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together at the sight of it. The question remains to be answered,
III. Why should they rejoice? It was the token of God's return once more among them. They rejoiced to think they should again have power over their enemies. It is likely they had heard what had happened at Ashdod, at Gath, at Ekron. They knew that God had again taken possession of his own ark, and they hoped he would again show himself strong on behalf of his people.
But, what have we to do with this rejoicing? We have no ark. No; neither do we want one. What we have in its stead is far better-the Bible. Here we may learn and know the mind and will of God in all things belonging to us; here we may come for advice; here be taught in the things we should do. We do well to rejoice in such a treasure:
"All that the ark did once contain Could no such joys afford."
We have even more than this. We have the promise of God's own Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, to take of the things contained in the Scriptures and show them unto us. Let us in all these things rejoice. Rejoice to-day, for this is the sabbath, when we gather around our privileges. Not only rejoice on the sabbath-day, but every day, even when employed in our out-door, harvest, or other work. Do men thus rejoice? Has it been so of late in our village? Ah! do we not too often hear, instead of such holy rejoicings, the drunkard's song and the swearer's prayer? Such things ought not to be. Let us have a care that we do not by our sins, by our neglect, provoke our God to take our Bibles from us: or he may continue to us our Bibles, yet withhold the influences of his Holy and quickening Spirit; and then we shall be as Israel was, having the ark after God himself had forsaken them; we shall then have no power over our spiritual enemies, but be liable to fall under many a hurtful lust and snare: (6 'Rejoice in God alway; and again I say, Rejoice."
TRACES AND INDICATIONS OF THE SABBATH IN THE INSTITUTIONS AND OBSERVANCES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.
By Rev. John Jordan, Vicar of Enstone, Oxon. It is ours to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Of the things so delivered, the sanctity of the sabbath is one that, in our day, needs much to be contended for. Not only is practical infidelity striving for its
desecration, and worldly gain endeavouring to steal this pearl of great price and appropriate it to itself, but even the reasoning pride of human intellect seeks to whet its ingenuity in this unrighteous cause, and pretending that the sabbath was not, as Christ affirms, "made for man," but only for the times of the Mosaic dispensation, argues that it had no previous origin or existence; and in proof of this avers that no traces of it are to be found in the earliest ages of the world, or amongst the other nations of the earth. To controvert this position, and thereby to overthrow the foundation of this false averment, is the chief object of the following pages; and we entreat our readers to observe, that the drift of the succeeding argument is to show, as shall be drawn out in the conclusion, that there is very much more evidence of this kind than is generally supposed, and quite sufficient to establish a very stroug presumption that there must have been, in the primitive ages of the world, just such an institution as Moses distinctly records the origin of.
I. The first division of our subject must be chronological, including two periods-antediluvian and postdiluvian; the former depending wholly upon sacred history, the only source of information respecting it; the latter taking a much wider range, and embracing both sacred and profane records. Within the antediluvian period we propose to include the whole primitive age of the world, from the expulsion of Adam and Eve out of Paradise until the day in which Noah came forth from the ark, and mankind, having been narrowed within the limits of that patriarch's family, commenced, as it were, a new career on the earth.
But although this period was one of considerable length, consisting of no less than 1656 years, according to the ordinary computation, the records of the era are exceedingly few and scanty. This fact will at once account, in a very great degree, for that silence respecting the observance of the sabbath which, as we have already had occasion to remark, has been attempted to be used by some as an argument to prove that the sabbath had not a primitive origin. And yet, notwithstanding this assertion, we trust to be able to exhibit some traces and indications of the observance of the sabbath, even in the scanty records of the age that we have. The first that we meet with is the expression in Gen. iv. 3, referring to the time when Cain and Abel mutually brought their offerings to the Lord. The very fact of their coming together, and that for the purpose of worship, would of itself lead to the supposition that the time must have been a stated one, and well known and recognised by both, for otherwise we cannot conceive what could have induced the jealous Cain to unite with the pious Abel in the worship of Jehovah. Had there not been a special day set apart for worship, we should rather have expected Cain to avoid that which Abel chose, from hatred and envy of him. It is, however, plainly implied that there was a certain known time at which they both together worshipped God. The expression denoting this is rendered, in the text of the Bible, "In process of time it came to pass;" but, in the margin, "At the end of days it came to pass." Now this latter is not only preferable as a construction of the original, but it directly points to that day which was "the end of days"-the last, that is,
of the seven-the seventh day, on which God ended the work that he had made, and which he had blessed and sanctified, because that in it he had rested from all his work, which God created and made. And thus we have the seventh day plainly indicated to us as that which was commonly used for the public worship of God, and was thereby hallowed and honoured in agreement with its Divine appointment.
Already, too, we find the number seven employed as a number of peculiar force and power, such as we shall have many instances of to produce hereafter. For when Cain trembled for himself because of the curse pronounced upon him, and feared that every one that found him would slay him, the Lord said to him, “Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold " Now, it might be inferred from hence that the Lord himself originated this use of the number seven; but we incline to a different opinion. It seems more agreeable to God's dealings with man, in which he delights to show his condescension to his creature, in order to win him to himself, that he should adopt and use a phrase well known to his creature, rather than originate one for the occasion; and, therefore, we infer that it had an existence and use amongst men previous to its employment by the Lord, and indicates amongst them some institution or custom, whence it must have been derived. And this view of the subject is confirmed by the manner in which Lamech, in his own case, multiplies the expression, when he says, "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold." We conclude, then, that here already there are hints, if not much more than hints, when we consider the extreme paucity of the records themselves, indicating just such an institution as the weekly or seventh-day sabbath
this. We proceed, then, to arrange the days referred to in the history accordingly.
But we have still more remarkable evidence than this to produce, connected with the period of the deluge. Of this occurrence, and of the circumstances connected with it, we have fuller and more detailed accounts than of any other event of the age. Compared with the rest of the history of this era, the account of the flood is remarkably precise, accurate, and extended. Here, then, if anywhere, we may expect to find traces and indications of the sabbath, and here, as we believe and trust to be able to prove, they will be found very clear and decisive. We will endeavour to exhibit the evidence to be gleaned from the occurrences connected with the flood in as concise and plain a manner as possible. The attentive reader of the history will observe that there are a number of days mentioned with considerable care, and we will therefore first explain and connect these in a general view. In doing this it will be our object to show respecting them, first, their several positions throughout the year, as days of the year, numbered in a continuous series from 1 to 360 for the year; and then to point out, as may be easily done, the places in the weeks which such days may severally be conceived to have occupied, upon a supposition which will then be explained. In pursuing this inquiry, there is but one particular to advise the reader of, and that is, that in these early periods the months were always reckoned as containing 80 days, and the year, consequently, as being of 360 days only; and that these records of the deluge abundantly prove
1. In Gen. vii. 4, 10, 11, will be found two days described, the one as occurring 7 days before the 17th day of the 2nd month of the 600th year of Noah's life-the other as being this 17th day itself. Now, the former of these will be found to be the 40th day of the year, and the latter the 47th-2. In Gen. xii. 17 it will be seen that the flood was 40 days upon the earth-that is, it rained 40 days and 40 nights, the last of which period would be the 87th day of the year.-3. In Gen. vii. 24, and viii. 4, it will be seen that the waters prevailed 150 days, and that on the 17th day of the 7th month the ark rested on Mount Ararat. These two days will be found to coincide, and to be the 197th day of the year.-4. In Gen. viii. 5 will be found a day described as the 1st day of the 10th month, which is the 271st day of the year.-5. In Gen. viii. 6-12 will be found four days described, the one as being 40 days after the mountains were seen, and as that on which the raven was sent out, and the other three as occurring each at intervals of seven days, and those will be the 311th, 318th, 325th, and 332nd days of the year. -6. In Gen. viii. 13 will be found a day which was the 1st of the 1st month of the 601st year of Noah's life, and which, carrying on into this year the same series of numbers commenced in the preceding, would be the 361st day.-7. In Gen viii. 14 is described the 27th day of the 2nd month, which, according to the same plan, would be the 417th day.
Having thus drawn out these various days, in such a manner as to ensure their exact relative position throughout the years, we can come the more easily to inquire if they can have any further positions assigned them, so as to determine what days of the week they were. And this we think can be done very satisfactorily upon one hypothesis. There are four days specially noted as occurring at regular intervals of seven days, and this fact alone might lead us to regard them as having something peculiar about them. They are signalized, moreover, as the days on which the raven was sent out once, and the dove three times. Being thus remarkable in every way, both as seventh days and for their events, we conceive it to be in the highest degree probable that these were the regularly recognised seventh days of each week, that is, the sabbathdays.
But this being admitted, or assumed, all the other days must range in the weeks throughout the year, according to their position in it relatively to these four, and will stand thus :-The 40th, 47th, and 271st were second days of the week; the 87th, 311th, 318th, 325th, and 332nd, were seventh days; the 197th was the fifth day; and the 361st and 417th were first days.
Now the appropriateness of these days to their several occurrences will, we think, further tend to illustrate and confirm the view we take of them. Thus, for example, the 40th was the day on which Noah entered the ark, and the 47th was that on which the flood began, and both of these were second days of the week. But since it had been on the second day of the week of creation that God had divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament, so when he reversed his decree for a time, and the windows of heaven were opened, to pour down
upon the earth the waters above the firmament, the second day was most suitable, as reminding the world that He who can make by his word can unmake by the same word, and that He who had originally ordered all things good was now pleased, in judgment, to undo his own work for a season. So again, the 271st day being that on which the tops of the mountains were seen, was appropriately a second day, as reminding Noah and his family that God would restore all things as at the first, and that the waters were being gathered once more above the firmament, and stored there to drop fatness upon the earth.
That the 87th day, being the conclusion of the forty days during which it ceased not to rain night and day, should be the seventh day, was appropriate as denoting God's resting from his work of judgment, and affording Noah and his family opportunity for praising him for his salvation to them; while the days on which the raven and the dove were sent forth seem peculiarly suitable as seventh days of holy worship, when the inhabitants of the ark were seeking to discover the mind of the Lord, and inquiring of his providence to direct them in their going forth.
That the 361st day, being that on which the ark was uncovered, and the 417th day being that on which Noah entered once more into possession of the earth, should be first days of the week, seems also appropriate, as denoting the commencement, as it were, of a new creation, since the earth came forth from the flood baptized of the moral defilements that had previously polluted it. Nor should it be forgotten that, since these were first days, those preceding them, that is, the day before uncovering the ark, and the day before their quitting it, must consequently have been sabbath-days, and so have been peculiarly adapted to such remarkable occasions as preparing for the labours of them by their religious solemnities and devotions.
We think, then, we may say, in conclusion, that, with respect to these days and incidents in the account of the flood, they greatly tend to the conviction that such an institution as the sabbath had a primitive origin; they clearly and certainly prove a division of time into weeks, and that of itself alone is a strong presumption in favour of such a conviction; and they afford unmistakeable traces and indications of that Divine appointment which Moses declares was made in Paradise itself.
II. In entering upon a review of the postdiluvian period, we are to extend our researches beyond the records of holy writ, and to seek in profane history such traces as we believe do plainly indicate the origin of such an institution as that of the sabbath. Let it be borne in mind, then, that the whole channel of primitive history, and especially of the records of the sabbatical institution, were by the deluge brought within the confines of the ark, were limited to the single family of Noah, and thence must have descended by the streams, originating in this salient fountain of humanity, to the different families, tribes, or nations amongst whom we propose to trace them. We must briefly state, without attempting to discuss the matter here, that mankind, having migrated from Mount Ararat, in Armenia, where Noah had come forth from the ark; where the ark itself rested, a monumental relic of God's mercy and justice;
and where the first altar had been erected to his honour, followed the course of the Euphrates until they reached the plain of Shinar, and there perpetrated that great act of rebellious pride, the building of Babel, "to make them a name, lest they should be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." To punish them for such a daring act of impiety and pride, God confounded their language, and all history conspires to assure us that the three families of mankind were, from that time, separated from one another, and have thenceforth continued to disperse and spread themselves over the earth. Japheth, the elder son of Noah, appears to have led the way in this dispersion, and to have been drawn towards Armenia, the resting-place of the ark, and the locality of the primitive altar. In the same direction, and probably with the same object in view, Shem pursued the same route, and, pressing upon the rear of Japheth, compelled him to cross the Caucasus, and so to enter Europe. Shem and his posterity settled around Mount Ararat, and to the westward and eastward of it, in positions that we have not space here to explain; while Japheth, having crossed the Caucasus, spread himself, according to the words of prophecy, "God shall enlarge Japheth," far and wide over the larger portion of the globe. Ham and his posterity continued still to occupy the scene of man's rebellion, until they at length separated, and, betaking themselves to Canaan, descended into Egypt, and thence dispersed themselves throughout the torrid wilds of Africa. It is evident, then, that we thus open up three distinct main channels of tradition for any such fact as the primitive institution of the sabbath being transmitted to future ages; and it is in these natural channels that we now propose to trace such indications of it as history may afford.
1. We purpose first to attempt this in the family of Shem. The Jews, to whom were committed the oracles of God, were of the race of Shem, and upon his family specially rested, in these early ages, "the blessing of the Lord his God," Gen. ix. 26. It is, therefore, but reasonable to expect that a Divine institution like the sabbath was more likely to survive and be honoured amongst these people than amongst others, and this the more because the sacred volume is the only authentic record that can be relied on of these very ancient times. In the absence of all direct evidence of sabbath observance, we yet find indications of its institution in certain well-known customs and usages. And first amongst these is to be noticed the division of time into weeks of seven days-a system suited neither to their months, which consisted of 30 days, nor to their years, which consisted of 360 days, and which could not therefore result from any subdivision of these, nor they from multiplication of seven days. Such a week is, in fact, altogether unsuited to any natural year like the solar, or to a month such as the lunar, and could not therefore have originated with them. We seek in vain, therefore, among natural phenomena for such an origin of it, while the institution of the sabbath, and the reasons of that institution taught by Moses, at once point to one which there is no disputing. Now that this mode of dividing time was well known in the ages referred to is obvious from the facts mentioned respecting Jacob, who, marrying two sisters, first fulfilled the bridal week to one and
then to the other, Gen. xxix. 21-30. That these were weeks of seven days is certain from the fact that the same Hebrew word is employed here to mean week that is everywhere else used throughout the Bible, and is further evidenced from what occurs at the bridal feast of Samson, who puts forth a riddle for a reward, "if it can be certainly declared within the seven days of the feast." Such a division, then, of time we feel justified in presenting as a traditional custom, indicative of the primitive institution of the sabbath.
Equally remarkable is the fact that, amongst the very family and people we have now been referring to, the number seven was regarded with a mystical and superstitious reverence. Seven ewe lambs did Abraham present to Abimelech in token of his forgiveness for the injury done to him regarding Beersheba. Seven times did Jacob bow before Esau in proof of his submission to him. Seven years did he serve Laban for Rachel, and seven more for Leah. Thus the number had, for some reason or other, obtained special favour in the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and what is more natural than the conclusion, that all this had its origin in that institution which commemorated the course and progress of God's great and gracious work of the creation of the world?
the giving of the law. Now this is most important, for since, as we shall have occasion to see, the circumstances plainly indicate an acquaintance with the sabbath, so is it thereby made evident, that such their acquaintance with it was previous to the giving of the law, independent, therefore, of it, and plainly indicative of an origin of the sabbath antecedent to the law of Sinai.
The institution of the ordinance of the Passover furnishes us with another example of the division of time into weeks. Seven days are the people commanded to eat unleavened bread in all their houses, and whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day to the seventh should be cut off. Now it might be pretended that this appointment was made, in anticipation of what was to be enacted at Sinai; but, besides that such a plan seems inconsistent with God's general dealing with man, it is much more agreeable, with the condescension he has always mercifully shown, to understand, that this division of time was already well known to the people; for it is spoken of as if it were, and that God therefore graciously adopted it as the period of the ordinance, because it was one with which the people were well conversant. But this being so, it is therein implied that the people had amongst them the use of this division of time, which, as we have already seen, must have had its origin in that primitive institution, which appointed the seventh day as one of holy rest.
To bring down our evidence from this source to the latest period possible, we must refer to the circumstances that occurred in the camp of Israel, immediately antecedent to the giving of the law at Sinai, and the relation of which will be found in Exodus xvi. There can be no doubt whatever that the facts here narrated took place nearly a fortnight-that is, they commenced more than a fortnight-and had all occurred more than a week, before the giving of the law at Sinai. The people came to the wilderness of Sin, where they occurred, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their coming out of Egypt, and the circumstances referred to then immediately took place. But the law was not given at Sinai until the third day of the third month after the Exodus-that is, the eighteenth day after they came to Sin. But, as the facts we are about to refer to took place during the first seven of these days, so they had all occurred at least ten days before
Let us now observe the course of events, which are as remarkable as they are instructive. The people having come to Sin, murmur for want of food, and God in mercy to them thus addresses Moses :-"Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily." Now what is the law of God here spoken of, respecting which the people were to be tried and proved? Certainly not that of Sinai, for it is yet eighteen days before the giving of the law there. That it is a law relating to the sabbath is beyond all question, for when some of the people went out upon the seventh day and found no food, the Lord said unto Moses, "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days." But, since it was manifestly a law relating to the sabbath, respecting which the people were to be proved, and since the law of Sinai had not yet been given, therefore the law referred to must have been the primitive one given in Paradise; and this is fully confirmed by the words of Moses to the people, when the rulers announced to him the fact, that on the sixth day every man had gathered twice as much as on each of the preceding five days. "This," said he, "is that which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord."
In fact, throughout the whole of this narrative there were evidently, in the mind of the writer, two facts assumed, without regard to which the account is unintelligible. The first is, that the people had some knowledge of the law by which they were to be proved, and the purport of which was now to be indicated to and revived in them, by the deposit of manna during six days, and not on the seventh; the second is, that already, and that previously to the promulgation of the law at Sinai, there existed a law of God relative to the sabbath, the observance of which the people were expected to understand and keep. And both these assumptions plainly evidence an original of the sabbath as a divine ordinance of the Lord previous to the period referred to, and must therefore point back to that when it was first commanded at the creation.
But besides the evidence which the Bible affords us, from its history of the family of Abraham and his posterity, it supplies us with similar proof from other branches of the race of Shem, and forming, therefore, channels of information, altogether independent of the house of Israel, although chronicled with theirs. Thus we find in the customs of other branches of the race just the same kind of evidence that we meet with elsewhere. The history of Job,
for example, who lived in the early times of the post-diluvian age, relates that seven bullocks and seven rams were prescribed as the peaceoffering to be rendered by him in behalf of his friends. So again, Balaam has the same mystical reverence for the number seven, and, on each occasion that he endeavours to propitiate the favour of God by a burnt-offering, he erects seven altars; and sacrifices seven bullocks and
To refer once more, before quitting this branch of our inquiry altogether, to the division of time into weeks, we may observe that it has prevailed amongst all the Shemitic nations, as well as amongst others also, as has been very forcibly stated in the following passage of Mrs. Somerville's admirable work, the "Connexion of the Physical Sciences :"-" The period of seven days, by far the most permanent division of time, and the most ancient monument of astronomical knowledge, was used in India by the Brahmins with the same denominations employed by us, and was alike found in the calendars of the Jews, Egyptians, Arabs, and Assyrians; it has survived the fall of empires, and has existed among all successive generations, a proof of their common origin." And no less a proof, it may be also added, of the primitive original of that divine institution, from which it is obvious that weeks of seven days have been derived, and of which they are an enduring sign and memorial.
2. Our second channel of information is that which is to be traced amongst the families of Japheth; but as in his race there are no records earlier than Homer, so we must be content to glean what we can from them-premising, however, that there is no probability whatever of these nations having acquired such a knowledge of the Mosaic sabbath, as that traces of it could have interwoven themselves, as we shall find, in their thoughts and habits, and consequently, we must refer those to an earlier and more primitive period, such as that in which we know from Moses, that the sabbath was first instituted. Hesiod, the celebrated Greek poet of Boeotia, who lived about nine hundred years before the coming of Christ, says, "the seventh day is holy." Homer, who flourished about the same period, and Callimachus, also a Greek poet who flourished in the reign of Ptolemy Euergetes, about seven hundred years later, speak of the seventh day as holy. Lucian, also a Greek writer, born at Samosata, who flourished about four hundred years after Callimachus, says, "the seventh day is given to the schoolboys as an holiday." Now, it is utterly improbable that such a practice as this should ever have originated amongst the Gentiles, from any acquaintance they might have had with the sabbaths of Israel; for the Jews were never so regarded by the nations, as that they would have adopted and preferred their peculiar and exclusive rites, one of the chief of which was the sabbath; but it is extremely probable that such a thing as the schoolboys' holiday would long have survived all knowledge of the circumstance that had originated it; for we have abundant proof of this amongst ourselves, where every parish almost has its annual festival, but the origin of most is altogether unknown. And yet, while the origin of the scholars' holiday was lost to them, how plainly does its continued observance point back to the period when it
commenced out of a general tradition of the sabbath.
Again, in both Greek and Latin poets, we find such frequent use of the number seven as clearly indicates a mystical use of it, similar to that we have already observed in the Scriptures themselves. The seventh day is spoken of as propitious; the warrior's shield, the most useful weapon of defence, which the apostle employs as the emblem of faith, is constantly represented as sevenfold; vast heaps of snow are said to be piled sevenfold also; and the coils of the serpent, as he lies in the act to spring, are sevenfold. Bees are said to live for seven summers; and seven bullocks and seven rams are offerings made by the heathens to their deities.
Our own immediate progenitors, the Saxons, have left us, to this day, our week of seven days, which evidently must have had its origin in the highest antiquity. They were derived from a different family of Japhetians than the Greeks or Romans were, and their mythology varies greatly from the classical, so that Southey, in his "Book of the Church," remarks, "the heathenism which they introduced bears no affinity either to that of the Britons or of the Romans." This clearly establishes them as an independent channel of information; and yet how strikingly amongst them was the legend of the sabbath preserved, which survives amongst ourselves at this day, so that we use the heathen names of the days, derived from the pagan deities of our forefathers, and therein are now enabled to trace a primitive origin of the sabbatical institution from the very earliest ages of mankind!
The Hindoos, though regarded as Asiatics from their inhabiting Asia, are not of Shemitic but of Japhetian origin, and their testimony, therefore, belongs to the channel we are at present engaged with. Their astronomy is the most ancient in the world; and what is very remarkable respecting it is, that in its earliest periods it is far more accurate than in later times, evidencing, therefore, that it was the result of observations carried on in those early periods. But throughout it their division of time has been into weeks, which we have so often had occasion to notice as indicative of the primitive institution of the sabbath. In some of their oldest and most genuine records, though consisting of fabulous relations, evidently derived from traditionary legends, we find the number seven employed by them very much in the same way that we have noticed in the Scriptures and classical writers. Some of their oldest architectural monuments are pyramidal in their structure, plainly pointing, as the reader will presently see more clearly, to a primitive origin, and of these one especially is known, as remarkable alike for its antiquity and plan. The Pagoda of Seringham is thus described by Mr. Orme in his History of the Military Transactions of Hindostan: "It is composed of seven square inclosures, one within the other, the walls of which are twenty-five feet high, and four thick," &c. The ruins of another of these temples still remain on the Coromandel coast, and give to a mountain at Mavalipuram the name of the "Seven Pagodas." Nor is it at all improbable, that, if accurate plans and drawings of these and many other remains of antiquity were within reach, we might detect in them additional traces and