations they separately returned the same modest answer as that which they had delivered at Dort. After allowing them two days for farther deliberation, their lordships on the fifth of the same month, having heard a repetition of their refusal, passed a resolution to banish them “out of the united provinces and the jurisdiction thereof, without ever being allowed to return till the said states be fully satisfied that they are ready to subscribe the said act of cessation, and till they have obtained special leave from their high mightinesses for that purpose, on pain, in case of non-compliance, of being treated as disturbers of the public peace, for an example to others.” Episcopius delivered a short speech, in which, among other matters, he reminded their high mightinesses, “that they had been invited to a free synod, and had received frequent verbal promises of a safe conduct.” To this speech they did not deign a reply, but ordered the Remonstrants to be conducted into another room, and to have the door locked and bolted, while the provost and his officers attended on the outside for purposes of intimidation. After being kept some time in this kind of imprisonment they were at length permitted to depute to their high mightinesses two of their body, who requested that they might have leave to adjust their domestic affairs, to collect what was owing to them, and to pay their debts, that their wives and children might not be rendered miserable and turned naked into the streets. They offered to give unexceptionable security for their return at such a period and to such places as their lordships might require. While they were preferring this request, the Heer Muis often interrupted them, and at last sarcastically told them “not to be so greatly concerned about their families; for if they had received an extraordinary call from God to serve his church, he would undoubtedly support them after an extraordinary manner.” But the only favour which the Remonstrants could obtain, was, the deferring of their departure till four o’clock the next morning, provided each of them would promise to retire to his lodgings without speaking to any body, and to be ready at the appointed early hour next day. Each of them had fifty guilders allowed for his travelling expenses, and a copy of the sentence of the States General. But it was between nine and ten o’clock the next day, before the magistrates removed them in nine wagons toward Walwick in Brabant, the place of banishment which they had desired, where they arrived after a journey of three days. The canons of Dort, as the grand test of Calvinism, were then carried triumphantly by the synodists throughout the land; and every clergyman, professor, and schoolmaster, that refused to sign them, was deprived of his benefice and compelled to lay aside his functions. Several of them, in addition to their deprivation, were also banished out of the country, to various parts on the continent. So ended these proceedings of the Synod of Dort as to these suffering men; proceedings which would have disgraced the worst age of popery!

While in a state of banishment, these excellent ministers of Christ Jesus provided for the spiritual wants of their destitute flocks; and, at the imminent hazard of life and liberty, discharged in person, as often as they found opportunity, the duties of the pastoral office. After the death of Prince Maurice, in 1631, they were permitted to return to their native country, and to resume the peaceable exercise of their ministry. But the immense literary labours in which they were compelled to engage during this troublous period have, by the admirably over-ruling acts of Divine Providence, been rendered most valuable blessings to the whole of Christendom. Such doctrines and principles were then brought under discussion, as served to enlighten every country in Europe on the grand subject of civil and religious liberty, the true nature of which has from that time been better understood, and its beneficial effects more generally appreciated and enjoyed.

We subjoin their opinions on the “Five Points” in dispute between them and the Contra-Remonstrants, translated from the Latin papers which they presented to the synod. It is, however, necessary for the reader to be apprized, that, in framing these doctrinal articles, which served them as texts or theses for some most valuable dissertations on various cognate subjects, they intended rather to expose the unguarded assertions and extravagant dogmas of their theological adversaries, than to exhibit a simple statement of their own sentiments.

I. On predestination. 1. God has not decreed to elect any one to eternal life or to reprobate any man from it, in an order prior to that by which he has decreed to create that man, without any insight into any antecedent obedience or disobedience, but according to his 897own good pleasure, to demonstrate the glory of his mercy and justice, or of his power or absolute dominion. 2. As the decree of God concerning both the salvation and the destruction of every man is not the decree of an end absolutely [intenti] fixed, it follows that neither are such means subordinated to that decree as through them both the elect and the reprobate may efficaciously and inevitably be brought to the destined end. 3. Wherefore, neither did God with this design in one man Adam create all men in an upright condition, nor did he ordain the fall or even its permission, nor did he withdraw from Adam necessary and sufficient grace, nor does he now cause the Gospel to be preached and men to be outwardly called, nor does he confer on them the gifts of the Holy Spirit,--[he has done none of these things with the design] that they should be means by which he might bring some of mankind to life everlasting, and leave others of them destitute of eternal life. Christ the Mediator is not only the executor of election, but also the foundation of the very decree of election itself. The reason [causa] why some men are efficaciously called, justified, persevere in faith, and are glorified, is not because they are absolutely elected to life eternal: nor is the reason why others are deserted and left in the fall, have not Christ bestowed upon them, or, farther, why they are inefficaciously called, are hardened and damned, because these men are absolutely reprobated from eternal life. 4. God has not decreed, without the intervening of actual sins, to leave by far the greater part of mankind in the fall, and excluded from all hope of salvation. 5. God has ordained that Christ shall be the propitiation for the sins of the whole world; and, in virtue of this decree, he has determined to justify and save those who believe in him, and to administer to men the means which are necessary and sufficient for faith, in such a manner as he knows to be befitting his wisdom and justice. But he has not in any wise determined, in virtue of an absolute decree, to give Christ as a Mediator for the elect only, and to endow them alone with faith through an effectual call, to justify them, to preserve them in the faith, and to glorify them. 6. Neither is any man by some absolute antecedent decree rejected from life eternal, nor from means sufficient to attain it: so that the merits of Christ, calling, and all the gifts of the Spirit, are capable of profiting all men for their salvation, and are in reality profitable to all men, unless by an abuse of these blessings they pervert them to their own destruction. But no man whatever is destined to unbelief, impiety, or the commission of sin, as the means and causes of his damnation. 7. The election of particular persons is [peremptoria] absolute, from consideration of their faith in Jesus Christ and their perseverance, but not without consideration of their faith and of their perseverance in true faith as a prerequisite condition in electing them. 8. Reprobation from eternal life is made according to the consideration of preceding unbelief and perseverance in unbelief, but not without consideration of preceding unbelief or perseverance in unbelief. 9. All the children of believers are sanctified in Christ; so that not one of them perishes who departs out of this life prior to the use of reason. But some children of believers who depart out of this life in their infancy, and before they have in their own persons committed any sin, are on no account to be reckoned in the number of the reprobate: so that neither is the sacred laver of baptism, nor are the prayers of the church, by any means capable of profiting them to salvation. 10. No children of believers who have been baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and who live in the state of their infancy, are by an absolute decree numbered among the reprobate.

II. On the universality of the merit of Christ. 1. The price of redemption which Christ offered to his Father is in and of itself not only sufficient for the redemption of the whole human race, but it has also, through the decree, the will, and the grace of God the Father, been paid for all men and every man; and therefore no one is by an absolute and antecedent decree of God positively excluded from all participation in the fruits of the death of Christ. 2. Christ, by the merit of his death, has [hactenus] thus far reconciled God the Father to the whole of mankind,--that he can and will, without injury to his justice and truth, enter into and establish a new covenant of grace with sinners and men obnoxious to damnation. 3. Though Christ has merited for all men and for every man reconciliation with God and forgiveness of sins, yet, according to [pactum] the tenor or terms of the new and gracious covenant, no man is in reality made a partaker of the benefits procured by the death of Christ in any other way than through faith; neither are the trespasses and offences of sinful men forgiven prior to their actually and truly believing in Christ. 4. Those only for whom Christ has died are obliged to believe that Christ has died for them. But those whom they call reprobates, and for whom Christ has not died, can neither be obliged so to believe, nor can they be justly condemned for the contrary unbelief; but if such persons were reprobates, they would be obliged to believe that Christ has not died for them.

III. & IV. On the operation of grace in the conversion of man. 1. Man has not saving faith from and of himself, nor has he it from the powers of his own free will; because in a state of sin he is able from and of himself to think, will, or do nothing that is good, nothing that is indeed saving good; of which description, in the first place, is saving faith. But it is necessary that, by God in Christ through his Holy Spirit, he should be regenerated and renewed in his understanding, affections, will, and in all his powers, that he may be capable of rightly understanding, meditating, willing, and performing such things as are savingly good. 2. We propound the grace of God to be the beginning, the progress, and the completion of every good thing; so that even the man who is born again is not able without this preceding 898and prevenient, this exciting and following, this accompanying and coöperating grace, to think, to will, or to perform any good, or to resist any temptations to evil: so that good works, and the good actions which any one is able to find out by thinking, are to be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. 3. Yet we do not believe that all the zeal, care, study, and pains, which are employed to obtain salvation, before faith and the Spirit of renovation, are vain and useless; much less do we believe that they are more hurtful to man than useful and profitable. But, on the contrary, we consider that to hear the word of God, to mourn on account of the commission of sin, and earnestly to seek and desire saving grace and the Spirit of renovation, (none of which is any man capable of doing without divine grace,) are not only not hurtful and useless, but that they are rather most useful and exceedingly necessary for obtaining faith and the Spirit of renovation. 4. The will of man in a lapsed or fallen state, and before the call of God, has not the capability and liberty of willing any good that is of a saving nature; and therefore we deny that the liberty of willing as well what is a saving good as what is an evil is present to the human will in every state or condition. 5. Efficacious grace, by which any man is converted, is not irresistible: and though God so affects the will of man by his word and the inward operation of his Spirit, as to confer upon him a capability of believing, or supernatural power, and actually [faciat] causes man to believe; yet man is of himself capable to spurn and reject this grace and not believe, and therefore, also, to perish through his own culpability. 6. Although, according to the most free and unrestrained will of God, there is very great disparity or inequality of divine grace, yet the Holy Spirit either bestows, or is ready to bestow, upon all and upon every one to whom the word of faith is preached, as much grace as is sufficient to promote [suis gradibus] in its gradations the conversion of men; and therefore grace sufficient for faith and conversion is conceded not only to those whom God is said to be willing to save according to his decree of absolute election, but likewise to those who are in reality not converted. 7. Man is able, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to do more good than he actually does, and to omit more evil than he actually omits. Neither do we believe that God [simpliciter] absolutely wills that man should do no more good than that which he does, and to omit no more evil than that which he omits; nor do we believe it to have been determinately decreed from all eternity that each of such acts should be so done or omitted. 8. Whomsoever God calls he calls them seriously, that is, with a sincere and not with a dissembled intention and will of saving them. Neither do we subscribe to the opinion of those persons who assert that God outwardly calls certain men whom he does not will to call inwardly, that is, whom he is unwilling to be truly converted, even prior to their rejection of the grace of calling. 9. There is not in God a secret will of that kind which is so opposed to his will revealed in his word, that according to this same secret will he does not will the conversion and salvation of the greatest part of those whom, by the word of his Gospel, and by his revealed will, he seriously calls and invites to faith and salvation. 10. Neither [hîc] on this point do we admit of a holy dissimulation, as it is the manner of some men to speak, or of a twofold person in the Deity. 11. It is not true, that, through the force and efficacy of the secret will of God or of the divine decree, not only are all good things necessarily done, but likewise all evil things; so that whosoever commit sin, they are not able, in respect to the divine decree, to do otherwise than commit sin; and that God wills, decrees, and [procurat] is the manager of men’s sins, and of their insane, foolish, and cruel actions, also of the sacrilegious blasphemy of his own name; that he moves the tongues of men to blaspheme, &c. 12. We also consider it to be a false and horrible dogma, that God by secret means impels men to the commission of those sins which he openly prohibits; that those who sin do not act in opposition to the true will of God and that which is properly so called; that what is unjust, that is, what is contrary to God’s command, is agreeable to his will; nay, farther, that it is a real and capital fault to do the will of God.

V. On the perseverance of true believers in faith. 1. The perseverance of believers in faith is not the effect of that absolute decree of God by which he is said to have elected or chosen particular persons circumscribed with no condition of their obedience. 2. God furnishes true believers with supernatural powers or strength of grace, as much as according to his infinite wisdom he judges to suffice for their perseverance, and for their overcoming the temptations of the devil, the flesh, and the world; and on the part of God stands nothing to hinder them from persevering. 3. It is possible for true believers to fall away from true faith, and to fall into sins of such a description as cannot consist with a true and justifying faith; nor is it only possible for them thus to fall, but such lapses not unfrequently occur. 4. True believers are capable by their own fault of falling into flagrant crimes and atrocious wickedness, to persevere and die in them, and therefore finally to fall away and to perish. 5. Yet though true believers sometimes fall into grievous sins, and such as destroy the conscience, we do not believe that they immediately fall away from all hope of repentance; but we acknowledge this to be an event not impossible to occur,--that God, according to the multitude of his mercies may again call them by his grace to repentance; nay, we are of opinion that such a recalling has often occurred, although such fallen believers cannot be “most fully persuaded” about this matter that it will certainly and undoubtedly take place. 6. Therefore do we with our whole heart and soul reject the following dogmas, which are daily affirmed in various publications extensively circulated among 899the people: namely, (1.) “True believers cannot possibly sin with deliberate counsel and design, but only through ignorance and infirmity.” (2.) “It is impossible for true believers, through any sins of theirs, to fall away from the grace of God.” (3.) “A thousand sins, nay, all the sins of the whole world, are not capable of rendering election vain and void.” If to this be added, “Men of every description are bound to believe that they are elected to salvation, and therefore are incapable of falling from that election,” we leave men to think what a wide window such a dogma opens to carnal security. (4.) “No sins, however great and grievous they may be, are imputed to believers; nay, farther, all sins, both present and future, are remitted to them.” (5.) “Though true believers fall into destructive heresies, into dreadful and most atrocious sins, such as adultery and murder, on account of which the church, according to the institution of Christ, is compelled to testify that it cannot tolerate them in its outward communion, and that unless such persons be converted, they will have no part in the kingdom of Christ; yet it is impossible for them totally and finally to fall away from faith.” 7. As a true believer is capable at the present time of being assured concerning the integrity of his faith and conscience, so he is able and ought to be at this time assured of his own salvation and of the saving good will of God toward him. On this point we highly disapprove of the opinion of the papists. 8. A true believer, respecting the time to come, can and ought, indeed, to be assured that he is able, by means of watching, prayer, and other holy exercises, to persevere in the true faith; and that divine grace will never fail to assist him in persevering. But we cannot see how it is possible for him to be assured that he will never afterward be deficient in his duty, but that he will persevere, in this school of Christian warfare, in the performance of acts of faith, piety, and charity, as becomes believers; neither do we consider it to be a matter of necessity that a believer should be assured of such perseverance.

Under the article Pelagians has been shown the line of distinction which the Remonstrants drew between their doctrines and those of Pelagius; and the following are the just distinctions, which they presented to the synod of Dort, between Semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism: “But we must declare, likewise, what our judgment is respecting Semi-Pelagianism. The Massilians, after the time of Pelagius, partly corrected his error and partly retained it; on which account they received from Prosper the appellation of the relics or remains of Pelagius, and are commonly styled Semi-Pelagians. They allowed the existence of prevenient grace, but only that which precedes or goes before good works; not that also which precedes the commencement of faith and of a good will, by which they believed that man preceded God,--yet this not always, but only sometimes: On the contrary we say, that God precedes or goes before the beginning of faith and of a good will; and that it is of grace both that our will be excited to begin well, and likewise, that, being thus prepared, it be led through to the grace of regeneration. The Semi-Pelagians asserted, that man, through the previous dispositions which had been implanted in his nature, obtained grace as a reward; and, however they might sometimes decline the use of the term merit, they by no means excluded merit itself: But we deny, that, through the endeavours of nature, man merits grace. The opinion of the Semi-Pelagians was, that, for the preservation of the grace of the Holy Spirit, we want nothing more than that which either by nature we may have, or that which we may once obtain in conjunction with grace: But we acknowledge, that, in order to our perseverance in good, special grace is likewise required.

“Wherefore we are unjustly accused of Semi-Pelagianism by the Contra-Remonstrants, since we condemn in the Semi-Pelagians those things which the church universal formerly condemned in them. Yet these are great signs of inconstancy and consequently of a false judgment,--that while some among them fasten Pelagianism upon us and others Semi-Pelagianism, there are others who declare that we are nearly and almost Semi-Pelagians, all of them having chosen and employed these epithets only for purposes of odium. Our conclusion therefore is, that we derogate nothing from divine grace, but acknowledge its supernatural and unmerited acts, and their absolute necessity for the work of conversion. But, on the other hand, we frankly confess, that the indifferency or liberty of the will is not taken away by grace, but that it is perfected for the better; and that the will is not necessitated, or so determined toward good as not to be able to do the opposite.

“This was also the judgment of all antiquity and of the church universal; and the orthodox accounted this way to be the safest, which lay between two precipices, the one that of the Manichees, the other that of the Pelagians. St. Jerom says, ‘We thus preserve free will, that we do not deny to it the help which it requires in every thing which it performs,’ Dialog. adversus Pelagium. And St. Augustine, who was at other times a most fierce defender of absolute election, judiciously observes, in his forty-sixth letter to Valentinus, ‘If there be no grace of God, how does he save the world And if there be no free will, how does he judge the world’ And, as St. Bernard says, in the commencement of his book On Grace and Free Will, ‘Take away free will, and there will be nothing to be saved; take away grace, and there will then be nothing from which salvation can come.’ We have had regard to both of them; lest, if we denied the existence of freedom in the will, we should encourage the sloth and listlessness of men; or if the existence of grace, we should give up the reins to pride and haughtiness.--From these quotations [and others which they give] it is evident that the opinion of the fathers was, that free will and grace so completely conspire together, that free will is 900perfected by grace, and not destroyed; the destruction of the will in this case being a calumny invented by the Pelagians, which was generally refuted by the patrons of grace.”

For other particulars relating to general redemption consult the articles Arminianism, Baxterianism, Calvinism:CALVINISM, #Church of England, and Lutherans.

SYRACUSE, a famous city of Sicily, seated on the east side of the island, Acts xxviii, 12.

SYRIA, that part of Asia which, bathed by the Mediterranean on the west, had to the north Mount Taurus, to the east the Euphrates and a small portion of Arabia, and to the south Judea, or Palestine. The orientals called it Aram. The name, which has been transmitted to us by the Greeks, is a corruption or abridgment of Assyria, which was first adopted by the Ionians, who frequented these coasts after the Assyrians of Nineveh had reduced that country to be a province of their empire, about B. C. 750. By the appellation of Syria is ordinarily meant the kingdom of Syria, of which, since the reign of the Seleucidæ, Antioch has been the capital. The government of Syria was for a long time monarchical; but some of its towns, which formed several states, were republics. With regard to religion, the Syrians were idolaters. The central place of their worship was Hieropolis, in which was a magnificent temple, and near the temple a lake that was reputed sacred. In this temple was an oracle, the credit of which the priests used every method to support. The priests were distributed into various classes, and among them were those who were denominated Galli, and who voluntarily renounced the power of transmitting the succession in their own families. The Syrians had bloody sacrifices. Among the religious ceremonies of the Syrians, one was that any one who undertook a journey to Hieropolis began with shaving his head and eye-brows. He was not allowed to bathe, except in cold water, to drink any liquor, nor to lie on any but a hard bed, before the term of his pilgrimage was finished. When the pilgrims arrived, they were maintained at the public expense, and lodged with those who engaged to instruct them in the sacred rites and ceremonies. All the pilgrims were marked on the neck and wrists. The youth consecrated to the goddess the first-fruits of their beard and hair, which was preserved in the temple, in a vessel of gold or silver, on which was inscribed the name of the person who made the offering. The sight of a dead person rendered it unfit for any one to enter into the temple during the whole day. The dynasties of Syria may be distributed into two classes; those that are made known to us in the sacred writings, or in the works of Josephus, acknowledged by the orientals; and the Seleucidan kings, successors of Alexander, with whom we are acquainted by Greek authors. The monarchy of Syria continued two hundred and fifty-seven years.

SYRO-PHENICIA, or PHENICIA PROPER, called Syro or Syrian Phenicia from being included in the kingdom of Syria. It implies that part of the coast of Canaan on the Mediterranean in which the cities of Tyre and Sidon were situated; and this same country, called Syro-Phenicia in the Acts, is in the Gospels called the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. The woman also called a Syro-Phenician in Mark vii, 26, is in Matt. xv, 22, called a Canaanitish woman, because that country was still inhabited by the descendants of Canaan, of whom Sidon was the eldest son.