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cause, as they represented the prayers of the people, so the priest, presenting them to God in the temple, prefigured Christ now in the heavenly sanctuary commending to God the prayers of the saints.
The sacred perfume, therefore, composed of various sweet spices, * was to be burnt in the inner sanctuary once every year, † and in the outer sanctuary twice every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I
The daily incense is said by the Jews ģ to have employed three priests. To the first was assigned the task of collecting into a golden vessel the ashes of the golden altar, on which the law commanded the daily incense to be offered. A second was appointed to fetch burning coals from the altar of sacrifice, to place them in a pan, and lay them on the golden altar. When those two were gone out of the temple, the third (now standing by the altar) waited till a signal given by the president standing without, and then with his hand took the incense from the censer, and laid it on the fire upon the altar : after having done this he also went out of the temple, but before his departure bowed his body towards the holy of holies with the greatest reverence in adoration of the Divine majesty ; a ceremony that is also said to have been required of all other persons about to leave that sacred edifice. While the priest was burning the incense, the people also used to offer their prayers, each standing in his place. For, as the sacred perfumes were emblematical of the devotions of the people, so that the priest in burning the incense be
* Of these the written law enumerates four kinds; 'but the Jews say, that according to a tradition of Moses at Mount Sinai, there were to be eleven kinds. Exod. xxx. 34. Maimon. Chele Mikdash, c. 2. + Levit. xvi.
Exod. xxx. 7. 8. $ Maimon, in Temidin Umos. c. 7. Misna in Tamid. c. 5. Il Luke i. 10.
fore God might be considered as presenting their prayers to him by a symbolical rite, it was proper that both services should be performed at the same time. And as it was right to mention this in passing, so it ought not to be omitted, that the sacred perfume regularly burnt every day was of the weight of one hundred denarii.* Thus the wise men thought proper to fix what had been left undetermined in the law.
But the spices with which the inner sanctuary of the temple was to be perfumed once every year, were burnt by the high priest himself on the day of atonement; when, according to the accounts of the Jews, he entered into the holy of holies, holding in his left hand a censer filled with a handful of incense, and in his right hand a pan filled with burning coals. After his entrance, having put the pan out of his hand, he laid the incense upon the coals, and the sanctuary being filled with a thick cloud, he immediately walked backwards by gentle steps towards the outer sanctuary; and as soon as he had reached it, he cominended the people to God in the following prayer : “ May it please thee, O Lord God, that if * this year be bot, it may also be rainy; that the sceptre may not depart from the family of Judah; that thy people Israel may not want food; and that the
prayers of the impious may be vain.' After this short prayer, they say that he immediately went out of the temple, to preclude all suspicion among the people of any error in the divine services ;t for that it sometimes happened, that, in consequence of a violation of the rites instituted by the command of God, the high priest died in the temple; which the Jews call death by the hand of God.
► Maimon, in Temidin Umos, c. 3.
+ Luke i. 21.
XII. Here it is unnecessary to remark, that whatever meat offerings and incense were consecrated by the Hebrews to the Creator of all things, similar offerings used to be made by other nations to their fictitious deities. There was this difference; that while the most particular selection was prescribed to the Hebrews in these things, the heathens in their oblations used no selection at all. Green herbs, flowers, and leaves ; garlic, onions, and poppy; apples, nuts, and acorns : almost all kinds of fruits, with honey, milk, and water, were they in habit of offering to their deities. * It was also customary with the Hebrews, in celebrating the feast of tabernacles, to pour out a drink offering of water ; but this was not commanded in the law.
* Porphyr. de Abstin. L. ii. &. 5, 6,7, &c. Saubert. de Sacrif. c. 24, 25.
CHAPTER IX. The Selection of Victims practised among the Jews.
SO great was the rage for sacrificing among heathen nations, and so little the selection of victims in some countries, that scarcely any species of animals can be named, however base or savage, that was not somewhere offered in sacrifice.* But the practice of the Israelites was very different.
Among them it was provided by the divine law, that no species of animals should be used for sacrifices, except such as were chosen from bullocks, goats, sheep, turtle doves, or pigeons. These were species the most distinguished for gentleness; they most abounded in Canaan, and were principally in use for common food : and besides, it was a received opinion among some nations at least, that some of these animals were proper objects of religious worship, but that they could not be slain without incurring the greatest guilt. Whoever will consider these things, may easily discover the reason why all those species of animals which have been mentioned, and no others, were permitted to be used for sacrifices by the people admitted into the holy covenant. To this purpose are the following passages from Philo.t 'Of the animals used ' for sacrifices, some are inhabitants of the earth, and others of the air. Passing by numerous species of birds, God hath chosen two out of them all ; because of those which are naturally mild and gregarious the pigeon is the mildest; and the turtle dove • is the mildest of those which are naturally solitary : and of animals, passing by unnamed species, which
+ De Animal, ad Sacrif, adhibitis
* Saubert, de Sacrif, c. 24.
' it would not be easy to enumerate, he has given the ' exclusive preference to three, bullocks and sheep ' and goats, for they are the most gentle and tract
able.' And a little after, speaking of bullocks, sheep, and goats, he says : 'Moreover, of all ani‘mals these are the most useful for the purposes of ' human life: the sheep to furnish cloathing, the ‘most necessary covering of the body; bullocks to
plough the land, and make preparation for sowing 'the seed, and to thresh the grain in order to con
vert it into food : and the hair and skins of goats, woven and sewn together, have been formed into ' tents for travellers, and especially for soldiers, ' whom necessity frequently obliges to live in the
Maimonides* likewise observes, that some nations were so deeply sunk in the most shameful ignorance, that they considered some of the animals which have been mentioned as deserving of divine homage; and deemed putting them to death the worst of crimes. Wherefore, in order that this blind superstition might at length be entirely abolished, it was appointed by the sovereign counsel of God, that the slaughter of those very animals, which it was supposed could never be slain without great sin, should be an atonement for sins. ' The law, according to the explica*tion of Onkelos, teaches that the Egyptians worshipped the constellation of Aries or the Ram, and on 'that account enacted, that no one should sacrifice a sheep, and held shepherds in the greatest abhor
Hence the language of Moses; “ We shall * sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians.” Moreover some sects of the Zabii worshipped demons,
Moreh Nevoch. P. iii. c. 46.