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S E C T XXIV.
Sacred Donations not abolish’d.
One Thing more is to be observ'd fin relation to these sacred Gifts, whether appointed by the Law, or becoming due from Vows, or given out of mere Free-Will; that they did not take their Rise from the Mofaical Institution originally, nor fhould be suppos'd to be abolish'd with the ceremonial Rites thereof. The Use of them was allow'd, and confirm'd by that temporal Covenant; and they were taken in to make a Part of it: and when that, and the Obligation thence arising ceas'd, they stood just as they did before.
Making Donations, either 'by Vow or Free-Will, of that which was to provide for and adorn the Worship of God, to raise an Awe and Admiration of it, in the Minds of Men, and thereby promote the Growth of Piety and Virtue, was either apparent by the Lighc of Nature or à very
old and early Revelation. We find Gen. xiv. Tythes were paid, in the Days of Abra
bam. And Jacob says; This stone, which I xxviii.22.
have fet for a pillar shall be God's house; and of all that thou shall give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee. And * those who have read much inform us, thac ic has been a Custom, time out of Mind, for Kings and Generals of Armies, among Heachen Nations, when they had subdued their Enemies, and taken the Spoil, to · consecrate the tenth Parc thereof to the
Service of their Gods.
S E C T: XXV:
FASTING and HUMILIATION.
The last holy Rite we have to inquire into; is their manner of Fasting and Hua miliation. Upon such Occasions, they afficted and mortified themselves òarious Ways; by abstaining from all the Pleasures and Comforts of sensual Enjoyment: They put on Sackcloch, strew'd themfelves over with + Alhes, threw their Bodies upon the Ground, and wept and mourn'd severely. The Days of their
* Grotius, De jure Belli & Pacis. † Whence our Ashwednesday,
keeping them, were either public and stated, or private and arbitrary. The public, were either such as the Law, had pointed, or the common Exigence of the Nation occasionally requir'd; which were sometimes, seven Days; sometimes, three; sometimes, only till the Evening of the Same Day. If they were private, they continued, according to the Will of those that undertook them.
There was but one ordinary legal Fafts and that was, 'Ibe Day of general Atonement ; kept, every Year, upon the Tenth of September. Of extraordinary Fasts, appointed by Authority, of the civil Magistrate, we have several Instances. When the Children of Moab, and the Children of Ammon were coming against Fehofhaphat
King of Judah, to Battle; we are, cold, , 2 Chron. He feared, and fet himself to seek the LORD; and proclaimed a fast throughout all
. Judah, Jer.
Again; It came to pass in the fifth year of xxxvi. 9. Jehoiakin the fon of Josiah king of Judah,
in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD, to all the people in Jerusalem; and to all the people that came from the Cities of Judah to Jerusalem.
Alfo," upon their Return from the Captivity, Ezra says; Then" I proclaimed a fast Ezra. viii. there, at the river Ahava, that we might affli&t our felves before our God; to seek of bim, a right way, for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
As to the Manner of their keeping these Fafts, we have likewise several Instances. ; When the rest of the Tribes were incens'd against that of
in for their inhuman i and inhospitable Behaviour, and had met with ill Success in their Endeavours to
correct them for it; Then all the children Judg.xx. į of Israel, and all the people, went
and came unto the boufe of God, and wept, and fate there before the Lord, and fasted that day until even. Samuel fays, Gather all Israel to Miz
peh, and I will pray for you unto the Lord. . And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and "drew water, and poured it out before the
LÒRD, and fasted on that day, and faid
vii. 6, 5.
2 Mac. their cloaths. Again ; They befought the
merciful LORD, with weeping, and fafting, and lying flat upon the ground, three days long
As to private Fafting, we have some mention of it, in the fame Place where the Vows of Daughters and married Wo
men are qualified; of the Wife, it is said; Numb. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflixt XXX. 13. the soul, her husband may establish it, and ber husband may make it void.
make it void. The valiant Men, which burnt the Bodies of Saul and
of his Sons, fafted seven days. And after, 2 Sam. 1. they (David and the men of Israel) mourn'd
and wept and fasted until even, for Saul and for Jonathan bis fon.
So, when the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very fick ; David befought God for the child, and fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And, a little after, he says, while the child was yet alive I fafted and wept. And when Ahab King of Israel
heard the Judgment of God denounc'd a1 Kings gainst him by the Prophet Elijah, be rent xxi. 27. bis cloaths, and put fackcloth upon his flesh,
and fasted, and lay in Jackcloth, and went Softly.
2 Sam. xü. 16.