Page images


Day on which God deliver'd the Law xix. II. from Mount Sinai; as it was that, on which the Holy Ghost condefcended to di&tate the Gospel to the Apostles; and, in them to the whole World. When the day of Pentecofte was fully come, they were all filled with the Holy Ghoft.

Worthy therefore is this Day to be obferv'd by us Chriftians with a joyful Solemnity. Those of the primitive Times had such a Respect for it, that the general Baptism of their new Converts (unlefs in any urgent Cafe) was deferr'd to that Season, and then celebrated: when great Numbers of the Candidates, as they might properly be call'd, prefented themfelves at the Baptiftery, cloath'd in white Robes; whence it got the Name of WhitSunday, which it still retains.

+ Acts ii. 1, &c. where TevTxosn is put emphatically for the Festival; being an Adjective, and requiring tbe Subftantive ἡμέρᾳ to be underfood. ἡμέρᾳ πενηκοσῆς, therefore, means exprefly the Festival it felf, the laft Day of the Fifty, which is the reason why it was called Pentecofte.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


The Feast of TRUMPETS.

xxiii. 24.

The next Feast was the Feast of Trumpets, to be kept upon the first Day of the : Month Ethanim or Tifri (September.) Concerning which, the Law directs thus. In the feventb month, in the first day of the Levit. month, fhall ye have a fabbath, a memorial of blowing trumpets, an holy convocation. 2 Ye shall do no fervile work therein; but ye fhall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Which, as it was a Memorial, and confequently a Commemoration of fome extraordinary past Transaction, might probably be that of the Deliverance of Ifaac from being facrific'd, by the divine Interpofition of a ram, caught by his horns in a thicket; it being likely that these Trumpets were made of the Horns of that Creature; as we find thofe were which the feven Priests were order'd to found in their Josh. vi, Proceffion before the Ark of the Covenant, 4. feven Times round the Walls of Jericho. But this is only Conjecture.

Whatever the Reafon of this Inftitution was; it feems, not to have been an Ap



[ocr errors]

Gen. xxii. 13.

pointment then newly made, but a Confirmation of fome old Festival; the Occafion of which might be fo well known among them, that it was not neceffary to mention it. This Feftival is alluded to by the Pfalmift, where he fays, † Blow up the trumpet in the new-moon, in the time appointed, on our folemn feaft-day. For this was a ftatute for Ifrael, and a law of the God of Jacob. This be ordained in Jofeph for a teftimony, &c.

S E C T. XI.


The next great Holy Day, is the Day of Atonement; being a general Faft, upon account of all their Sins and Tranfgreffions committed the rest of the Year; and particularly to deprecate the divine Juftice; which might otherwife punish them with divers Diseases; that Seafon of the Year being, in most Countreys, very *fickly.

+ Pfalm lxxxi. 3, &c. Hammond upon the Place, applies all this to the ordinary Obfervation of the monthly New-Moon; which was little more than a common Week-Day. Whereas it is call'd a folemn Feaft-day, a notable extraordinary Day of Festival, render'd by the Septuagint, vonu☺ nμieg kostñs, as the Feaft of Trumpets was.


Levit. xxiii.

The Injunction for obferving it, runs thus. Also, on the tenth day of this seventh Month, (September) there shall be a day of atonement; it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your fouls, and offer 27, &c. an offering made by fire unto the LORD. It shall be unto you a fabbath of reft, and ye shall afflict your fouls (by fasting and abstaining from the Enjoyment of the good things of this Life) in the ninth day of the month, at Even: from Even unto Even fhall ye celebrate your fabbath. It was injoyn'd before in these ib. xvi. Words. And this shall be a ftatute for 29. ever unto you; That, in the feventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your fouls, and do no work at all; For, on that day, fhall the Priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your fins before the LORD. For this was the Day on which the HighPrieft enter'd yearly into the most Holy 1 Place, with a Cenfer of Incense; and afterwards turn'd the Scape-Goat loofe of which we shall speak fomewhat more in its Place.


[ocr errors]

* Et gravis Autumnus Libitinæ quæftus acerbæ. Hor.
L 2


[ocr errors]



After this comes, the Feast of Tabernacles; the laft of the Three Great Festivals of the Year. This was appointed in Commemoration of God's Mercies to them, all the while they dwelt in the Wilderness, in Tents or Tabernacles. Of which Levit. the Law fpeaks thus; The fifteenth day of xxiii. 34, this seventh month fhall be the feast of Tabernacles for feven days unto the LORD. On the first day, shall be an holy convocation, ye shall do no fervile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day Shall be an holy convocation unto you, ye


hall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, it is a folemn assembly, and ye shall do no fervile work therein.

At the fame Time was likewife to be kept the Feast of the In-gathering; or a Thanksgiving for their having gather'd in the Fruits of the Earth, of all Kinds. Alfo, on the fifteenth day of the feventh month, when ye have gather'd in the fruit


« PreviousContinue »