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Greeks and Romans, and indeed, among almost all nations. The rite of circumcision, which was appointed by God, as a sign of a distinctive covenant with Abraham, and designed to be expressive of spiritual purity, (Gen. xvii. 12; Rom. ii. 28, 29; Phil. iii. 3,) was adopted by several nations, not descended from that patriarch; as the Egyptians, Colchians, and others. ::.
The assertion made by a modern Infidel, that the Jews borrowed this rite from the Egyptians, is as false, as it is in direct contradiction to all history.
There are likewise other particulars in which the Greeks, and the Romans, appear to have borrowed cus, toms from the Jews. Thus, Solon, conformably to the Jewish practice, decreed that the time of the sun setting on the mountains should be deemed the last hour of the day. This law was copied into the laws of the twelve tables, and observed by the Romans, whose laws concerning the inheritance and adoption of children, retribution in punishment of corporeal injuries, and other points, seem to have been framed on principles sanctioned by Moses; and traces of resemblance between the Hebrew and Roman codes are still to be discovered in the Institutes of Justinian. The Jewish custom of orphan girls marrying their next of kin also obtained among the heathens. The appropriation of a tenth part of the spoils, of the produce of lands, and of other things, to religious purposes, is mentioned by many pagan writers. Lycurgus distributed the possession of lands by lot, and rendered them inalienable. Those feats in which servants were put on an equality with their masters, were apparently borrowed from the Jews, and from the feast of tabernacles; and the reverence which the Jews paid to the state of the moon also influenced the Lacedemonians, who are supposed to have been early connected with the Jews; and who, in consequence of their superstition, having delayed the march of their army till after the new moon, were thus deprived of participating in the honour of the celebrated battle of Marathon, as they did not arrive till the day after it had taken place. (Horne.)
REPENTANCE, signifies simply a change of mind; this invariably produces a change of action in proportion to the importance of the subject about which the change of mind takes place. There may be a change of action, without a change of mind, as in the hypocrite, play actor &c.; but there cannot be a change of mind on a subject of importance, without a corresponding change of action. The latter then is the effect of the former; and as the effect is repeatedly put for the cause in, not only the Bible, but also in all ancient writings, so it is sometimes said in the Scriptures that God repented, when it signifies only, that God changed his course of action, i. e. from blessing mankind to punishing them, in consequence of their persevering rebellion against their Creator, and disobedience to His Laws. “God' is not man that He should lie, nor the son of man that HE should repent." &c.
RESURRECTION. The manner in which the Sacred writers, have given an account of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the grave, is that which exactly comes under the head of the very best criterion of the truth of human testimony, viz; substantial truth under circumstantial variety. This momentous transaction is accompanied by as strong, and as much evidence, as the nature of the case could possibly admit.
Had the Sacred historians detailed all the numerous circumstances, connected with that all important event in the same words; Infidels would be the first to cry out, “oh, there was evidently a collusion between them!” And because they have faithfully related those parts of the transaction, which appeared to each most important, and in that way, which to the judgment of each appeared best, one of them relating one circumstance, and another of them relating another circumstance, Infidels, blinded by their Satanic hatred to the most High God, and totally regardless of the common principles of honesty, and justice, assert that they contradict each other. .
The circumstances are as follows: Three visits to the Sepulchre are paid early in the morning of the first day of the week, 1. By Mary and the other women, (Matt. xxviii. 1; Mark xvi. 1; Luke xxiii. 55, and xxiv. 1; John xx. 1;) 2. By Simon Peter and John; (John xx. 4;) and 3. By Mary the second time, that is, after she had run away on seeing that the stone was removed from the sepulchre. (John xx. 1, 11.) The history, as collected from the four Evangelists, may be thus paraphrased. Early in the morning on the first day of the week, cometh Mary and the other women to the sepulchre. On Mary's seeing that the stone was rolled away from the sepulchre, she immediately runs off to tell Peter and John. (John xx. 2.) During her absence, an Angel addresses the women at the sepulchre. (Math. xxviii. 5, 6.) They then return quickly from the sepulchre, (v. 8,) and on their return Jesus meets them. (v. 9.) The moment Peter and John are informed by Mary, that the door of the sepulchre was open, they run off to the sepulchre without Mary, (John, xx. 3, 4;) consequently leaving Mary behind them. Peterand John enter the sepulchre, (v. 6,) and on seeing the clothes there, and not the body, they believe and return home. (v. 10.) Mary comes back to the sepulchre alone; (v. 11;) stood without weeping; looks into it; two Angels appear to her; address her; on looking back she sees a man; supposes him to be the gardener; but when he says, “ Mary,” she immediately recognises the Lord, and exclaims Rabboni, (v. 13. 16.) Thus we can easily account for the different communications made by the different Angels, for they were made not at the same time, nor to the same persons.
The evidences of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus may be reduced to the following particulars, viz:
1. He was seen alive after his death, not by one, but by many.
2. Not only separately, but together.
7. Not superficially, but minutely; one, in the presence of the others, put his finger in the print of the nails, and into the wound in his side.
8. Not only conversed, but eat with him. 49. And these opportunities of inspection continued not for one, but for forty days.
Finally the effects which this momentous and glorious transaction produced, are just what might be expected from such an event.
1. His few disciples, who, a few days before, proved themselves to be the greatest cowards, are changed into heroes, and exhibit the boldness of lions. Acts, ii. 22. 36.
2. The Jews, which as a nation had rejected him, are within a few days afterwards converted by thousands, till in a few years the numbers amounted to myriads. See Mohammed. · 3. A large company of the Priests also became obedient to the faith; vi. 7. See Evidence.
The evidence of this glorious truth was so undeniable,
nd into the others, Tally, bucm
that even Josephus himself, although a Jew, admitted it. See Causes of Discrepancies. Interpolation. Omission.
· RESURRECTION PARAPHRASED. On the morning of the first day of the week, Jesus rises from the dead; a great earthquake happens about the time of his resurrection; and an Angel appears, who rolls away the stone that closed the mouth of the sepulchre, sits upon it, and strikes the keepers with great fear; thus causing them to remove to such a distance, as to remain unnoticed by the women, and others hereafter. (Matt. xxviii. 2. 4.) After his resurrection, many bodies of the saints arise from their graves, and are seen by many, in Jerusalem. (Matt. xxvii. 52, 53.) Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, Salome, Joanna, and other women, (Mark, xvi. 1; Luke, xxix. 1; John, xx. 1,) go very early to the sepulehre, intending to embalm the body of Jesus, (having bought spices the preceding evening for that purpose.) On their way they consult about removing the stone from the door of the sepulchre. Perceiving it already taken away, they enter into the sepulchre, yet finding not the body of the Lord Jesus, (Mark, xvi. 3. 5; Lukc, xxiv. 2, 3; John, xx. 1, Mary Magdalene hastily returning to Jerusalem, relates to Peter and John that they had taken the Lord out of the sepulchre. (John, xx. 2.) The other women remaining in the sepulchre, two Angels appear unto them, and one of them requests the women to inform the disciples, and Peter in particular, that Jesus was risen, &c.; (Matt. xxviii. 5. 7; Mark; xvi. 4. 7; Luke, xxiv. 4. 8;) the women return from the sepulchre, relate these things to the Apostles, and are discredited. (Matt. xxviii. 8; Mark, xvi. 8; Luke, xxiv. 8. 11.) Peter and John having heard Mary Magdalene's report of his having been taken away, and the
cular, then to inform the one and one of the