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« ignorant of the righteousness of God";" and would, by “ building again the things they so had destroyed, become transgressors

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If the hypothesis I have laid down (and, as I think, proved) be true, it will from thence follow, that the profelytes of the gate, con, verted to christianity, could not be obliged to abstain from these four things, by virtue of the law of Moses, or from this advice founded upon it, longer than while the Jewish polity lasted; since, it being a civil law of the Jewish 7 polity only, that law, and the advice built upon it, must drop with all the rest; which, perhaps, is the reason, if the church of Thyatira, to which Șt. John writes', was a church of the Jews (as I have offered some observations to prove in the Second Effay), why the Spirit blames that church for “ fornication “and” (things sacrificed to idols, eidqabulas

, or things offered to an idol in honour of the idol; that is) “ idolatry":"

6 but will put upon .66 " them none other burthen,", not the whole burthen laid in this decreef; and therefore does not blame them at all for eating things strangled and blood, or perhaps even things facrificed to idols, unless they ate them as such, and in honour of the idol to which they had

Rom X. 3.

o Rev. ii. 18.

b Gal. ii. 18.
d Ver. 20.
f Acts xv. 18.

• Ver. 240


been facrificed. And yet things strangled and blood used to attend idolatry, as well as the other two, as Spencer has fully proved : and which may therefore, by the way, serve as a farther objection to his hypothesis. ¿." There is another objection that lies against mine į namely, the fense that the primitive church had of this decree, who regulated their sentiments and conduct by it, as by a common and standing law of christianity. But, as this is an objection to my hypothesis only in common with all others, that make it but of a particular and temporary obligation, I shall refer my reader to other authors for an answer to it: for what will serve as an answer in their case will, in a great measure, serve in mine. I content myself with this the rather, because, whatever deference we pay the fathers or the primitive church in our days in matters of fact, there is little paid them in other matters without the plain evidence of reason and fcripture, much less against it; their opinions in fuch cases (and there are a great many

of them) serving only to shew us, that they were liable to ignorance and error as well as we,

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A Paraphrase and Notes on the XVIIth

Chapter of LEVITICUS.

Levit. XVII.




THE law reftraining THE law restraining every Israelite or pro

every one of the selyte to the Jewish reli- Ifraelitish nation or religion from killing any ox, gion, upon pain of death, Mheep, or goat, any where from eating any ox, but at the tabernacle. sheep, or goat, that was This law intended to pre- lain any where but at serve them from idolatry. the door of the tabernaEating of blood, or that cle; and whose blood which dieth of itself, or had not been sprinkled, was torn by beasts, and and whose fat had not things strangled, forbid. been burnt on the altar, den, with the reasons of ver. 1-8. This law inthese prol.ibitions, tended to preserve them

from idolatry, ver. 528.

This law extended to i

she itranger that fo




the Lord commanded wherein not only Aa. saying,

ron, and his fons, aš

the sacrificers, but all 3 What Man soever there be of the House of the Jewish nation of Israel “, that killeth and religion, or even an ox, lamb, or goatb, that lived

among in the camp, or that them, were concern


N O T E S.

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a Ver. 3. « Of the house of Israel." I take these words to be in opposition to the stranger that sojourneth among you, ver. 8. or the profelytes of the gate ; and therefore to include the proselytes of righteousness, who were Ifraelites, though they were not of Israel ; Ifraelites by religion and profession, though not by birth. And I take them the rather to be included here, because God says, Exod. xii. 49. « One law shall be to him “ that is home-born, and to him that fojourneth among

you.” N. B. The Septuagint adds here, “ Or of * the profelytes that sojourn among you."

" That killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat." These words are so general as to take in all manner of killing; killing for private use, as well as for sacrifice. And thus says, R. Moses, Mor. Nevoc. p. iii. c. 46. “ Becaufe «'the Israelites were rebellious and contumacious, per“ sisted in the wicked customs in wbich they were edu

and made themselves the companions of devils “ by eating round the blood, therefore God commanded, « that all beasts that were killed should be peace-offer“ ings;" i. e. should be killed before the tabernacle, and their blood sprinkled, and their fat burnt on the al


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