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Levitical institutions, which were partly of a political, partly of a moral, and partly of a religious character. From these the Hebrew Christians were delivered by virtue of their faith in Christ. Law is used in the New Testament to signify that rule of our duty both to God and man, which was delivered to Moses in ten commandments, and which was summed up by our Lord in those two comprehensive precepts, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thỳ heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind :" and, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This must necessarily be a rule of duty to all intelligent creatures; and though believers in Christ are not under it, as a condition of justification and life, it will be for ever obligatory upon all men.
11. Obtain a general acquaintance with the geography of the Bible, so as to be familiar with the relative situation of the principal countries mentioned in the Scriptures.
12. Get a correct acquaintance with the Hebrew offices, and the sacred festivals.
13. The Chronology of the Bible should be well considered by the Scripture reader, by which much light will be thrown upon the various parts of the word of God. The principal epochs, or remarkable periods of time, ought to be familiar to the Christian reader: the creation of the world before Christ 4000 years : the deluge B. c. 2348 years: the calling of Abraham B. C. 1921 years: the exodus of Israel B. c. 1491 years: the dedication of Solomon's temple B. c. 1012 years: the captivity of Judah B. c. 588 years: the close of the Old Testament B. C. 400: the termination of the New Testament history A. D. 100.
14. The customs of ancient nations should be considered. Besides the peculiar religious ceremonies of the Hebrews, there were many national customs, whạch may appear singular to us, and which therefore are necessary to be known. The houses were generally built with flat roofs ; upon which the inhabitants were upon rollers.
accustomed to walk, and sometimes to sleep, and where pious persons were used to retire for prayer, Acts x. 9. The bottles mentioned in Scripture were made of the skins of animals; and their books were few and small, written upon pieces of parchment, which were folded
Other customs there is not room here to refer to.
15. Notice several peculiarities in our version of the Bible. The words printed in Italic letters, have not corresponding words in the original : they were added by the translators to complete the sense; but in some instances they make it obscure. The word LORD, when printed in capital letters, is, in the Hebrew, Jehovah, signifying that Being who is eternal and self-existent, and who gives being to others. Lord, in small letters, in the original, signifies ruler or sustainer; see both, Ps. cx. 1. The larger Bibles have many words placed in the margin, which are the more literal renderings of the original words to which they refer : those in the Old Testament are distinguished by the letters Heb., signifying that such is the correct meaning in Hebrew; and those in the New Testament by Gr., denoting that such is the literal signification in the original Greek.
CHAPTER X.-GEOGRAPHY OF THE BIBLE, PARTICU
LARLY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. The principal countries mentioned in the Old Testament, except Egypt, are situated on the western border of the Asiatic continent. In that quarter of the world, the first man was created—there dwelt the first longlived patriarchs, and the descendants of Noah, till long after the deluge—there the great monarchies of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia were founded and flourished. The ruins of stately palaces, and of other magnificent buildings, which are still to be seen throughout the countries that formed the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian, and the Grecian and Roman empires in Asia, sufficiently attest the multitude and riches of its ancient inhabitants, and corroborate the astonishing accounts transmitted to us by different ancient historians.
Paradise, or the garden of Eden, is supposed to have been situated in Armenia, near the celebrated river Euphrates. The country called Palestine, or the land of Judea; Syria, including Phænicia ; Asia Minor, now called Natolia ; Mesopotamia, now termed Diarbeck; Chaldea; Assyria, and Arabia, constitute the principal countries noticed in the Old Testament Scriptures, and are all in Asia. Egypt, which is on the north-east coast of Africa, is separated from Asia only by a narrow neck of land, called the Isthmus of Suez, and the Red Sea, now called the Arabian Gulf.
Asia is celebrated as being far superior to Africa or even Europe, both in the salubrious serenity of its air, and the rich fertility of its soil, producing the most delicious fruits, and the most fragrant and balsamic plants, gums, and spices.
The Scriptures, however, relate chiefly to the events which took place in Palestine or Canaan—where the kingdoms of Israel and Judah flourished where the temple of God was erected by king Solomon, where most of the inspired Scriptures were written—where our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished the all important work of human redemption-and where the apostles of the Saviour were supernaturally qualified to go forth among all nations, to preach the gospel of eternal salvation, bringing sinners of every tribe into the kingdom of Messiah.
Canaan was so named from Canaan, the son of Ham, the son of Noah. It lay between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of Arabia, extending from Egypt on the south to Phænicia on the north. It was bounded on the east by Arabia Deserta; on the south by Arabia Petræa, Idumea, and Egypt; on the west by the Mediterranean, called in Scripture, The Great Sea; and on the north by the mountains of Lebanon in Syria. Its length from the city of Dan, which stood at the foot of those mountains, to Beersheba, which was situated at the southern extremity of the land, is about two hundred miles; and its breadth, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the eastern border, is about ninety miles. This country is known to us by several significant names besides that of Canaan : it is called The Land of Promise, from the fact of its having been promised to Abraham and his family : Palestine, from the Philistines: Judea, from the tribe of Judah possessing its most fertile division. It is frequently called The Holy Land, from the circumstances recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially as the ministry of Christ was exercised in that country; and as there the obedience, and death, and resurrection of Christ took place for our eternal salvation.
On the completion of the work of redemption, the apostles were commissioned to “go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature ;" and the fulfilment of their ministry opens to us a new field of geography. Asia Minor, Greece, and several other parts of the Roman empire, especially the countries around the shores of the Mediterranean, might claim a particular notice in this place, did the nature of this work allow of an extension of the subject: but the reader is referred to Chapter XVII. in the second part, called, The Geograghical Gazetteer to the New Testament.
CHAPTER XI.—HEBREW OFFICES. CORRECT notions concerning the severa] Hebrew of fices, will be valuable to the Bible reader.
1. The patriarchs were the fathers who lived in the early ages of the world, and who became famous on account of their long lives, and their descendants. Adam, Seth, Enoch, &c. were eminent before the deluge: Noah and his sons after that event. Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons, are the other most celebrated patriarchs of the Old Testament; they were the founders of mighty
families. The patriarchs exercised a kind of sovereign authority in their respective households, being both priests and princes. In Job and Abraham we see excellent examples of the patriarchal government.
2. The prophets were illustrious persons, who were divinely raised up among the Israelites, to be the extraordinary ministers of the dispensations of God. They flourished in a continued succession during a period of more than a thousand years, reckoning from Moses to Malachi; all co-operating in the same designs, uniting in one spirit to deliver the same doctrines, and to predict the same blessings to mankind.
3. The priests were those persons who were set apart to offer sacrifices to God, and make intercession with him for the people. Before the call of Aaron, patriarchs, elder brothers, and princes, or every man for himself, offered sacrifice; as is evident from the history of Cain, Abel, Noah, Job, and Abraham. Among the Israelites, after their departure from Egypt, the priesthood was confined to one tribe, and it consisted of three orders -the high priests, common priest and Levites.
The high priest was the first character among the Israelites, as he was the medium of communion with God. The priesthood was hereditary in the family of Aaron, and the first-born of the oldest branch of it, if he had no legal blemish, was always the high priest. He was consecrated with solemn pomp, and officiated at the daily sacrifice in splendid robes; especially on the day of atonement, on which occasion he wore the precious breastplate, with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel engraven on gems, set in it, that he might be admonished to bear on his heart the whole community, for whom the sacred ornament was a memorial before the Lord. In his appointment to his office, and in his consecration, sacrifice, and intercession for the people, the high priest was an eminent type of Jesus Christ, Exod. xxviii. xxix. Lev. xvi. Heb. iii. v. vii. viii. ix. x.
The priests were also of the family of Aaron : they