By R. C.
Printed for Richard Cotes. 1642.
The Chapters of the following
THat it was a Custome among the Jewes and Heathens, to Feast upon things Sacrificed; and that the Custome of the Christians, in Partaking of the Body and Bloud of Christ, once Sacrificed upon the Crosse, in The Lords Supper, is Analogicall hereunto. Page 3.
An Objection taken from the Passeover, Answered, Proved, that The Passeover was a True Sacrifice, and The Paschall-Feast, a Feast upon a Sacrifice. From Scripture, and Jewish Authors. pag. 16.
An Answer to some Objections against the Passeovers being a Sacrifice. And the Controversie about the Day, upon which the Jewes kept the Passeover, about the time of Our Saviours death, Discussed. Proved against Scaliger and others of that Opinion, that no Translations of Feasts, from one Feria to another, were then in use. pag. 33.
Demonstrated, that the Lords Supper in the Christian Church, in reference to the True Sacrifice of Christ, is a Parallel to the Feasts upon Sacrifices, both in the Jewish Religion, and Heathenish Superstition. pag. 52.
The Result of the former Discourse. That the Lords Supper is not a Sacrifice, but a Feast upon a Sacrifice. pag. 54.
The further Improvement of that Generall Notion. How The Lords Supper is a Federall Rite betweene God and us, at large. Concluded with a memorable Story out of Maymonides and Nachmanides. pag. 56.
ALL great Errours have ever been intermingled with some Truth. And indeed, if Falshood should appeare alone unto the world in her owne true Shape and native Deformity, she would be so blacke and horrid, that no man would looke upon her; and therefore she hath alwayes had an Art to wrap her selfe up in a Garment of Light, by which meanes she passes freely disguised and undiscerned. This was elegantly signified in the Fable thus; Truth at first presented her selfe to the world, and went about to seeke entertainment, but when she found none, being of a Generous nature, that loves not to obtrude <2> trude her selfe upon unworthy spirits, she resolved to leave earth, and take her flight for Heaven, but as she was going up, she chanced, Eliah-like, to let her Mantle fall, and Falshood waiting by for such an opportunity, snatch'd it up presently, and ever since goes about disguised in Truths attire.
Pure Falshood is pure Non-Entity, and could not subsist alone by it self, wherfore it alway twines up together about some Truth Παραφυάδος εἰκὸς, as Athenagoras the Christian Philosopher speakes, like an Ivy that growes upon some Wall, twining her selfe into it with wanton and flattering embraces, till it have at length destroyed and pul'd downe that which held it up. There is alway some Truth which gives Being to every Errour: Est quædam Veritatis Anima, quæ Corpus omnium Errorum agitat & informat: There is ever some Soule of Truth, which doth secretly Spirit and Enliven the dead and unweildy Lump of all Errours, without which it could not move or stirre.
Though somtimes it would require a very curious Artist, in the midst of all Errours Deformities, to descry the defaced lineaments of that Truth which first it did resemble: as Plutarch spake sometime of those Ægyptian Fables of Isis and Osiris, that they had ἀμυδράς πνας ἐμφάσεις της ὰληθείας, certaine weake apparences and glimmerings of Truth, but so as that they needed δεινοῦ ἰχνηλατοῦ, some notable Diviner to discover them.
And this I thinke is the case of that Grand Errour of the Papists, concerning the Lords Supper being a Sacrifice: which perhaps at first did rise by Degeneration from a Primitive Truth, whereof the <3> very Obliquity of this Errour yet may beare some dark and obscure intimation. Which wil best appear when we have first discovered the True Notion of the Lords Supper, whence we shall be able at once to convince the Errour of this Popish Tenet, and withall to give a just account of the first Rise of it:
Veritas Index sui & obliqui.
THe Right Notion of that Christian Feast called The Lords Supper, in which we eate and drinke the Body and Bloud of Christ, that was once offered up in Sacrifice to God for us; is to be derived (if I mistake not) from Analogy to that ancient Rite amongst the Jewes of Feasting upon things Sacrificed, and eating of those things which they had offered up to God.
For the better conceiving whereof, we must first consider a little, how many kinds of Jewish Sacrifices there were, and the Nature of them. Which although they are very well divided, according to the received opinion, into foure, עולה, חטאת, אשם, שלמים: The Burnt-offering, the Sinne-offering, the Trespasse-offering, and the Peace-offering. Yet perhaps I may make a more Notionall Division of them, for our use, into these three species.
First, such as were wholly offered up to God, and burnt upon the Altar, which were the Holocausts, or Burnt-offerings.
Secondly, such wherein besides something offered <4> red up to God upon the Altar, the Priests had also a part to eate of. And these are subdivided into the Sinne-offerings, and the Trespasse-offerings.
Thirdly, such, as in which, besides Something offered up to God, and a Portion bestowed on the Priests, The Owners themselves had a share likewise: and these were called שלמים, or Peace-offerings, which contained in them, as the Jewish Doctors speak, חלק לשם חלק לכהן וחלק לבעל, a Portion for God, and the Priests, and the Owners also; and thence they use to give the Etymon of the Hebrew word Shelamim כי זה הזבח שלום ביניהם, Because these Sacrifices brought Peace to the Altar, the Priests, and the Owners, in that every one of these had a share in them.
Now for the first of these, although (perhaps to signifie some speciall Mystery concerning Christ) they were themselves wholly offered up to God, and burnt upon the Altar; yet they had ever Peace-offerings regularly annexed to them when they were not קרבנות ציבור, Offerings for the whole Congregation, but for any particular persons, that so the Owners might at the same time when they offered up to God, feast also upon the Sacrifices.
And for the second, although the Owners themselves did not eate of them, the reason whereof was, because they were not perfectly reconciled to God, being for the present in a state of guilt, which they made atonement for in these Sacrifices, yet they did it by the Priests who were their Mediators unto God, and as their Proxies, did eate of the Sacrifices for them.
But in the Peace-offerings, because such as brought them had no uncleannesse upon them, (Levit. 7. 20.) and so were perfectly reconciled to God, and in covenant with him; therefore they were in their owne persons to eate of those Sacrifices, which they had offered unto God, as a Federall Rite betweene God and them, which we shall explaine at large hereafter.
So then, the Eating of the Sacrifices, was a due and proper appendix unto all Sacrifices, one way or other, and either by the Priests, or themselves, when the person that offered was capable thereof. Wherfore we shall find in the Scripture, that Eating of the Sacrifices, is brought in continually as a Rite belonging to Sacrifice in generall. Which we will now shew in divers instances. Exod. 34. 15. God commands the Jewes, that when they came into the Land of Canaan, they should destroy the Altars, and Images, and all the Monuments of Idolatry among those Heathens, giving the reason thus. Lest thou make a Covenant with the Inhabitants of the Land, and they goe a whoring after their Gods, and doe Sacrifice unto their Gods, and one call thee, and thou EATE of their Sacrifice: Which indeed afterward came thus to passe, Numb. 25. 2. They called the people to the Sacrifice of their Gods, and the people did EATE, and bow downe to their Gods; or as it is cited in Psal. 106. they joyned themselves unto Baal-peor, and ATE the Sacrifice of the dead. When Jethro, Mose's Father in Law came to him, Exod. 18. 12. He tooke a Burnt-offering and Sacrifices for God, and Aaron came, and all the Elders of Israel TO EATE BREAD be <6> fore the Lord; by Sacrifices there, are meant Peace-offerings, as Aben-Ezra, and the Targum, well expound it, which we said before were regularly joyned with Burnt-offerings: So Exod. 31. When the Israelites worshipped the golden Calfe, the Text saith that Aaron built an Altar before it, and made a Proclamation, saying, To morrow is a FEAST unto the Lord, (see how the Altar and the Feast were a kinne to one another) And they rose up early in the morning, and brought Burnt-offerings and offered Peace-offerings, and the people SATE DOWNE TO EATE AND DRINKE. Which passage Saint Paul makes use of, being about to dehort the Corinthians from eating things sacrificed to Idols, 1 Cor. 10. Neither be you Idolaters as some of them were, as it is written, The People SATE DOWNE TO EATE AND DRINKE: for this was no common Eating, but the Eating of those Sacrifices which had beene offered up to the golden Calfe.
The first of Sam. 1. It is said of Elkanah, that he went up out of his City yearely to worship, and to Sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts in Shiloh: and when the time was come that he offered; he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her Sons and Daughters PORTIONS, and unto Hannah he gave a double PORTION: that is, Portions to eate, of those Sacrifices that had been offered up to God, as R. David Kimchy notes. And in the eight Chapter of the same booke, when Saul was seeking Samuel, going towards the City, he met some maidens, that told him, Samuel was come to the City, for there was a Sacrifice for the people that day in the High-place: As soone (say they) as you come into <7> the City you shall finde him before he goe up to the High-place TO EATE, for the people will not EATE untill he come, because he doth blesse the Sacrifice: Where though the word Bamah properly signifie a High-place, or place of Sacrifice, whence the Greek word βῶμος is thought to be derived. Yet it is here rendred by the Targum, as often elsewhere, בית אסחדותא Domus Accubitus, A house of feasting, because feasting and sacrificing were such generall Concomitants of one another. So againe in the 16. Chap. Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint David: I am come (saith he) to sacrifice to the Lord, sanctifie your selves, and come with me to the Sacrifice; but when he understood that Jesse's youngest sonne was absent, he saith to Jesse, Send and fetch him, for we will not SIT DOWNE untill he come. So I understand that of the Sichemites, according to the judgement of the Jewish Doctors, Judg. 9. They went into the house of their God, and did EATE and DRINKE, and cursed Abimelech; that is, they went into the house of their God to Sacrifice, and did eate and drinke of the Sacrifice: which perhaps was the reason of the name by which they called their God, whom they thus worshipped, BERITH, which signifies a Covenant, because they worshiped him by this Federall Rite of eating of his Sacrifices, of which more hereafter. Thus likewise the Hebrew Scholiasts expound that in the 16. Chapter of the same Booke Verse 23. concerning the Philistims when they had put out Sampsons eyes. They met together to offer a great Sacrifice unto Dagon their God, and To Reioyce, that is, in Feasting upon the Sacrifices.
Hence it is that the Idolatry of the Jewes in worshipping other Gods, is so often described synecdochically under the Notion of Feasting. Isa. 56. 7. Upon a lofty and high mountaine hast thou SET THY BED, and thither wentest thou up to offer Sacrifice; for in those ancient times they were not wont to sit at feasts, but lie downe on beds or couches. Ezek. 23. You sent for men from farre, Sabeans from the Wildernesse, (i. e. Idolatrous Priests from Arabia) and loe they came, for whom thou didst wash thy selfe, and satest upon a stately BED, with a TABLE prepared before thee. Amos 2. verse 8. They laid themselves downe upon clothes laid to pledge by every Altar: i. e. laid themselves downe to eate of the Sacrifice that was offered on the Altar. And in Ezek. 18. 11. Eating upon the Mountaines seemes to be put for Sacrificing upon the Mountaines, because it was a constant appendix to it. He that hath not done any of these things, but hath even EATEN upon the Mountaines, בטורוא פלח טעותא: i. e. Hath worshipped Idols upon the Mountaines, so the Targum renders it. Lastly, Saint Paul makes Eating of the Sacrifice a generall Appendix of the Altar, Heb. 12. We have an Altar, whereof they have no right To Eate that serve the Tabernacle. I will observe this one thing more, because it is not commonly understood, that all the while the Jewes were in the Wildernesse, they were to Eate no meate at all at their private Tables, but that whereof they had first sacrificed to God at the Tabernacle. For this is clearely the meaning of that place, Levit. 17. verse 4, 5. Whatsoever man there be in the house of Israel that kil <9> leth a Lamb, or a Goat, or an Oxe, within the Camp, or without the Camp, and bringeth it not to the door of the Tabernacle, to offer an offering to the Lord, bloud shall be imputed to him. And so Nachmanides there glosses according to the mind of the Ancient Rabbines, הנה מתחלה מה צוה שדם שכל שהם אוכלים שלמים i. e. Behold God commanded at first that all which the Israelites did Eate should be Peace-offerings. Which command was afterward dispensed with, when they came into the land, and their dwellings were become remote from the Tabernacle, so that they could not come up every day to sacrifice; Deut. 12. 20, 21. If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen, be too farre from thee, then thou shalt kill of the Heard and of the Flock, and thou shalt eate within thy gates whatsoever thy soule lusteth after. Onely now there were instead thereof, three constant and set times appointed in the yeare, in which every male was to come up and See God at his Tabernacle, and eate and drinke before him: and the Sacrifice that was then offered, was wont to be called by them עולת ראייה A Sacrifice of Seeing.
Thus I have sufficiently declared the Jewish Rite of joyning Feasting with Sacrificing: and it will not be now amisse, if we adde as a Mantissa to that discourse something of the custome of the Heathens also in the like kinde, the rather because we may make some use of it afterward. And it was so generall amongst them in their idolatrous Sacrifices, that Isaak Abravanel, a learned Jew, observed it, in Pirush Hattorah, בימים קדמונים כל מישהוא עושה עבודת אלילים מיד היה עושה עליה מכרה <10> Diebus antiquis quisquis Idolis sacrificabat, statim convivium instruebat de sacrificiis: and the Originall of it amongst them was so ancient, that it is ascribed by their owne Authors to Prometheus, as Salmasius in his Solino-Pliniane Exercitations notes. Hunc Sacrificii morem à Prometheo originem duxisse volunt, quo partem hostiæ in ignem conjicere soliti sunt, partem ad suum victum abuti. Which Prometheus, although according to Eusebius his Chronicon, and our ordinary Chronologers, his time would fall near about the 3028. year of the Julian Period, which was long after Noah. Yet it is certaine that he lived farre sooner, neare about Noahs time, in that he is made to be the sonne of Japhet, which was Noahs sonne, from whom the Europæans descended, (Gen. 10. 5.) called therefore by the Poet Japeti Genus. For there is no great heed to be given to the Chronology of Humane writers concerning this age of the world, which Censorinus from Varro cals Μυθικόν. Although I rather subscribe to the judgement of the learned Vossius, that this Prometheus was no other then Noah himselfe, the Father of Japhet, and not his sonne; because the other things doe so well agree to him, & we may easily allow the Heathens such a mistake as that is, in a matter of so remote antiquity: and then if this be true, the whole world received this Rite of Feasting upon Sacrifice, at first, together with that of Sacrifice, at the same time. Instances of this custome are so frequent and obvious in Heathen Authors, that Homer alone were able to furnish us sufficiently.
In the α of the Iliads, he brings in a description of <11> a Hecatomb-Sacrifice, which Agamemnon prepared for Apollo by his Priest Chryse, and a Feast that followed immediatly after it: In β the same Agamemnon offers up an Oxe to Jupiter, and inviteth divers of the Grecian Captaines to partake of it: In the γ of the Odyssees, Nestor makes a magnificent Sacrifice to Neptune of eighty two Bullocks, with a Feast upon it, on the shoare: In θ, Alcinous offers up a Bullock unto Jupiter, and then immediatly followes, —Δαίνυντ' ἐακύδεα δαῖτα Τερπόμενοι—
Plato in his second De Legibus, acknowledges these Feasts under the name of Εὁρταί μετὰ θεῖον, Feasts after Divine worship offered up to the Gods. Among the Latins, that of Lycus in Plautus his Pœnulus belongs to this purpose, Convivas volo Reperire vobis commodos qui unà sient, Interibi attulerint exta.
And that of Gelasimus in Stichus, Jamne exta cocta sunt? quot agnis fecerat?
After this manner he in Virgils Eclogs invites his Friend. Cum faciam vitula pro frugibus, ipse venito.
And thus Evander entertaines ÆNEAS in the eighth Ænead, Tum lecti juvenes certatim, araeque Sacerdos, Viscera a tosta ferunt taurorum—
Plutarch somewhere observes it as a strange and uncouth Rite, in the worship of the Goddesse Hecate, that they which offered Sacrifice unto her did not partake of it. And the same Author reports of Cataline and his Conspiratours, Οτι καταδύσαντες ἄνθρωπον ἕγεύσαντο τῶν σαρκῶν, that sacrificing a man, they did all eate samewhat of the flesh, using this Religious Rite as a Bond to confirme them together in their Treachery. But Strabo tels us of a strange kind of worship used by the Persians in their Sacrifices, where no part of the flesh was offered up to the Gods, but all eaten up by those that brought it, and their Guests, they supposing in the meane while, that whilst they did eate of the Flesh, their God which they worshipped, had the Soule of the Sacrifice that was killed in honour to him. The Authors owne words are these in his fifteenth Booke, Μερίσαντος δε τοῦ Μάγου τὰ κρέα τοῦ ὑφηγουμὲνου τὸν ἱερουργίαν, ἀπιᾶσι διελόμενοι. τοῖς θεσῖς οὐδὲν ἀπονείμαντες μέρος. Τῆς γαρ ΨΥΧΗΣ φασι τοῦ ἱερέιου δεῖσθαι τὸν θεὸν, ἂλλου δὲ οὐδενός. Ομως δὲ τοῦ ἐπίπλου τι μικρὸν τιθέασιν, ὡς λέγουσί τινες, ἐπὶ τὸ πῦρ.— Suâ quisque acceptâ abeunt, nullâ parte diis relatâ, dicunt enim Deum nihil velle præter hostiæ Animam: quidam tamen (ut fertur) omenti partem igni imponunt.
From this Custome of the Heathens of Feasting upon Sacrifices, arose that Famous Controversie among the Christians in the Primitive Times, sometime disputed in the New Testament, Whether it were lawfull ΕΣΘΙΕΙΝ ΕΙΔΩΛΟΘΥΤΑ, To eate things sacrificed to Idols.
These Gentile Feasts upon the Sacrifices, were <13> usually kept in the Temple where the Sacrifice was offered; as may be gathered from that passage of Herodotus in Clio, where speaking of Cleobus and Bithene, and what hapned to them after that prayer which their Mother put up to the Gods for them, ὡς ἐθυσαν (saith he) καὶ ἐυωχήθησαν κατακοιμηθέντες ἐν ἀυτῷ τῷ ιἑρῷ, &c. As soone as they had sacrificed and feasted, lying downe to sleepe in the same Temple, they dyed there, and never rose more. But it is very apparent from that of Saint Paul, 1 Cor. 8. If any man see thee which hast knowledge, sit at meate, ἐν εἰδολειῳ, that is, not as Erasmus translates it, In Epulo simulacrorum, but as Beza, and from him our Interpreters, In the Idols Temple; for so both the Syriack Metaphrast expounds it ܒܝܬ ܦܬܟܪܐ, and the Arabick في بيت الاوثان In the house of Idols.
If any thing were left when these Feasts were ended, they were wont to carry Portions of them home to their Friends; So that learned Scholiast upon Aristophanes in Plutus tels us, οἱ γὰρ ἐκ θύσίας ἰόντες, ἔφερον εξ ἀυτῆς τας θυσίας τοῖς οἰκείοις κατὰ νόμον τινὰ. Whence Petite in that excellent Collection of Attick Lawes, inserted this for one, viz. That they that goe home from a Sacrifice should carry part of it to their friends. And that Greeke Comedian himselfe alludeth there to it, in these words: —Τοῦτο δὲ τὸ κρεάδιον Τῶν ἔνδοσθέν τις ἐισερεγκάτω λαβών.
Theocritus in his Bucoliastes, doth expresse it fully: —Καὶ τὺ δὲ θύους Ταῖς νύμφαις, Μόρσωνι καλὸν κρέας αὐτίκα πίμψον.
And Plautus in Miles, —Sacrificant? Dant inde partem majorem mihi quam sibi.
These Portions which they carried home, were called commonly by the Greekes μερίδες, and in the Umbrian Language, as Festus tels us, Strobula. Theophrastus in his Characters uses the word τόμοι in this sense Καὶ θυόντας καὶ ἀναλίσκοντας ἥκων Τόμον ἀπαιίσων.ι. ad sacrificantes & epula concelebrantes accedit, ut inde Portionem auferat.
And because they thought they did receive some blessing from the Gods with it, therefore it was sometime called υγίεια, as we finde in Hesychius upon that word. ὑγίεια, ἄλφιτα ὄινῳ καὶ ἐλάιῳ πεφυραμένα, καὶ πᾶν τὸ ἐκ θεοῦ φερόμενον, εἴτε μύρον, εἴτε θάλλος ἡ ὑγίεια.
But otherwise if there were any thing yet remaining, it belonged to the Priests, as we learne from that Scholiast, which we have already commended, upon Vespæ; νόμος ἦν, τὰ ὑπολειπόμενα τας θυσίας τοὺς ἱερέας λαμβάνειν. i. e. It was an ancient Law among the Athenians, that the Priests should have the remainder. Which is not onely to be understood of the skinne and such like parts, but of the flesh of the Sacrifice it selfe, as we learne from Saint Austine in his exposition upon Rom. 2. who tels us also that these reliques were sometimes sold for them in the Market, whence that speech of Paul, 1 Corin. 10. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, Eate, asking no question for conscience sake.
I will shut up all, with this one observation more, that as we said of the Jewes, that in the Wildernesse <15> they did eate no meate, but of that which they had first sacrificed: In like manner the Heathens were wont to Sacrifice before all their Feasts: Whence it is that Athenæus observes, Feasts among the ancient Heathens were ever accounted Sacred and Religious things. And thus we must understand that speech of Paul in the 27. verse of the forenamed Chapter. If any one that beleeves not, invite you, and you be disposed to goe, whatsoever is set before you, eate, asking no question for conscience sake. Nay, it was accounted a prophane thing amongst them, to eate any meate at their private tables, whereof they had not first Sacrificed to the Gods, as appeareth by that Greeke Proverb, ἄθυτα ἐσθίειν, used by Anacreon, and others, as a Brand of a notorious wicked man, viz. one that would eate meate whereof hee had not sacrificed.
Now having thus shewne, that both amongst the Jewes under the Law, and the Gentiles in their Pagan worship, (for Paganisme is nothing but Judaisme degenerate) it was ever a Solemne Rite, to joyne Feasting with Sacrificing, and to EATE of those things which had beene offered up; The very Concinnity and Harmony of the thing it selfe, leads me to conceive, that that Christian Feast under the Gospel, called THE LORDS SUPPER, is the very same thing, and bears the same Notion, in respect of the true Christian Sacrifice of Christ upon the Crosse, that those did to the Jewish and Heathenish Sacrifices: and so is EPULUM SACRIFICIALE, a Sacrificiall Feast, I meane, a Feast upon Sacrifice; or EPULUM EX OBLATIS, A Feast upon things offered up to God. Onely this difference ari <16> sing in the Parallel, that because those Legall Sacrifices were but Types and Shadowes of the true Christian Sacrifice, they were often repeated and renewed, as well as the Feasts which were made upon them: But now the True Christian Sacrifice being come, and offered up once for all, never to be repeated; we have therefore no more Typicall Sacrifices left amongst us, but onely the Feasts upon the True Sacrifice still Symbolically continued, and often repeated, in reference to that ONE GREAT SACRIFICE, which is alwayes as present in Gods sight, and efficacious, as if it were but now offered up for us.
 BUT me thinkes I heare it objected to me, that the true Notion of the Lords Supper is to be derived rather from the Passeover among the Jewes: It being the common opinion of Divines, that the Jewes had but two Sacraments, viz. Circumcision and the Passeover, that answer to those two amongst us, Baptisme, and The Lords Supper: But the Jewish Passeover had no relation to a Sacrifice, being nothing else but a meere FEAST, and therefore from Analogy to the Jewish Rites, we cannot make the Lords Supper, to be EPULUM SACRIFICIALE, a Feast upon Sacrifice.
To which I answer, First, That I know not what warrant there is for that Divinity so magiste <17> rially imposed upon us by some, that the Jewes had but two Sacraments, Circumcision and the Passeover, and that it should thence follow by inevitable consequence, that the Lords Supper must ἀντιστχῶν, answer only to the Iewish Passeover; Sure I am, the Jewes had many more, for not to instance in that of Paul, Our Fathers were all BAPTIZED unto Moses in the Cloud, and in the Sea, like our Christian Baptisme; And did all EATE the same Spirituall Meate, (viz. The Manna) and did all DRINKE the same Spirituall drinke, (viz. The Water of the Rock that followed them) like the Bread and Wine in the Christian Lords Supper: Nor to Examine all the other Sacramentall Ceremonies which they had, that were almost as many Sacraments as Ceremonies; These Feasts upon the Sacrifices, which we have all this while insisted on, were nothing else but true and proper Sacraments joyned with Sacrifices.
But secondly, I will grant that the Jewish Passeover, hath a speciall resemblance to the Christian LORDS SUPPER, although upon other grounds; For I say undoubtedly, the Passeover was a true and proper Sacrifice, and therefore the Pascall-Feast, a Feast upon a Sacrifice; So that this shall still advance and improve our former Notion.
For the better conceiving whereof, we must understand, that besides those foure Generall kinds of Sacrifices among the Jewes before mentioned, The Burnt-offering, The Sin-offering, The Trespasse-offering, and the Peace-offfering; there were some other Peculiar kind of Sacrifices, as the Masters tell us, viz. these three, בכורים ומעשר ופסח The Firstlings of Cattle, and <18> the Tenth, and the Passeover; And the reason why these in the Distribution of Sacrifices, are thus distinguished by them from all the other Generall kind of Sacrifices, is thus given by the famous Maymonides upon the Misna of the Talmud, in Massecheth Zebachim, the sixth Chap. לפי שאותן הארבע פעמים רבות יתחייב היחיד בכל אחד מהם לפי שנוי הענוינים והציבור חייבים בהם בומנים אינם כן: Because those foure fourenamed, were such kind of Sacrifices as that a private person was often bound to each of them in severall cases, and the whole Congregation in severall seasons, but these three were not of that nature, being peculiarly restrained to some one case or season. Now, these three kind of Peculiar Sacrifices, were in their nature, all neerest of kinne to the Peace-offerings, and are therefore called by the Jewish Doctors, דומים לשלמים like to Peace-offerings, because they were not onely killed in the same place, being all קודשים קלים Light Holy things, and had the אימורים or inward parts thereof to be burnt likewise upon the Altar; but also in that part of them was to be eaten by the Owners. In so much that the Talmudists put many cases, in which a Lamb that was set apart for a Passeover, and could not be offered in that Notion, was to be turned into a Peace-offering, as that which was neere of kinne to it.
But yet these Masters tell us, there were three precise differences betweene the Pascah, and the ordinary Peace-offering: בסמיכה ונסכים וחנופת רזה ושוק. First, in that there was no laying on of hands upon the Passeover in the killing of it, for this was no where commanded as in all the Peace-offerings; Se <19> condly, that there was no Mincah, or Meat-offering, nor Libamen, or Drink-offering to be joyned with it, (for so they use to include both in the word Nesachim) Thirdly, that there was no waving of the Brest & Shoulder for the Priests Portion; the reason wherof was, because the Priests were bound alwayes to have Passeover-offerings of their owne, as it is expressed, Ezra 6. and so needed not any Wave-offering.
But that the Passeovers were in other respects, of the same nature with the Peace-offerings, and therefore true and proper Sacrifices; because it is a thing generally not so well understood, and therefore opposed by divers, I shall labour the more fully to convince it. I say, That the Passeovers were alwayes brought to the Tabernacle or the Temple, and there presented and offered up to God by the Priest, as all Sacrifices were: That the bloud of them was there sprinkled upon the Altar, of which the Hebrew Doctors well observe, עקר הזבח בחויית הדם the very Essence of a Sacrifice, is in the sprinkling of the bloud: and also that the Imurim (as they call them) that is, the Fat and Kidnies were burnt upon the Altar; All this I shall endeavour to demonstrate.
Onely first I must premise this, that when I say the Passeover was brought to the Tabernacle, and offered by the Priests, I doe not meane that the Priests were alwayes bound to kill the Passeovers: For I grant that the people were wont to kill their owne Passeovers, and so I find it expressely, in the Misna of the Talmud. Massech. Zebach. Cap. 5. §. 6. <20> שהט ישראל וקבל הכוחן, All Israel killed the Passeover, and the Priests received the bloud: Which Talmudicall Expression alludes to that place, Exod. 12. 6. The whole assembly of the Congregation of Israel shall kill it in the Evening: Where this seemes to be commanded by God. And the Practice consonant hereunto, I finde intimated at least, in Scripture, in Hezekiahs Passeover, 2 Chron. 30. 17. There were many in the Congregation that were not sanctified, therefore the Levites had the charge of killing the Passeover for every one that was not cleane to sanctifie it unto the Lord: Where R. Solomon writeth thus: אל תתמה למה לא שחטו בעלים עצמם: Wonder not why the Owners themselves did not kill them, for it followeth that many in the Congregation had not sanctified themselves, therefore the Levites were appointed in their place to sanctifie the Worke unto the Lord. And R. D. Kimchy to the same purpose: Though many of them did eate the Passeover in uncleannesse, it being a case of necessity, in that they had no time to purifie themselves, yet for them to come into the Court and kill the Passeovers, this was not needfull, when it might be done as well by the Levites. And therefore the same is to be thought likewise of the Priests and Levites killing the Passeover, Ezr. 6. because the people returning newly from Captivity, were not yet purified, as it is there also partly intimated.
But this doth not at all hinder our proceeding, or evince the Passeover not to be a Sacrifice; For it is a great Mistake in most of our learned Writers, to thinke that the killing of every Sacrifice was proper to the Priest, whereas indeed there was no such <21> matter, but as we have already granted that the people commonly killed their owne Passeovers, so we will affirme, that they did the same concerning any of the other Sacrifices. Levit. 1. 4, 5. It is said concerning the Burnt-offering: If any man bring a Burnt-offering to the Lord, he shall lay his hand upon the head of the Burnt-offering, AND HE SHALL KILL the Bullock before the Lord, and the Priests Aarons sonnes shall take the bloud: So concerning the Peace-offerings, Chap. 3. HE shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and KILL it at the doore of the Tabernacle of the Congregation: And concerning the Sinne-offering, Chap. 4. 24. HE shall lay his hand on the head of the beast, and KILL it at the place, where they kill the Burnt-offering before the Lord. We see then what incompetent Judges our owne Authors are, in Jewish Customes and Antiquities. The Jewish Doctors and Antiquaries, (which are so much contemned by some of our Magisteriall Dictators in all Learning) would have taught us here another Lesson. For thus Maimonides, in Biath Hammik. speaks to this point, שחיטת קודשים כשרה בורים אפילו קודשי קודשים בין קודשי יחיד בין קנדשי ציבור שנאי ושחט את בן הבקר that is, The killing of the Holy things may lawfully be done by strangers, yea of the most holy things, whether they be the Holy things of a private person, or of the whole Congregation: as it is said, (Levit. 1.) And He shall kill the Bullock; & the Priests Aarons sons shal take the bloud. The same is avouched againe afterward by the same Author in Maaseh Korban. Chap. 5. But if any one would therefore faine know what were properly the <22> Priests actions about the Sacrifice, which might not be done lawfully by any stranger; the same Jewish Authours have a Trite Rule amongst them concerning it: מקבלח ואילך מצות כחוכה, The Receiving of the blood and the other parts that were to be offered up, and all that followeth after that, belongeth to the Priests office. And Isaak Abrabanel will teach us more particularly, in his Comment on Leviticus, that there were five things to be done by the Owners of the Sacrifice that brought it, and Five, things by the Priest that offered it; the first Five, were Laying on of hands, Killing, Flaying, Cutting up, and Washing of the inwards; the other Five were, the Receiving of the blood in a Vessell, the Sprinkling of it upon the Altar, the Putting of fire upon the Altar, the Ordering of the wood upon the fire, and the Ordering of the pieces upon the wood. Hence it is, that upon the forequoted place of the Misna, which I brought to shew, that the People did kill the Passeovers, Rabbi Obadiah of Bartenora thus glosseth, שחט ישראל אם ירצח שהשחיטה כשרה בורים בכל הקרבנות. i. e. The people of Israel might all kill the Passeovers themselves, if they pleased, because the KILLING OF ANY SACRIFICE might be done lawfully by strangers, but the Priests Received the blood.
Now I come to prove what I have undertaken. And first, That the Passeover was alwayes brought to the Tabernacle or the Temple, and there offered unto God as the other Sacrifices were, is cleare enough, from Deut. 16. Thou shalt not Sacrifice the Passeover within any of the gates which the Lord thy <23> God giveth thee, but at the place which the Lord thy God chuseth to place his Name there, there thou shalt sacrifice: And that this is to be understood, not of Jerusalem in generall, but of the Tabernacle or Temple, appeares, both because the same expressions are used of the other Sacrifices, Deut. 12. ver. 5, 6. 11. 14, Where it is clearely meant that they were to be brought to the Temple: And because it is certaine that every thing that was killed amongst the Jewes, was either to be killed at the doore of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, or else might be killed indifferently in any part of the whole Land. Let us now see how the Jewish Doctors Comment upon this place, men better skilled in these Rites then our owne Authours are. R. Moses BEN MAIMON, in Halachah Pesach, Cap. 1. אין שוחטין את הפסח &c. They kill not the Passeover but in the Court, as the rest of the Holy things, yea in the time when High-places were permitted, they sacrificed not the Passeover in a private High-place, for it is said (Deut. 16.) Thou mayst not sacrifice the Passeover in any of thy gates: We have learnt, that this is a Prohibition to kill the Passeover in any private High-place, although it be in a time when High-places are permitted. From which excellent glosse of theirs, it appeareth that there was more precisenesse to be observed in bringing of the Passeover to the place where Gods name was put, and offering of it at the Tabernacle, or the Temple, then of any of the other Sacrifices. And this was the reason as was before intimated out of KIMCHI, why in Hezekiahs Passeover the Levites had the charge of killing: because the <24> Passeovers were to be killed in the Court of the Temple, whither the people being uncleane could not enter; for otherwise if it had beene done without the Court, they might as well have killed their owne Passeovers as have eaten them. And this may be further confirmed, in that the Passeover is called a Korban: Numb. 9. 7. When certaine men were defiled by a dead body, that they could not keepe the Passeover, They came to Moses and said: Wherefore are we kept backe that we may not OFFER an OFFERING of the Lord in his appointed season: And againe, ver. 13. If any one be cleane and forbeareth to keepe the Passeover, even that Soule shall be cut off, because he brought not an OFFERING (or a KORBAN) to the Lord in his appointed season. Nothing was called an OFFERING, or a KORBAN, but that which was brought and offered up to God at the Tabernacle or Temple, where his Name was put.
That the Blood of the Passeovers was to be Sprinkled by the Priest, and the Fat to be burnt upon the Altar, although this must needs follow from the former, yet I prove it more particularly, thus, Exod. 23. 18. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my Sacrifice with leavened Bread; Neither shall the Fat of my Feast remaine untill the morning: For by the generall consent of the Jewish Scholiasts, and all those Christian interpreters that I have seene, this place is to be understood onely of the Passeover; and therefore Onkelos that famous Chalday Paraphrast for דמ זבחי the blood of my Sacrifice, made no question but to read it דמ פסחי the Blood <25> of my Passeover. But it appeares undoubtedly, from a Parallell Place in the 34. Chap. of the same Booke, ver. 23. 25, 26. Where those 17, 18, and 19. verses of the 23. Chap. are againe repeated; Thrice in the years shall all your men-children appeare before the Lord.—Thou shalt not offer the blood of my Sacrifice with leaven, neither shall the Sacrifice of the Feast of the Passeover be left unto the morning: The first of the first fruites of thy land, thou shalt bring into the House of the Lord thy God: Thou shalt not seeth a Kid in its Mothers Milke. Here, what was wanting in the former, is supplyed. Neither shall the Sacrifice of the Feast of the PASSEOVER be left unto the morning. And I have set downe the whole Context with it, because it will be needfull for the better clearing of it, to consider its coherence with other verses, which is the very same in both Chapters; and Isaak Abrabanel hath set it downe excellently in this manner. First therefore, saith he, when God had spoken of the Jewes appearing thrice before him every yeare, viz. at The Feast of the Passeover or of Unleavened bread, The Feast of Weekes or Pentecost, The Feast of Tabernacles or In-gathering, כיון שהגיד שלשת החננים החם נתן בכל אחד מהם משפט מיוחד. i. e. When he had spoken of these three Feasts, he subjoynes immediately some Rule Concerning every one of them in particular: First, for the Passeover in those words, Thou shalt not offer the blood of my Sacrifice with leaven, neither shall the Sacrifice of the Feast of the Passeover be left untill the morning: Secondly, for the Feast of Pentecost, in those, The first of the first fruites of <26> the Land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God. Thirdly, for the Feast of Tabernacles, or Ingathering, Thou shalt not seeth a Kid in his mothers Milke; which words, for want of this Light of the Context, were never yet sufficiently explained by any of our Interpreters. And the thread of this Coherence alone, led Abrabanel very neare the true meaning of them, ere he was aware: חיותר נראה בזה שהיה ממעשח עבדי עבודת אלילים בזמן קבוציהם לעשות כן רייל לבשל הגדיים בחלב בזמן אסיפת התבואות לחשבם שבזה יתרצו לאלחיהם. i. e. It seemes most probable, that this command was occasioned from a custome amongst the Idolatrous Heathens, that at the time of their gathering in of fruites, they were wont to boyle a Kid in the Dammes milke, thinking that by this meanes, they were made acceptable to their gods, and did procure a blessing by it. To confirme which Glosse, he tels us of a custome somewhat like to this, used in his time in some parts of Spaine. But because Abrabanel doth not tel his tale so handsomely as he should, I will helpe him out a little from an ancient Karraite, whose Comment I have seene upon the Pentateuch, MSS. (For the Monuments of these Karraite Jewes were never yet Printed, and are very rarely seene in these European Parts) And it is thus. It was a custome of the ancient Heathens, when they had gathered in all their fruites, to take a Kid and boyle it in the Dammes Milke, and then דוך כשפה in a Magicall way, to goe about and besprinkle with it, all their Trees, and Fields, and Gardens, and Orchards: thinking by this meanes they should make them fructifie, and bring forth fruite againe, more abundantly the fol <27> lowing yeare. Wherefore God forbad his people the Jewes at the time of their Ingathering to use any such superstitious or Idolatrous Rite. And I produce this the rather, because Abrabanel, toward the end of his Comment on this place, mentions a glosse of some KARRAITISH Authour upon it, although it be altogether unlike to this which we have here related. וחכמי הקראים כתבו בטעם לא תבשל גדי שלא תתערב הפרח עם חעקרים, Scribunt Sapientes KARRÆORUM, Ne coquas hœdum in lacte matris suæ: Hoc est, Ne commisceatur Germen cum Radicibus. But to returne; As from the coherence of the whole Context thus cleared, it is manifest that this verse in both places, is to be understood onely of the Passeover: so it may be further confirmed from the Talmudists, who ever expound it in this sense, as appeares by the Misna in Zebachin, Chapter the 6. השוחט את חפסח על החמצ עובר בלא תעשח, He that killeth the Passeover with leaven, sinneth against a Negative Command, (which is more amongst the Jewes, then to sinne against a Positive) viz. That in these places already quoted, Thou shalt not offer the blood of my Sacrifice with leaven: From whence they Collected, as Maymonides tels us, that they were to put away Leaven the foureteenth day, a day before the killing of the Passeover. Nay, this place cannot possibly be understood in any other sense, as of Sacrifices in generall, because Leaven was sometimes commanded with Sacrifices, as Levit. 7. 13.
But that the Blood of the Passeovers was sprink <28> led, may be demonstrated further, not onely from that of Hezekiahs Passeover, 2 Chron. 30. 16. The Priests sprinkled the blood, which they received from the hand of the Levites: For there were many in the Congregation that were not sanctified, therefore the Levites had the charge of killing the Passeovers: but also from Josiahs, chap. 35. ver. 11. which can no waies be evaded: They, that is, The Levites, killed the Passeover, and the Priests Sprinkled the Blood from their Hands, and the Levites Flayed them. Now the Sprinkling of the Blood is the Essence of a Sacrifice, as before we noted from the Jewish Doctors. And therefore the Passeover must needes be a Sacrifice, ὅσπερ ἒιδει δεῖξαι.
For a Confirmation of all this, I will describe punctually the whole manner of the PASCHAL SACRIFICE, from the Misna of the Jewish Talmud, a Monument of such antiquity as cannot be distrusted in these Rites. Nothing (say they) was killed before the morning Sacrifice, and after the Evening Sacrifice, nothing but the Passeover: The Evening Sacrifice was usually killed betweene the eighth and ninth houre; that is, halfe an houre after two in the afternoone, and offered betweene the ninth and tenth, that is, halfe an houre after three: But in the Evening of the Passeover, the daily Sacrifice was killed an houre sooner, and after that, began the killing of the Passeover, which was to be done betweene the two Evenings, whereof the first began at Noone from the Sunnes declination toward the West, the Second at Sunne-set: yet the Pascha might be killed before the Daily Sa <29> crifice, if there were but one to stirre the blood, and keepe it from coagulating, till the blood of the Daily Sacrifice were Sprinkled, for that was alwayes to be sprinkled first: The Passeovers were alwayes killed by three severall Companies: When the Court was once full, they shut the doores, and the Priests stood all in their rankes with round vessels in their hands to receive the blood, those that were of Gold in a ranke by themselves, and those that were of silver, all without bottomes, lest they should be set somewhere on the ground, and the blood congeale in them. And they killed the Passeovers, as the Peace-offerings, in any part of the Court, because they were קודשים קלים The lesse holy things, as the קודשי קנדשים, The Holy of Holies, were alwayes to be killed at the Northside of the Altar. The Priests then tooke the blood, and gave it from one to another, till it came to him that stood next the Altar, and he sprinkled it all at once toward the Bottome of the Altar: which was a Square of 32. Cubits, save that the South-East Horne had no bottome. After the blood was sprinkled, the Lambe was flayed, and cut up, the Imurim, or inwards taken out and laid upon the Altar, then the Owner tooke up the Lambe with the Skinne of it, and carryed it to his owne home. The First company having ended, then the Second came in, and afterward the Third; and for every Company they beganne anew the HALLEL, and sang all the while the Passeovers were killing; but it was never knowne that they had sung out the HALLEL quite, or came any further then אהבתי <30> before the Priests had done.
But because, besides these Talmudisticke Jewes, there is another Sect of KARRAITES, mentioned before, (that reject all Talmudicall Traditions which are not grounded upon Scripture) though little knowne amongst us, yet famous in the Orient: I will produce one Testimony of theirs also, from an ancient Manuscript, that so it may appeare we have the full consent of all Jewish Antiquity for this Opinion. The Authors name to me is uncertaine, because the Papers have lost both their beginning and end. But they containe in them, divers large and compleate Discourses upon severall Arguments in the Karraite way, as about the Jewish yeare, The Sabbath, The Passeover, &c. Concerning the Passeover, he divides his Discourse into severall Chapters, whereof the Title of one is this: במקום הקרבת הפסח ואכילתו, Concerning the Place where the Passeouer was to be Offered and Eaten: Where he thus beginnes. דע שהקרבת הפסח חואבמקום המובחר ככתוב לא תוכל לזבוח את חפסח באחד שעריך ומקום שחיטתו בעורה ושפיכת דמו אל יסוד המזבח ואימיריו היו נקטרים במזבח i. e. Know, that the Offering of the Passeover was alwayes in the place which God had chosen, (to put his Name there) as it is Written, Thou shalt not sacrifice the Passeover within any of thy gates, and the place of the killing of the Passeover was in the Court called HESRA, and the blood of it was powred out toward the bottome of the Altar, and the Imurim, or inward parts of it were burnt upon the Altar, &c.
Hence it was that when Cestius once demanded what the number of the Jewes was that resorted to Jerusalem at the time of their solemne Feasts, The Priests made answer, and told him exactly, how many Lambs and Kids were sacrificed at the Passeover, ἐικοσίπεντε μυριάδες προς δὲ πεντακισχίλια ἑξακόσια, twenty five Myriads, five thousand and sixe hundred; Which they could not have done, had not they sacrific'd them at the Temple.
But what need have we of any more dispute? when the Passeover was first kept in Ægypt, were not the Paschall-Lambs there killed in a Sacrificiall and Expiatory way, When the bloud thereof was to be sprinkled upon the houses, for God to looke upon, and so passe over them? It is true, they were killed in every private house, but the reason of that was, because there were then Priests in every Family, viz. The First-borne, which were afterward redeemed when the children of Israel gave up the whole Tribe of Levi to God for his service. Such Priests as these were those whom Moses sent to sacrifice, Exod. 24. 4. called there young men. Moses sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered Burnt-offerings and sacrificed Peace-offerings to the Lord; Where Onkelos the Chaldee Paraphrast reads it שלח את בכוריא He, sent the First-borne: to which agreeth the Arabick Translation of R. Saadiah, and the Persian of Tawasius as Master Selden notes, whom I cannot without honour mention, as the Glory of our Nation for Orientall Learning.
And was not the killing of the Passeover a speciall Type of the death of Christ, the true Sacrifice <32> of the world? Give me leave to note one thing to this purpose, upon the credit of Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Trypho: That in the ancient Hebrew Copies of the Bible, there was in the Booke of Ezra a speech of his which hee made before the Passeover, Expounding the Mystery thereof concerning Christ, which because it favoured the Christians, was timely expunged by the Jewes. The speech was this; Καὶ εἶπεν Εσδρας τῷ λαῷ. Τοῦτο τὸ πασχα ὁ Σωτὴρ ἡμῶν και ἡ καταφυγὴ ἡμῶν, καὶ ἐαν διανοηθῆτε, και ἀναβῇ ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τὴν καρδίαν, ὅτι μέλιμον αὐτὸν τασπειρον εν σημὲίῳς καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐλπίσὤμεν ἐπ' αὐτὸν, οὐ μὴ ἐρημωθῇ ὁ τόπος οὗτος εἰς τον ἃπαντα χρόνον, Λέγει ὁ θεὸς τῶν δραμεων. Εἀν δὲ μὴ πιστέυσητε μυτῷ, μηδὲ εἰσάκούσητε τοῦ κηρύγματος αὐτοῦ, ἔσεθε επίχαρμα τοῖς ἓθνεσι, i. e. Et dixit Esdras populo, Hoc Pascha Salvator noster & Perfugium nostrum. Et si in animum induxeritis & in Cor vestrum ascenderit, quòd humiliaturi eum simus in signo, & posteà speraturi in eum, non desolabitur locus iste in omne tempus, Dicit Deus exercituum. Sin in eum non credideritis, neque audieritis annunciationem ejus, deridiculum eritis gentibus. Remarkable it is, if it be true; and the Author deserves the better credit in it, because he was Samaritane, and therefore might be the better skilled in Jewish Writings. But however, I am sure the Apostle tels us, not onely that the Passeover was a Type of Christ in respect of his death, but also that the Proper Notion of the Paschall-Feast, was, to be a Feast upon Sacrifice, in those words, 1 Cor. 5. 7. Christ our Passeover is Sacrificed for us, Therefore let us keepe the Feast: (that is, The Paschall-Feast upon this sacrificed Christ) with the Unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth. <33> Where alluding to that common Jewish Custome of Feasting upon Sacrifices, of which we have before spoken; he implies that the Paschall Supper was a Feast of the same nature, A Sacrificiall Feast.
BUT yet we will not dissemble, what there is of any moment either in Antiquity or Reason, against our owne opinion, ere we let this discourse passe: But subject all to an impartiall view.
And first, the Authority of Philo, who in his third Booke, De Vitâ Mosis, speakes thus concerning the Passeover: ἐν ᾖ οὐχ ὁι μὲν ἰδιῶται προσάγουσι τῷ βαμῳ τὰ ἱερεῖα, ἀλλὰ νόμου προστάξοι σύμπαν τὸ ἕθνος ἰερᾶται, τῶν κατὰ μέρος ἑκὰστου τὰς ὑπερ ἀυτῶν θυσίας, ἃνάγοντος τότε καὶ χοιρουργοῦντος. Ο μὲν οὖν ἀλλὸς ἅπας λεὼς ἐγεγήθει καὶ φαῖδρος ἦν ἑκάστου νομίζοντος ἱερωσύνη τετιμῆσθαι. i. e. In quâ non ut aliâs plebeii homines victimas adducunt ad altare mactandas, à sacerdotibus, sed jubente lege, tota gens sacrificat, dum pro se quisque mactat hostiam suis manibus. Tunc universus populus exultabat, unoquoque existimante, se Sacerdotii dignitate honoratum. And againe in his Booke De Decalogo, Εν ᾗ θύουσι πανδημεὶ αυτῶν ἕκαστος, τοὺς ἱερεῖς ἀυτων οὐκ ἀναμένοντες, ἱερνουνην τοῦ νομού χαρισαμενου τῷ ἐθνει παντὶ, μίαν ἡμέραν ἐξαίρετον ἀνοὶ πᾶν ἔτος, εἰς ἀυτουργίαν θυσιῶν. Quando populariter singuli sacrificant non expectatis sacerdotibus, ipsi permissu legis fungentes Sacerdotio, quotannis per unum diem destinatum huic negotio. But to this we answer; That Philo doth not here deny the Passeover to be a Sacrifice, but con <34> firme it rather, in that he cals it often here and elsewhere θυσία, and saith that they did ἀνάγειν, bring it to the Altar; and that the people did ἱερασθαι, Sacrifice it; and doth only distinguish this Paschall-Sacrifice from all the other Sacrifices, in this, that here according to his opinion, every one of the people was ἱεωσύνῃ τετιμημένος, honoured with the Priestly-office, and that the Law did ἱερωσύνην παντὶ τῷ ἔθνει χαρίζεσθαι, make every one a Priest for that time to offer up their owne Passeover: But moreover, it is well knowne, that Philo though he were a Jew by Nation, yet was very ignorant of Jewish customes, having beene borne and bred up at Alexandria: and we have a Specimen of his mistakes here, in that he seemes to make this difference betweene the Passeover and the other Sacrifices, that they were onely killed by the Priest, but the people themselves killed their owne Passeovers νόμου πριστάξει, & νομου χαρισμένου, according to the Law; where he meanes doubtlesse, that in Exod 12. 6. The whole Assembly of the Congregation of Israel shall kill it; For this is that Solenne delirium of our late Authors also, which we have chastized before. But if he meane moreover, that the people did not onely kill their Passeovers, but doe all other Priestly offices concerning them; when hee saies they were ἱερωσυνῃ τετιμημένοι, this, as it hath no ground from Scripture, and I thinke will hardly find a Patron now to defend it, so it doth not prejudice our opinion of the Passeovers being a Sacrifice, but still much confirme it.
Secondly, it may seeme to some, a kind of impossibility <35> to conceive, How so many Sacrifices as there must be at every Passeover, could all be offered upon one Altar, since there was no more by the Law permitted. To which neverthelesse I need not answer any thing but this, that there was nothing but the Fat, and some of the Inwards, burnt upon the Altar, and that the Bignesse of the Altar was greater then perhaps is ordinarily conceived; for under the second Temple, the Area thereof upon the Top, was a Square of twenty eight Cubits, as the Talmudists constantly relate, to which Josephus also agreeth very neere, if the difference of those Cubits which he useth be allowed. Onely, they may please to learne from the Instance of Josias Passeover, which was said to be so great, that there was no Passeover like to that kept in Israel from the daies of Samuel the Prophet unto that time; that this was possible to be done: For it either is, or must be confessed, that then they were all offered upon the Altar.
But lastly, we must confesse ingenuously, that there is one Great Difficulty yet behind, concerning our Saviours last Passeover, which according to the Generall Consent of our best Divines, Criticks, and Chronologers, was kept a Day before the Jewes kept their Passeover: Whether therefore his Paschall-Lamb which he with his Apostles did then Eate, were first Sacrificed at the Temple, and How that could be?
Where not to engage our selves any more then needs we must, in that nice & perplexed, but Famous Controversie, concerning the time of the Jewish Passe <36> over about our Saviours death. It will not be amisse, first to take notice, that the Latin Church ever maintained the contrary opinion against the Greeks, viz. that the Jewes kept the Passeover on the same night which our Saviour did: and though it be true that of later times, most of our Best-Learned Authors have quitted that opinion of the Latins, and closed altogether with the Greeks, as Paulus Burgensis, Munster, Scaliger, and Casaubon, yet notwithstanding, our Country-man Master Broughton, understanding perhaps better then they did, that the Jewish Passeover was a true and proper Sacrifice, & first, according to Gods command, was to be offered up to God, before Feasted on; he espied a difficulty here concerning our Saviours Passeover, (which they tooke no notice of) that could not easily be solved; and therefore he thought good Scindere nodum, as Alexander did, to cut the knot, which he could not loose, and absolutely to deny that the Jewish Passeover and our Saviours were then celebrated on two severall Nights. And he is of late seconded by Johannes Cloppenburg a Belgick Divine, [in a learned Epistle written upon this Argument to Ludovicus De Dieu] insisting upon the very same ground, because the Paschall-Lamb, which Christ with his Disciples did eate, could not have beene sacrificed at the Temple, unlesse it had beene, at the same time when the Jewish Passeover was solemnly celebrated. His words to this purpose expressing: fully Master Broughtons sense, are these. Non potuit mactars Agnus Paschalis extra Templum Hierosolymitanum: In templo mactari non potuit citra genera <37> lem populi consensum; Quarè neque Dies mactationis potuit anticipari: It followes, Vel ergo dicendum Christum comedisse agnum mactatum in Templo, atque hoc facto (quod absit) Legem violasse; juxta legem enim agnus privatim Comedendas, è Templo deferendus domi erat in ædes privatus, post igne absumptum in Templo adipem, & sanguinem delatum ad altare.
But I must confesse, although I am as much addicted to that Hypothesis, of the Passeovers being a Sacrifice, and as tender of it, as Master Broughton could be, or any body else; yet I cannot but yeeld my selfe captive to Truth, on which side soever it present it selfe, and though it be εἰς ναθαίρεσιν τοῦς ἐδιων (as Aristotle saith a Philosopher should do) to the destruction of our own Phænomena. And indeed those two Places especially, brought out of Saint Johns Gospel, to prove that the Jewes kept their Passeover, the day after our Saviour did his, seeme to me to be unanswerable, nor any way cured by those σοφὰ φάρμακα, which are applied to them. The first is Chap. 19. ver. 14. where, the next day after Christ had kept his Passeover with his Disciples, when Pilate delivered him up to the Jewes to be crucified, it is said, that it was then, Παρασκευὴ τοῦ Πάσχα, The Preparation of the Passeover, where they tell us, that by The Preparation of the Passeover; is meant, The Preparation of the Sabbath on which the Second day of the Feast of the Passeover fell. But En Jecur Criticum! as Scaliger sometimes cries out: and what a farre-fetcht conceit is this? The second is that in Chap. 18. vers. 28. when Jesus was led into Pilates Judgement-Hall, early in the morning, it is said, <38> that the Jewes themselves went not into the Judgement-Hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eate the Passeover. Here we are told, that by Eating of the Passeover, is meant the eating of the Chagigah, that was killed the day before with the Passeover, whereof something perhaps remained till the day following. And this glosse is little better then the former: for although they appeale to that place in Deut. 16. 2. to prove that the Chagigah was sometimes called by the name of Passeover; which indeed if our English Translation were authenticke, would make something for them; Thou shalt therefore Sacrifice the Passeover unto the Lord thy God, of the flocke, and the Heard, as if there had beene a Passeover of Oxen, as well as Sheepe. Yet in the Hebrew the words runne thus, וזבחת פסח ליחוה אלחיך צאן ובקר which according to a severall Punctation, and a severall supplying of something that must be understood, may be expounded severall wayes; any of which is farre better, then that which our English Translators unhappily pitcht upon. Onkelos in his Paraphrase (which seldome merits that name, being indeed commonly nothing but a Rigid Version) reads it thus: ותכוס פסחא קדם יהוה אלהיך מן בני ענא ונכסת קדשיא מן תורי i. e. And thou shalt sacrifice the Passeover before the Lord thy God, of the sonnes of the Flock, and the Peace-offerings (thereof) of Oxen: which interpretation is followed by R. Solomon, and Aben-Ezra, צאן לחיוב חפסח ובקר לשלמים, i. e. Sheepe for the Passeover, and Oxen for the Peace-offerings, or the Chagigah. And it may be confirmed from that of Hezekiahs Passeover, 2 Chron. <39> 35. v. 7. Josiah gave to the people, of the Flocke, Lambs, and Kids, all for the Passeover-offerings to the number of thirty thousand; and three thousand Bullocks: where the Bullocks or the Heard, are divided from the Passeover-offerings, because they served for the Peace-offerings, or the Chagigah, as appeareth from v. 13. They roasted the Passeovers with fire according to the ordinance, but the OTHER HOLY OFFERINGS (that is, the Peace-offerings or Chagigah) sod they in Pots, and Cauldrons, and Pans. Nachmanides hath another interpretation of it, to this purpose, יצוה בפסח וחוא חשה שחוכיר כבר וצאן ובקר אלים ועזים דבבי בקר לחוג חגיגה, i. e. He commandeth here the Passeover, which was a Lambe as he had said before, (making the Pause there) and צאן ובקר, The Flock and the Heard, or the Sheepe and the Kids, and the young Bullocks, for the Chagigah. Giving other instances in which the Conjunctive Particle Vau, which he doth here supply, is in like manner to be understood. And this Exposition is rather approved then the former, not onely by Abrabanel, but also by the Karraite, which I have so often commended, who quoting one R. Aaron for the Author of it, doth expresse it thus, ויהיה מאמר וזבחת מושך עצמו ואחר עמו וזבחת פסח ליהוה אלחיך וזבחת צאן ובקר כמו ולא למדתי חכמה ודעת קדושים אדע, i. e. The word וזבחת (thou shalt Sacrifice) is to be repeated, ἀτὸ κοινοῦ, before, THE FLOCK AND THE HEARD, thus, And thou shalt Sacrifice the Passeover to the Lord thy God, and thou shalt Sacrifice Sheepe and Oxen, or the Flock and the Heard; as in like manner, Prov. 30. 3. the Particle לא non, is to be repeated <40> ἀτὸ κοινοῦ, From the former verse. So that it cannot hence be proved that the Peace-offerings offered with the Passeover, were ever called by the name of Passeover.
There is another place in the same Evangelist, that hath not beene observed by any one to this purpose, which if it were rightly understood, would be as cleare a Testimony as any of the rest. And it is in the 19. Chapter, v. 31. ἦν δὲ μεγάλη ἡ ἠμέρα ἐκείνου τοῦ Σαββάτου, For that Sabbath day was a great Day. Μεγάλη ἡμέρα, in the Greeke of the Hellenists, is used for the first or the last day of every solemne Feast, in which there was a Holy Convocation to the Lord. This appeareth from Esay 1. 13. Your Newmoones, and Sabbaths, the Calling of Assemblies (which was the first and last day of the Feast) I cannot away with. Which the Septuagint renders thus, Τὰς Νουμηνίας ὑμῶν καὶ τὰ Σάββατα, καὶ τὰς μεγάλας ἡμέρας, Your Newmoones and Sabbaths, and your GREAT DAYES. For the last day of the Feast, we have it used by our Evangelist, Chap. 7. ver. 37. In the last Day, the GREAT DAY of the Feast, ἡμὲρα τῇ μεγάλη τῆς ἑορτῆς. And doubtlesse by the same Evangelist, for the First day of the Feast, in this place: and therefore the Jewes did not Eate their Passeover, till the night before, which was the same night that our Saviour was crucifyed.
Which may be strengthened further by this Argument. That if the Jewes had celebrated their Passeover the same night which our Saviour did his, it is certaine they would never have gone about immediately, with swords and staves to have ap <41> prehended him, and then have brought him to the High-Priests Hall, and afterward have arraigned him, at Pilates Judgement seate, and lastly have crucified him, all the same day. For the First day of unleavened Bread, was by the Law an Holy Convocation to the Lord, on which it was not lawfull to doe any worke: And we know the Jewes were rigid enough in observing these Legall Ceremonies.
If then it must be granted that our Saviour with his Disciples kept the Passeover the night before the vulgar Jewes did celebrate it, Our next Worke is, to shew how it might be probable, that our Saviours Passeover was first Sacrificed at the Temple.
And here perhaps I might runne for shelter to that story in Suidas upon the Word Γησοῦς, that Christ was enrolled into the number of the two and twenty Legall Priests that served at the Altar; from the pretended Confession of an ancient Jew in Justinians time; and then he might possibly Sacrifice his owne Passeover at the Temple, though the Jewes had not solemnized theirs till the day after. But that I hold this to be a meere Fable, and that not onely ridiculous, but impious.
Or, I might take up the opinion of the Greekes, that Christ did not keepe a true Legall Passeover, but a Feast of Unleavened Bread in Imitation of it. Or as the learned Hugo Grotius, who hath lately asserted this opinion, expresseth it, not Πάσχα δύαιμον, but Μνημονευτικὸν, such as the Jewes at this day keepe, <42> because the Temple being downe, their Sacrifices are all ceased. But this opinion hath beene exploded by most of our late Authours, and indeed I can no way satisfie my selfe in it, and therefore will not acquiesce in this answer.
But before we be able to give a true account of this Quære, We must search a little deeper into the true ground of this difference betweene our Saviours Passeover and the Jewes.
The common opinion is, that the Jewes in our Saviours time were wont to translate their Festivals from one Feria to another upon severall occasions, as when ever two Festivals were immediately to follow one another, to joyne them into one, and therefore when any fell upon the sixth Feria, to put it over to the next Feria, or the Sabbath, to avoyd the concurrence of two Sabbaths together: in the same manner as the Jewes use to do in their Calendar at this day, where they have severall Rules to this purpose, expressed by Abbreviatures thus, Adu Badu, Gahaz, Zabad, Agu. Whereof each Letter is a Numerall for some Feria; The Rule for the Passeover is בדו Badu: that is, that it should not be kept on the Second, Fourth, or Sixth Feria. (There is an Extract of a Rabbinicall Decree to this purpose under the name of R. Eliezer: in Munster upon Matth. cap. 26.) And therefore at this time when our Saviour was crucified, the Passeover falling upon the sixth Feria, or Friday; was (say they) by the Jews translated, according to this Rule, to the next Feria, and kept on Saturday, or the Sabbath; but our Saviour not regarding these Traditions, observed that <43> day precisely which was commanded in the Law, ἐν ᾖ ἔδει θύεσθες τὸ πάσχα Luk. 22. 7. that is, as they expound it, Upon which the Passeover OUGHT to have beene killed, which was Friday, the day before.
But, under favour, I conceive that all these Decrees, together with that Ratiocinium or Calendar, to which they doe belong, were not then in use in our Saviours time, although it be so confidently averred by the incomparable Joseph Scaliger, but long since invented by the Jewes. Which I shall make appeare, First, in that the ancient Jewes, about, and since our Saviours time, often solemnized as well the Passeovers, as the other Feasts upon the Feria's next before, and after the Sabbaths, and those other Feria's, which have beene made Rejectitious since, by that Calendar: In the Talmudicall Title Succoth, Chap. the last, we read of יום טוב חכמיך לשבת בין לפניה בין לאהריח: that is, A Feast going immediately before, or following immediately after the Sabbath. And in Betzah, c. 1. יום טוב שחל להיות ערב שבת And, חל להיות אחר שבת: A Feast that fals to be on the evening of the Sabbath, or the day after the Sabbath. In Chagigah, the second Chapter, עצרת שחל לחיות בערב שבת, which is to the same purpose with the former. More particularly concerning the Passeover. Pesachim chap. 7. Sect. 10. Ossa, nervi, & omne residuum Agni Paschalis cremantor sexto decimo. Si is dies SABBATUM, decimo septimo. From this and divers the like places of the Talmud, Aben Ezra, on Levit. 23. ver. 4. observes, במשנה גם בתלמוד ראייות שהיה פסח בבדו, There be divers instances in the <44> Misna, and the Gemara, of the Passeovers being kept in BADU. That is, on those dayes which were made Rejectitious in the late Calendar, the Second, Fourth, and Sixth Feria. Therefore these Translations were not in use, when the Doctors of the Misna and Gemara lived. Secondly, In that the Jewes ever while the Temple stood, observed their New-Moones and Feasts according to the φάσις or Apparence of the Moone, and therefore had no Calendar for their Rule to sanctify their Feasts by, but they were then sanctifyed by the Heavens, as the Misna speakes. This is so clearely delivered by R. Moses Ben Majemon in that excellent Halachah entituled KIDDUSH HACCHODESH, that I wonder so many learned men, that are well skilled in these Authours, should misse of it. For having spoken of the Rules of observing the φάσις, he then addes, that these were never made use of since the Sanhedrin ceased in the Land of Israel, after the destruction of the Temple; since which time they have used a Calendar, calculated according to the middle Motion of the Moone, ודבר זה הלכה למשה מסיני הוא שבזמן שיש סגהדרין עלפי הראייה ובזמן שאין שם סנהדרין קובעין עלפי החשבון הוה שאנו מחשבים בו היום ואין נזקקין לראיה אלא פעמים שהיה יום שקובעין בחשבון זה הוא יום הראייה או קודם לו ביום או אחריו ביום. Et hæc erat Traditio Mosis in Monte Sinai, quòd omni tempore quo duraret Sanhedrin, constituerent Neomenias juxta φάσιν. Hoc verò tempore quo jam cessavit Sanhedrin, constituerent secundum Calculum hunc Astronomicum quo nos hodie utimur; nec ullo modo jam <45> ad φάσιν nos astringimus, cùm saepe contingat ut dies Legitimus secundum nostrum calculum, vel concurrat cum Lunari φάσ'οι, vel antevortat eam unica die, vel etiam subsequatur. And againe a little after most punctually, ומאימתי התחילו כל ישראל לחשוב בחשוב בחשבון זה מסוף חכמי תלמוד בעת שחרבה ארצ ישראל ולא נשאר בית-דין קבוע אבל בימי חכמי משנה וכן בימי חכמי תלמוד עד ימי אביי ורבא על קבועת ארצ ישדאל היו סומכין. Quandò primum cœperunt omnes Israelitæ computare secundum hunc calculum? A Fine doctorum Talmudicorum, quandò jam desolata erat Terra Israel, neque erat Consistorium aut Synedrium quod determinaret; Nam per omnes dies Doctorum Misnæ & Doctorum Gemaræ, usque ad Abæum & Rabbæum, acquiescebant omnes Iudæi in Sanctione Terræ Israelis. And those Rules forementioned of not keeping the severall Feasts upon such and such Feria's, were made together with this Calendar, as the same Authour there also avoucheth, אין קובעין בחשבון זה בימי אדו לפו שהחשבון זה הוא לקבוץ הירח והשמש בהליכה אמצעי לא במקום אמתי לפיכך עשו יום קביעח ויום דחייה. i. e. In this account, they never constituted the New Moon of Tisri upon Adu, because this Accompt was made according to the Conjunction of the Sunne and Moone, in the middle Motion, therefore now they constituted some Legitimate and other Rejectitious dayes, which they could not doe before, when the New Moone (and therefore all the other Feasts) were determined according to the φάσις.
But the Talmud was not compleatly finished, till about the 500. yeare of the Christian Æra, there <46> fore this Jewish Calendar, and these Rules concerning the Translation of Feasts were not in being, till about that time: and so could be no reason of this difference betweene the time in which our Saviour solemnized the Passeover, and the other Jewes.
For further confirmation hereof, we may observe that the Karraites, which have rejected the fond Traditions of the Pharisees, retaine still the ancient custome of reckoning their New-Moons, ἀπὸ τους φάσεως, as Scaliger himselfe hath well observed: though in this he were mistaken, that he thought they had assumed it of late, meerely out of hatred to the other Jewes, whereas they have kept it in a constant succession from antiquity, and hold it still, as necessary by Divine Right. אמנם חוא מההעתקח (saith my Author) שכל ישראל מודים בה שמזמן המלכות היו מקדשים החדשים בראיית הירח : ועוד מהקש כה הדבור יודע הענין ממלת חדש יודע שחוא חדוש והוא חדוש ירח בכל חוש. This is confessed by all Israel, that from the time of the Kingdome, they were ever wont to consecrate the New-moones by the φάσις; and the very Etymon of the word Chodesh implies so much, for it signifies The Renewing of something, so that it is denominated from the Change of the Moone, or Phasis, as the Epocha and beginning of it. And this is one of the Great Controversies to this day, betweene those two Sects of the Jewes the קראים or Karræi, and רבנים or Rabbanæi: which is growne at length to such a height, that the Karraites, decyphering the conditions of those witnesses, whose Testimonies might be accounted valid for the φάσις, make this for one, that they should no way belong <47> to the Sect of Rabbanists: which perhaps to observe in the Authors owne words, would not be unpleasing τοῖς φιλαρχαιοις καὶ φιλολόγοις. חתנאי השני שלא יהיה חלוק בדעתו בקדוש החדש מדעת חכמינו והנה מזה הצד ראוי לקבל עדות הישמעלים מפני שהם הולכים אחרי דעת חכמינו דענייני הראייח ודרוד הזמנים אנו שוים עמהם ואין ראוי לקבל לנו עדות חרבנים מפני עיהם חלוקים ממננו את רוח קדשו. i. e. A second condition is, that they be not such as hold an opinion concerning the Sanctification of the New-Moone different from the opinion of Our Wisemen. And therefore in this regard, we may receive the Testimony of the Ishmaelites (that is, the Turks and Saracens) because they follow the opinion of Our Wisemen Concerning the Phasis, and in most of their appointed times they agree with us: But we may not receive the testimony of any one that is of the Sect of the Rabbins, because they are divided from us in this; And although they be our brethren and our flesh, yet herein they have rebelled and grieved his holy Spirit.
Having thus disproved the common and received opinion, and removed the false Ground of this Difference of time, betweene our Saviours Passeover and the Jewes, we come in the next place to lay downe the True, which must be derived from that way of reckoning the moneths, and of determining the ראש החדש, the Head or Beginning of the moneth, which was in use in our Saviours time, which as we have shewed already in generall, was by the φάσις, so it will be expedient to describe the whole manner of it more particularly from authentick Authors .
In the great or outer Court of the Temple, there was a House called Beth-Jazek, where the Senate sate all the thirtieth day of every Moneth, to receive the Witnesses of the Moones apparence, and to examine them. And here they alwayes had a Feast provided for the entertainment of those that came, to encourage men to come the more willingly. In ancient times, they did admit of strangers, and receive their Testimony, if it were approved upon examination. But when the Hereticks (that is, the Christians) afterward grew up, by whom, they say, they were sometimes deluded, they began to grow shy, and to admit of none but such as were approved of, to be of the Jewes Religion. If there came approved Witnesses upon the thirtieth day, of the φάσις seene, then the chiefe man of the Senate stood up and pronounced MEKUDDASH, it is sanctified: and the people standing by, caught the word from him, and cried out, MEKUDDASH, MEKUDDASH. Whereupon there was notice presently given to all the Country: which was done at first by Torches from Mountaine to Mountain, till at length the Christians (they say) abused them in that kind also with false fires: wherefore they were faine to send Messengers from place to place, over the whole Land to give intelligence of the New-Moone. But if, when the Consistory had sate all the thirtieth day, there came no approved Witnesses of the φάσις, then they made an intercalation of one day in the former Month, and decreed the following, one and thirtieth day, to be the Calends. And yet notwithstanding, if after the fourth or fifth day, there should come some <49> Witnesses from afarre, that testified, they had seene the φάσις in its due time, nay, though they came toward the end of the Moneth, (אפילויבאו בסות החדש) The Senate, when they had used all meanes by affrighting them from that Testimony, that so, if it were possible, they might decline a New Consecration; (after they had already made an Embolisme in the former Moneth) if the Witnesses remained constant, were then bound to alter the beginning of the Moneth, and reckon it a day sooner, to wit, from the thirtieth day.
Here we see the True Ground of the Difference of a day, that might arise continually about the Calends of the Moneth, and so consequently about any of the other Feasts which did all depend on them, viz. Betweene the true Time of the Moones φάσις, upon the thirtieth day, and that of the Senates Decree a day after. For since it appeares out of their owne Monuments, how unwilling they were, having once made a Consecration of the Neomenia, to alter it againe; it may be probably conceived that in those degenerated times, the Senate might many times refuse to accept the Testimony of undoubted Witnesses: And then it seemes they had such a Canon as this: בית דין שקדשו את החדש בין שוגגים בין מותעים הנה זה מקודש וחייבין היכל לתקן המוערים על היום אעייפי שוה יודע שטעו That whatsoever Time the Senate should conclude of for the Calends of the Moneth, though it were certaine they were in the wrong, yet all were bound to order their Feasts according to it: Which I cannot thinke was approved of by our Saviour, and the most pious Jewes. <50> And therefore I conceive it most probable, that this was the very case betweene our Saviours Passeover and the Jewes, in that he followed the True φάσις, confirmed by sufficient and assured Witnesses; but the other Jewes superstitiously observed the Pertinacious Decree of the Senate or Sanhedrin, which was for the day after.
And now at last, we are come againe to the Acme of the Question, that was first propounded; How our Saviours Passeover, notwithstanding all this, might be sacrificed the day before those of the other Jewes were.
To which I answer, that upon this Ground, not only, our Saviour & his Apostles, but also divers others of the most religious Jewes, kept the Passeover upon the fifteenth day from the true φάσις of the Moone, and not from the Senates Decree; which I may confirm from the Testimony of Epiphanius, that reports, there was at this time θορυβος, a Tumult, and contention amongst the Jewes about the Passeover; and so we may easily perswade those other Evangelists, that intimate Christs Passeover to have beene solemnized, when many others kept it, to agree with Saint John, who assures us, that it was also by divers Jewes kept the day after. Now it was a Custome among the Jewes, in such doubtfull cases as these, which oftentimes fell out, to permit the Feasts to be solemnized, or Passeovers killed, on two severall dayes together. Maymonides affirmeth, that in the remoter parts of the Land of Israel, they alway solemnized the Feast of the New-Moones two dayes together, nay, in Jerusalem it selfe where <51> the Senate sate, they kept the New-Moone of Tisri, which was the beginning of the yeare, twice, lest they should be mistaken in it. In the Talmud we have an instance, of the Passeovers being kept two daies together, because the New-Moone was doubtfull, in Gemara Rosh Hashanah. cap. 1. Hence the Karraites who still keepe the ancient custome of observing the Moones φάσις, retaine it as a Rule to this day, לעשות עיני ימים מספק, Observare duos dies propter dubium. Nay, the Rabbinicall Jewes themselves since they have changed the Phasis, for the Synod or Conjunction of the Moone in the middle motion, in imitation hereof still observe to keepe the Passeover two dayes together, iisdem ceremoniis, as the learned Author of the Jewish Synagogue reports: and Scaliger himselfe, not onely of that, but also of the other Feasts. Iudæi post institutionem hodierni computi, eandem solennitatem celebrant biduò: propterea quòd mensem incipiant à medio motu Lunae: itaque מספק מחברות המארים propter dubium Conjunctionis Luminarium, Pascha celebrant 15. & 16. Nisan. Pentecosten 6. & 7. Sivan. Scenopagiam. 15. & 16. Tisri. idque vocant יום טוב שני של גליות Festum Secundum Exiliorum.
Now then we see that nothing hinders but that the Passeover might be a Sacrifice. And thus we have hitherto cleared the way.
BUT lest we should seeme all this while, to Set up Fancies of our owne, and then Sport with them; We come now to Demonstrate and Evince that the Lords Supper in the proper Notion of it, is Epulum Ex Oblatis, or, A Feast Upon Sacrifice; in the same manner with the Feasts upon the Jewish Sacrifices under the Law; and the Feasts upon ΕΙΔΩΛΟΘΥΤΑ (things offered up to Idols) among the Heathens: And that from a place of Scripture where all these three shall be compared together, and made exact Parallels to one another.
1 CORIN. 10.
14. Wherefore my dearely beloved, flee from Idolatry.
15. I speake as to wise men, judge you what I say.
16. The Cup of Blessing which we blesse, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ? The Bread which we breake, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ?
18. Behold Israel after the flesh, are not they which eate of the Sacrifices partakers of the Altar?
20. Now I say the things which the Gentiles Sacrifice, they Sacrifice to Devils and not to God; and I would not that you should have Fellowship with Devils.
21. Ye cannot drinke the Cup of the Lord, and the cup of Devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lords Table, and the Table of Devils.
Where the Apostles Scope being to convince the Corinthians of the unlawfulnesse of Eating things Sacrificed to Idols; He doth it in this manner: Shewing, that though an Idoll were truely Nothing, and things Sacrificed to Idols were Physically, Nothing, as different from other Meates; [as it seemes they argued, and Saint Paul confesses, ver. 19.] Yet Morally and Circumstantially, to Eate of things Sacrificed to Idols, in the Idols Temple, was to consent with the Sacrifices, and to be guilty of them: Which he doth illustrate, First, from a Parallel Rite, in Christian Religion. Where the Eating and Drinking of the Body and Blood of Christ, offered up to God upon the Crosse for us, in the Lords Supper, is a Reall Communication in his Death and Sacrifice, ver. 16. The Cup of blessing which we blesse, is it not the Communion of the blood of Christ? &c.
Secondly, From another Parallel of the same Rite among the Jewes. Where, alwayes they that Eate of the Sacrifices, were accounted partakers of the Altar, that is, Of the Sacrifice offered up upon the Altar, ver. 18. Behold Israel after the flesh, are not they which Eate of the Sacrifices partakers of the Altar? In veteri Lege quicunque admittebantur ad Edendum de Hostiis Oblatis, censebantur ipsius Sacrificii tanquam pro ipsis Oblati, fieri Participes, & per illud Sanctificari: As a Late Commentator fully expresses it.
Therefore, as to Eate the Body and Blood of Christ in the Lords Supper, is to be made partaker of his Sacrifice offered up to God for us; as to Eate <54> of the Jewish Sacrifices under the Law, was to partake in the Legall Sacrifices themselves: So to Eate of things offered up in Sacrifice to Idols, was to be made partakers of the Idoll-Sacrifices: And therefore was unlawfull.
For, the things which the Gentiles Sacrifice, they Sacrifice to Devils, but Christs Body and Blood was offered up in Sacrifice unto God, and therefore they could not partake of both together; the Sacrifice of the true God, and the Sacrifice of Devils. Ye cannot drinke the Cup of the Lord, and the Cup of Devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lords Table, and the table of Devils. S. Pauls Argument here, must needs suppose a perfect Analogy between these three, and that they are all Parallels to one another, or else it hath no strength. Wherefore I conclude from hence, that the LORDS SUPPER is the same among Christians, in respect of the Christian Sacrifice, that among the Jewes the Feasts upon the Legall Sacrifices were, and among the Gentiles, the Feasts upon the Idoll-Sacrifices: and therefore EPULUM SACRIFICIALE, or, EPULUM EX OBLATIS: ΟΠΕΡ ΕΔΕΙΔΕΙΞΑΙ.
THUS having Declared and Demonstrated The True Notion of The Lords Supper: We see then, How that Theologicall Controversie, which hath cost so many Disputes, Whether the Lords <55> Supper be a Sacrifice, is already decided; for it is not Sacrificium, but Epulum ΕΚ ΤΗΣ ΘΥΣΙΑΣ: Not A Sacrifice, but A Feast upon Sacrifice: or else in other Words, Not Oblatio Sacrificii, but as Tertullian excellently speakes, Participatio Sacrificii: Not the Offering of something up to God upon an Altar, but the Eating of something which comes from Gods Altar, and is set upon Our Tables. Neither was it ever knowne amongst the Jewes or Heathens, that those Tables upon which they did eate Their Sacrifices, should be called by the Name of Altars. Saint Paul speaking of the Feasts upon the Idoll-Sacrifices, calls the places upon which they were eaten, The Tables of Devils, because the Devils meate was eaten on them, not the Altars of Devils: and yet doubtlesse he spake according to the true Propriety of speech, and in those Technicall Words that were then in use amongst them. And therefore keeping the same Analogy, he must needes call the Communion Table, by the name of the Lords Table: i. e. The Table upon which Gods Meate is eaten, not his Altar, upon which it is offered. It is true, an Altar is nothing but a Table, but it is A Table upon which GOD himselfe eates, consuming the Sacrifices by his Holy Fire: but when the same Meate is given from God unto Us to Eate of, the relation being changed, the place on which We Eate, is nothing but a Table.
And because it is not enough in any Discourse, as Aristotle well observeth in his Ethicks, to confute <56> an Error, unlesse we can also shew τὸ ἄιτιον τοῦς ψέυδους, The Cause of that Error; Having thus Discovered The True Notion of the Lords Supper, we may easily from hence discerne also, How that mistake grew up, and that by the Degeneration of this Truth. There is a Sacrifice in the Lords Supper Symbolically, but not there as Offered up to God, but Feasted on by us; and so not a Sacrifice, but a Sacrificiall Feast: Which beganne too soone to be misunderstood.
I Should now come, to make some further improvement of this Generall Notion of the Lords Supper: By shewing what these Feasts upon the Sacrifices did signifie, under the Law; and then applying the same in a more perfect manner to the Lords Supper under the Gospell; being warranted thereunto by that Analogy which is betweene them. But because there may be divers glosses and Interpretations of These Feasts upon the Sacrifices, which are obvious to every common understanding; We will decline them all, and pitch onely upon one, which is not so vulgarly understood. And it is this, that, The Eating of Gods Sacrifices was a FEDERALL RITE, betweene God and those that offered them, according to the Custome of the Ancients, and especially in those Orientall Parts, to Confirme and Ratify their Covenants, by Eating and Drinking together.
Thus when Isaak made a Covenant with Abimelech the King of Gerar, the Text saith, He made him and those that came with him a Feast, and they did eate and drinke, and rose up betimes in the morning and sware to one another. When Laban made a Covenant with Jacob, Gen. 21. ver. 44. Now therefore come (saith Laban) let us make a Covenant, I and thou, and let it be for a witnesse betweene me and thee; Then it followes in the Text, They tooke stones, and made a heape, and did eate there upon the heape, and Laban called it JEGARSAHADUTHA, in his Chalday Tongue, but Jakob (in the Hebrew Language) GALEED, i. e. A heape of witnesse. Implying that those stones upon which they had eaten and drunke together, should be a witnesse against either of them that should first violate that Covenant. R. Moses Bar Nachman in his Comment, thus glosseth upon this place, אכלו שם מעט לזברונ שהוא דרכ באים בברית לאכול שניהם מלהם אהד לחברה ולאהבה ואחרי ביאם בשניהם ובברית זבח ועשה להמ כרה נדולה i. e. They did eate there, a little upon the heape, for a Memoriall: Because it was the manner of those that entred into Covenant, to eate both together of the same Bread, as a Symbol of love and friendship: And Isaak Abrabanel much to the same purpose, היה מנחג בניהם שהאוכלים להם על שלהן אהד יחשבו לאחים נאמנים i. e. It was an ancient custome amongst them, that they which did eate Bread together upon the same Table, should be accounted ever afterward as entire Brethren. And in this sense he conceiveth, that place, Lamentations 5. v. 6. <58> may be expounded: We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians by fulnesse of Bread, i. e. We have made a Covenant with them. Joshua 9. verse 14. When the Gibeonites came to the Israelites, and desired them to make a league with them, it is said; The Men of Israel tooke of their victuals and asked not counsell of the mouth of the Lord: that is, they made a Covenant with them, as Kimchy learnedly expounds it, לקהו מצידים ואכלו ממננו בברית כדי שיבטחו בהם, Acceperunt de Viatico ipsorum, & comederunt cum illis per modum fœderis. For so it followes afterward in the Text, And Joshuah made peace with them. Hence also was that Emphaticall expression, Psalm. 41. 10. spoken literally by David of Achitophel, Mine owne familiar friend, that did eate of my Bread, hath lift up the heele against me: but seeming prophetically, to glance at Judas, that dipping with Christ in the same dish, betrayed him. The Singular Emphasis of which speech, we that are unacquainted with this Custome of the Orientall Nations, cannot easily perceive; neither can wee any where better learne it, then from that passage of Celsus in Origen, who carping at that History of Judas his betraying Christ, in the Gospell, as an incredible thing; made in the meane while, an excellent Comment upon this Prophecy, when he little thought of it. τι ἀνθρώπῳμὴν ὁ κοινωνήσας τραπέζης, οὐκ ἂν αυτῷ ἐπιβουλαδίσειεν. πιλλῷ πλέον ὁ θεῷ συνευωχηθεὶς, οὐκ ἂν αυτῷ ἐπίξουλος ερίνετο. i. e. Si homini nemo insidiaretur, ejusdem mensæ particeps, multò minus Deo. And Origens Reply to him, which shewes that though this were <59> an unusuall thing, yet it sometime came to passe, is very pregnant also for our purpose: Τίς γὲρούκ ὀιδεν ὅτι πολλοὶ κοινωνήσαντες ἁλῶν καὶ ζαπέζης, ἐπεβούλουταν τοῖς συνεστιοι καὶ πλήρης ἐστιν ἡ Ελληνων καὶ Βαρβάρων ἱστορια τοιούτων παραδειγμὰτων, καὶ ὀνειδιζών γε ὁ Πάριος Ιαμβόποιος τὸν Λυκὰμβαντα μετὰ ἅλας καιζαπέζαν συνθήκας ἀθετήσαντα, φησὶ πρὸς αὐτον. Ορκον δὲ ἐνοτφίσθης μέγαν, ἄλαι τε καὶ ζαπέζαν. i. e. Quis ignorat multos ad Communionem Salis & Mensæ adhibitos, insidiatos tamen suis contubernalibus? Plena est Historia tam Græcorum, quam Barbarorum, exemplis ejusmodi. Et Parius ille Iamborum Scriptor, exprobrans Lycambæ violatum fœdus, quod Sal & Mensa conciliaverat, sic eum alloquitur. Sacramentum irritasti magnum, Salem atque Mensam. All which makes manifest, what an hainous offence it was accounted anciently, to be guilty of the breach of a Covenant, which had beene confirmed by Eating and Drinking together. In the seventh verse of Obadiah, that Prophet speakes to Edom in this manner, All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee to the border, the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, they that eate thy Bread, have laid a wound under thee. In the New Testament, that place, John the fourth, verse the ninth, is well observed by Heinsius in his Aristarchus to carry this notion: How is it that thou being a Jew askest drinke of me, being a Woman of Samaria? Suavissimè dictum (saith that forenamed Criticke) ex eorum more qui cum peregrini essent, aut alieno fuissent animo, animis conciliandis cibum mutuò ac potum alter alterius gustabant.
Wherefore I thinke from all these instances, I may conclude that this is the true Etymon of that <60> Hebrew word ברית, which signifies a Covenant, or any Federall Communion betwixt parties, from ברה Comedere, because it was the constant custome of the Hebrewes and Orientall Nations, to establish Covenants by eating and drinking together, as hath beene shewed.
And, as the Jewes, so likewise did the Heathens in the same manner use to Ratifie their Covenants, betweene Parties, by Eating together. Lucian in Toxaris, reports it of the Scythians, That when any one was injured and could not revenge himselfe, the manner was, that he should kill an Oxe, and cut it into small peeces, which being boyled, he was to sit downe by them, with his hands behind him, (which was a gesture of earnest supplication amongst them) and then whosoever was minded to helpe him, came, and did Eate a piece of his flesh, and so, with this Ceremony promised to assist him. And this was counted a sacred and inviolable Covenant of mutuall defence betweene them, whence that Greeke Proverbe, Επὶβύρσης ἐκαθέζετο, In tergore bovis desedit, of which Erasmus in his Adagies.
Herodotus reporteth of the Persians, that they made their Leagues and Covenants at Feasts: and of the Nasamones a People of Lybia, that they composed Peace, by stretching out a Cup full of Wine to each other, and pledging one another in it.
Alexander ab Alexand. relates this of the Thracians and Egyptians, that, E cornibus boum (quæ veteribus poculorum loco erant) Vina sibi invicem propinantes, id firmissimum contracti fœderis vinculum esse putabant. Curtius Reporteth of the Macedo <61> nians, Quod patrio ritu fœdus quod sanctissimum vellent haberi, sic inibant, Ut panem gladio divisum uterque libaret. And therefore Alexander when he fell in love with Roxana, commanded Bread forthwith to be brought before him, which when he had divided with his sword, and they had both tasted together of, he tooke her presently to himselfe as his Wife. And there remaineth a Custome to this day, something like this, at Weddings in many Countries; That when the Bridegroome and Bride are come from Church, they have a piece of Cake brought them, which when the Bridegroom hath tasted, he gives it to the Bride to taste of likewise, in token of a Covenant betweene them.
The Germans still use to conclude of Bargaines, and Ratifie Friendship betweene Parties by drinking together, as appeareth by that phrase which they have Den Friden Trinchen, Pacem bibere.
The Emperour of Russia to this day, when he would shew extraordinary Grace and favour unto any, sends them Bread and Salt from his Table. And when he invited Baron Sigismond, the Emperour Ferdinands Embassador, he did it in this forme, Sigismunde comedes sal & panem nostrum nobiscum: as Sigismond himselfe relates it in his Muscovian Commentaries. It is an Axiom in the Civill Law, that if a man drinke to one, against whom he hath an Accusation of slander, or other Verball injury, he loses his Action, because it is supposed he is reconciled to him.
In like manner, I say, the Eating of Sacrifices, <62> which were Gods meate, was a Federall Rite, betweene God and those that did partake of them, and signifyed that there was a Covenant of Friend-ship betweene him and them.
For the better conceiving whereof, we must observe, that Sacrifices, beside the Nature of expiation, had the Notion of Feasts, which God himselfe did, as it were, feed upon. Which I explaine thus: When God had brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt, resolving to manifest himselfe in a peculiar manner present among them, He thought good to Dwell amongst them in a visible and Externall manner: And therefore while they were in the Wildernesse and sojourned in Tents, he would have a Tent or Tabernacle built, to sojourne with them also. This Mystery of the Tabernacle was fully understood by the Learned Nachmanides, who in few words, but pregnant, thus expresseth it: עקר החפץ במשכן הוא מקום מנוחה השכניה: And againe, סור המשכן הוא שיהיה הכבוד אשר שכן על חר סיני שיכן עליו: That is, The Mystery of the Tabernacle, was this, that it was to be a Place for the Shechinah, or Habitation of Divinity to be fixed in: And this, no doubt, as a speciall Type of Gods future Dwelling in Christs humane Nature, which was the TRUE SHECHINAH. But when the Jewes were come into their Land, and had there built them Houses, God intended to have a fixed Dwelling-House also, and therefore his Moveable Tabernacle was to be turned into a Standing Temple. Whence by imitation came <63> came all those Temples among the Heathens, which they apprehended as so many places of Peculiar Residence or Habitation, for their Deities next the Heavens to dwell in. As appeares by that of Silius amongst many others, —Tarpeie Pater, qui Templa secundam Incolis à Cœlo sedem— Now the Tabernacle or Temple, being thus as a House for God to Dwell in visibly, to make up the Notion of Dwelling or Habitation compleate, there must be all things sutable to a House, belonging to it. Hence in the Holy Place, there must be a Table and a Candlesticke; because this was the ordinary furniture of a roome, as the fore-commended Nachmanides observes, סמך השלחן והמנורה שהם כלים כמוהו ויורו על ענין המשכן. i. e. He addeth a Table and a Candlesticke, because these suite the Notion of a Dwelling-House. The Table must have its Dishes, and Spoones, and Bowles, and Covers belonging to it, though they were never used, and alwayes be furnished with Bread upon it. The Candlesticke must have its Lamps conninually burning.
Hence also there must be a Continuall Fire kept, in this House of Gods, upon the Altar, as the Focus of it; to which Notion, I conceive, the Prophet Esay doth allude Chap. 31. ver. 9. אשר אור לו בציון ותנור בירושלים: which I would thus translate, Qui habet ignem suum in Sion, & focum suum in Jerusalem. And besides all this, to carry the Notion still further, there must be some Constant Meate and Provision brought into this House, which was done in the Sacrifices, that were partly con <64> sumed by Fire upon Gods owne Altar, and partly eaten by the Priests which were Gods Family, and therefore to be maintained by him; That which was consumed upon Gods Altar, was accounted GODS MESSE, as appeareth from the first chap. of Malachy; Where the Altar is called GODS TABLE, and the Sacrifice upon it GODS MEAT; You say the Table of God is polluted, and the fruit thereof his Meat is contemptible: and often in the Law, the Sacrifice is called Gods לחם, that is, his Bread or Food. Whence in that Learned Hebrew Booke Cozri, The King Haber objects to the Jew Cozar against his Religion, that it seemed to place Corporeity in God, in making him to feed upon the Flesh of Beasts in these Sacrifices: to which the Jewish Doctor replieth Cabalistically in this manner: That as in men, Corporeal meate is a meanes to unite and continue the Soule (which is a Spirit) to the Body: So in the Land of Israel, the Bloud of Beasts offered up in Sacrifice, had an Attractive power to draw downe Divinity, and unite it to the Jewes. And methinkes this may be a little further convinced from that passage in the 50. Psal. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee, for the world is mine, and the fulnesse thereof: Will I eate the Flesh of Buls, or Drinke the the Bloud of Goates? For though it be here denied that God did really feed upon the Sacrifices, yet it is implyed there was some such Allusive Signification in them.
Wherefore it is further observable, that beside the flesh of the beast offered up in Sacrifice, there was a Mincah or Meat-offering, made of Flowre and <65> Oyle, and a Libamen, or Drink-offering, that was alwayes joyned with the daily Sacrifice. As the Bread and Drink which was to go along with Gods Meate.
It was also strictly commanded, that there should be Salt in every Sacrifice and oblation: Because all Meate is unsavory without Salt, as R. Moses Bar Nachman hath here also well observed, מפני שאינו דרכ להיות לחם השם טפל מבלי מלח. i. e. Because it was not honourable, that Gods Meate should be unsavory, without Salt.
Lastly, all these things were to be consumed on the Altar, onely by the Holy Fire that came downe from Heaven, because they were Gods Portion, and therefore to be eaten or consumed by himselfe, in an extraordinary manner. And this the Devill sometime imitated, in some Sacrifices offered up to him. For so I understand that Passage of Pindar in his Olympiacks, Ode 7. speaking of the Rhodians, That when they had prepared, and were come to offer Sacrifice to Jupiter, they had by chance forgotten to bring Fire with them: But Jupiter being conscious of their good intentions, rained downe upon them A GOLDEN SHOVVRE, that is, (as I understand it) A SHOVVRE of Fire. A pure imitation of the Sacred Story. Take it in that elegant Poets owne words.
That is, according to Benedictus his Metaphrase: Etenim Rhodii ascenderunt, quamvis non habentes ardentis semen ignis. Verum dum instruunt Sacrificiis igni carentibus, aram in arce, illis quidem flavam adducens nebulam, multum pluit [Jupiter] aurum.
And Solinus reports it of the Vulcanian Hill in Sicily, that they which offered Sacrifice upon it, never put fire to it, but expected it should be kindled from Heaven. His Words according to Salmasiu's Edition, are these, Nec longè indè Collis Vulcanius, in quo qui divinæ rei operantur, ligna vitea super aras struunt: nec Ignis adponitur in hanc congeriem. Cum proficias intulerunt, si adest Deus, si sacrum probatur, Sarmenta licet viridia, sponte concipiunt, & nullo inflagrante halitu, ab ipso numine fit accendium. Ibi Epulantes adludit flamma, quæ flexuosis excessibus vagabunda, quem contigerit non adurit: nec aliud est quā imago nuncia perfecti ritè Voti. The place is very remarkable; & where he saies thus, Epulantes adludit flamma; he alludeth to that custome of Feasting on the Sacrifices, which was before explained.
I will adde to all this, the words of a late learned Author, that sometime stumbled unawares upon this very Notion, which we are now about, and yet exprest it happily in this manner, Deus ad suam cum populo Judæorum familiaritatem significandam, sibi ab illo carnes, sanguinem, asque fruges, in ALTARI atque NENSA offerri voluit, ut ostenderet se quasi <67> COMMUNEM in illo populo Habere MENSAM, esse illius CONVIVAM perpetuum, atque ita familiariter cum illis habitare.
And as it was thus among the Hebrewes, so it seemes that Sacrifices had the Notion of Feasts likewise among the ancient Persians, that worshipped the Fire: of whom Maximus Tyrius thus relateth Οτι ἐπιφορῦντες πυρὶ τροφὴν ἐπιλέγουσι, Πῦρ, δέσποτα, ἒσθιε, i. e. Bringing in the Sacrifices to the Fire, which was their God, they were wont to say, Ignis Domine Comede.
The Sacrifices then being Gods Feasts, they that did partake of them, must needs be His CONVIVAE, and in a manner EATE and DRINKE with him. And that this did bear the Notion of a Federall Rite, in the Scriptures account, I prove from that place, Levit. 2. 13. Thou shalt not suffer the SALT OF THE COVENANT of thy God to be lacking, with all thine offerings thou shalt offer Salt. Where the Salt that was to be cast upon all the Sacrifices, is called THE SALT OF THE COVENANT, to signifie, that as men did use to make Covenants by Eating and Drinking together, where Salt is a necessary Appendix, so God by these Sacrifices and the Feasts upon them, did Ratifie and Confirme his Covenant with those that did partake of them, in as much as they did in a manner EATE and DRINKE with him.
For Salt was ever accounted amongst the ancients, a most necessary Concomitant of Feasts, and Condiment of all Meats: כל סעודה שאין מליח בה, saith the Jewish Proverb, in Berachoth; Omne Convivium in quo non est salitum non est convi <68> vium. And therefore, because Covenants and Reconciliations were made by Eating and Drinking, where Salt was alwayes used, Salt it selfe was accounted among the ancients, AMICITIAE SYMBOLUM; ἄλες καὶ τράπεζα, Sal & Mensa, was used proverbially among the Greekes to expresse friendship by; Αλας καὶ τράπεζαν παραβαίνειν, in the words of Origen before quoted, out of Archilochus, Sal & Mensam transgredi, was to violate the most Sacred League of friendship. Æschines in his Oration De perperam habita Legatione, hath a Passage very pertinent to this purpose, Τοὺς γὰρ τῆς πόλεως ἃλας καὶ δημοσίαν τράπεζαν περὶ πλείστου δεῖ ποιεῖσθαι. Etenim Civitatis Sales & communem mensam, ait, se plurimi facere debere. Thus I understand that Symboll of Pythagoras, τὸν ἄλα παρατὶθεσθαι, (by Erasmus his leave) for friendship and hospitality. There is a pregnant instance of this very Phrase in the Scripture, Ezra 4. 14. Where our Translatours read it thus, Because we have maintenance from the Kings Palace. But the words in the Chaldee runne after this manner, כען כל קביל מלח חיכלא מלחנא i. e. Quod Sale Palatii Salivimus, Because we have eaten of the Kings Salt, [that is, because we have engaged our selves in a Covenant of Friendship to him, by eating of his Meate] therefore it is not meete for us to see the Kings dishonour. That Proverb mentioned in Tully makes to this purpose, Multos modios Salis simul Edendos esse ut amicitiæ munus completum sit. Which was, because that Federall Symboll had beene so often abused. Nay, hence there remaineth a Superstitious custome amongst us and <69> other Nations, to this day; To count the Overturning of the Salt upon the Table Ominous, as betiding some evill to him towards whom it fals: Quia Sal amoris & amicitiæ Symbolum. And by this time I thinke, I have given a sufficient Comment upon מלח הברית, The Salt of the Covenant in the Text.
Only I must not forget, that as in Gods Sacrifices, there was ever Salt to be used; So the like was generally observed in the Heathen Sacrifices; as that one place out of Pliny, amongst many, shall sufficiently testifie, Maxima Salis authoritas è Sacris veterum intelligitur, apud quos nulla sacra sine molâ salsâ conficiebantur. And the reason of it also is thus given by that famous Scholiast, upon Il. α. Διότι ὁι ἅλες φιλίας σύμβολον, Because Salt is a Symboll of friendship: which is the same with that reason given by God, why he would alwayes have Salt in his Sacrifices, because it was מלח הברית, that is, Sal Symbolum fœderis, as before was shewen. And this Phrase being thus explained, will clearely expound that other Phrase, about which Criticks have laboured so much in vaine, where the same words are used, but inverted, and a Covenant is called A covenant of Salt, as Salt is here called The Salt of the Covenant, Numb. 18. 19. and 2 Chron. 13. 5. viz. Because Covenants were established by Eating and, Drinking together, where Salt was alwayes a necessary Appendix.
Now therefore, that we may returne; As the Legall Sacrifices, with the Feasts upon those Sacrifices, were FEDERALL RITES betweene <70> God and Men: In like manner I say The Lords Supper under the Gospel, which we have already proved to be EPULUM SACRIFICIALE, A Feast upon Sacrifice, must needs be EPULUM FOEDERALE, A Feast of Amity and Friendship, betweene God and Men. Where by Eating and Drinking at Gods owne Table, and of his Meate, we are taken into a sacred Covenant, and inviolable League of friendship with him.
Which I will confirme from that fore-commended place, whence I have already proved that the Lords Supper is A Feast upon Sacrifice. For there the Apostle thus dehorts the Corinthians from Eating of the Feasts upon Idoll-Sacrifices, which are a Parallel to the Feast upon the Christian Sacrifice, in the Lords Supper, Because this was to have Fellowship, and Federall Communion with Devils; The things that the Gentiles Sacrifice, they Sacrifice to Devils, and not to God, and I would not Brethren, that you should have FELLOVVSHIP (or COMMUNION, κοινανίαν) with Devils. Where the Comment of Saint Chrysostome is excellent to our purpose: Εἰ γὰρ ἐπ᾽ ἀνθρώπων τὸ κοὶνωνεῖν ἁλῶν καὶ τραπέζης φιλίας ἀφορμὴ καὶ σύμβολον γίνεται, ἐγχωρεῖ καὶ ἐπὶ Δαιμόνων τοῦτο συμβῆναι That is, if among men to communicate of Bread and Salt, be a token and Symboll of friendship; it must carry the same Notion betweene men and Devils, in the Idoll-Feasts. If therefore to Eate the Sacrifice of Devils be to have Federall Communion with those Devils, to whom it was offered; then to Eate of the Sacrifice of Christ, once offered up to God, in the Lords Supper, is to have Federall Communion with God.
There is an excellent Story in Maimonides his Moreh Nevochim, concerning an ancient custome of the Zabii: Of Feasting together with their Gods in this Federall way, which will much illustrate this Notion. For going about to give the reason, why the Eating of Blood was forbidden in the Law, he fetches it from that Idolatrous use of it then in Moses time among the Zabii; according to his Principles, who thought the reason of all the Ceremonial Precepts was to be fetched from some such accidentall Grounds, because those Laws were not Prima, but Secundæ intentionis in God. Multarum legum rationes & causæ (saith he) mihi innotuerunt ex cognitione fidei, rituum, & cultus Zabiorum.
By these Zabii, he meanes the ancient Chaldeans; the Word in the Originall Arabicke, according to the Copy of Joseph Scaliger, being thus written, زصبين; A Vento Apeliote sic dicti, (as he observes) quasi dicas Orientales. And that Booke which Maymonides so often quoteth, concerning that Nation, their Rites, and Religion, is still extant among the Mahumetane Arabians, as the same Scaliger avoucheth. The Story then is this, according to the Hebrew Translation of R. Abben Tibbon, Lib. 3. cap. 46. דע כי הדמ היא טמא מאד בעיני הצאבה יגם כל טה היו אוכלים אוחר מפני שהיו חועיבים שהוא מזון השדים וכשאכל אוחו מי שאכלו כבר חטיתתף עם השרים ובואוהו ויודיעוהו העתידות כמו שידמו ההמונ ממעשי השדים. i. e. Licet Sanguis impurus & immundus admodum fuerit in oculis Zabiorum, <72> tamen ab illis comestus fuerit, eò quòd existimarunt Cibum Hunc Esse Daemonum, & quòd is qui eum comedit, hâc ratione Communicationem aliquam cum Dæmonibus haberet: ità ut familiariter cum illo conversentur, & futura ei aperiant. But because others of them did abhorre the eating of blood, as a thing repugnant unto Nature, they performed this service in a little different manner; והיו שם אנשים שהיה קשה בעיניהם אכילת הדם כי הוא דבר שימאסהו טבע האדם והיו שוחטים בחמה ומקבלים דמו בכלי או בחפרה ואוכלים בשר השחוטה ההיא סביב דמה והיו מדמים במעשה הזה שהשדים יאכלו הדם אשר הוא מזונם ודם יאכלו הבשר ובזה תהיה האהבה והאחוה והרעות בהם בעבור שאכלו כלם על שלחן אחד ובמושב אחד ויבאו להם עידים ההם לפי מחשבהם בהלום ויגידו להם העתידות ויועילו להם i. e. Mactantes Bestiam aliquam, Sanguinem in circulo sedentes comedebant: imaginantes sibi in hoc opere, ipsis Carnem Comedentibus, Dæmones Illum Sangvinem Comedere, & hunc esse Ipsorum Cibum, hocque medio Amicitiam, Fraternitatem & Familiaritatem inter ipsos contrahi, quia omnes in unâ mensâ edunt, uno consessu accumbunt.
As for the former part of this Story, I finde it also in R. Moses Bar Nachman, upon Deuteron. 12. 23. Where he goes about to give the reason why blood was forbidden in the Law, as Maymonides did, although in the first place, he saith, it was because <73> Blood served in the Sacrifices for expiation, otherwise then Maymonides; (for there was a great Controversie betweene these two Doctors, about the Nature of Sacrifices) but yet in the Second place, he brings in this also; Because it was used superstitiously by the Heathens in the Worship of their Idoll-Gods, והיתה העבודה היא באכילה מן חים כי היו מקבצים הדם לשדים והם איכלים עליע וממנו כאילו המ קרואים לשדים לאכול על שלחן השדים ההם ומתחברים עמהם והנה היו מתנבאים בו שמגידים עתירות i. e. They performed their Superstitious Worship, by eating of Blood in this manner; They gathered together Blood for the Devils their Idoll-Gods, and then they came themselves, and did eate of that blood with them: As being the Devils Guests, and Invited to Eate at the TABLE of Devils, and so were Joyned in Federall Society with them. And by this kind of Communion with Devils, they were able to Prophecy, and foretell things to come.
 In Orat. De Resurrect. Mort.
 Lib. De Iside & Osiride.
 * Concerning the difference betweene these two, see Petite in his Variæ Lectiones.
 See Casaub. Exercit. Eccles. 16. 22.
 Of Saba see Salmasius in Plinianis Exercitat. p. 497. & 500.
 P. 129. a.
 Note that איי הגוים the Ilands of the Nations, is commonly used in Scripture as a Proper Name to expresse Europe by.
 Lib. 1. de Idol.
 Περὶ ἀκαιρίας.
 See Cloppenburg in Scholæ Sacrif. and of the right Notion of the word Sacrament, Vossius in Thes. Theolog.
 Of this vide Magistrorum Placita.
 Vide Claris. Seldenum. De Succes. in Pontificat. Hebræo. c. 2. & de Succes. ad Leges Heb. 1. c. 5.
 Scalig. Elench. Trihær. cap. 25. circa finem. ltem in Emend. Temp. De Cyclo Iudæorum Karraim. & Hug. Grotius in Mat. 26.
 In Annot. ad Matth. cap. 26.
 Emend. Temp. p. 149. 150.
 Talmud. Babyl. in Rosh. Hashanah. & Maimon. in Kiddush Hachod.
 In Panario Hær. l.l.
 In Epist. 62. ad Isacium Casaubonum.
Cite as: Ralph Cudworth, A Discourse concerning the True Notion of the Lords Supper (1642), https://www.cambridge-platonism.divinity.cam.ac.uk/view/texts/diplomatic/Cudworth1642A, accessed 2023-12-01.