Sidor som bilder
[blocks in formation]

Laban, the father-in-law of Jacob, résided, was to me a / are extant of Virgil, who flourished at the commencecircumstance productive of delightful sensations." ment of the Christian æra, is a congratulatory poem

addressed to his patron, Pollio, who bore the high office MESSENGER, 7850 malach. (2Kings 9. 18;

of consul at the time when it was written. The poem is Job 1. 14.) It is a practice in the East to employ mes

on the nativity of some child, whose birth was expected sengers who run on foot to convey despatches, and these

during his consulate, and whose extraordinary endor. men sometimes go a hundred and fifty miles in less than

ments were to confer blessings on mankind. He was to twenty-four hours. (See FOOTMAN.) Such messengers

be of heavenly extraction, to bestow universal peace, and were sent by Joab to acquaint David with the fate of his

to command the whole world; he was to destroy the son Absalom. Ahimaaz went with such speed that he

serpent, and the blessings of his reign were to extend outran Cushi, and was the first to appear before the king,

even to the brute creation. (Pasl. iv.) Virgil refers to who sat at the gate of Mahanaim, anxiously awaiting

the books of the Cumæan Sibyl, as the source whence he tidings from the battle.

drew his predictions. The images of this poem bear so The common pace of travelling in the East is very

remarkable a resemblance to those in which the inspired slow. Camels go little more than two miles an hour,

prophets describe the times of the Messiah, that it is but dromedaries are often used for the purpose of con

impossible to read the verses without being struck with veying messages in haste, especially to a distance, as

the similitude. they are said to outrun the swiftest horses. To this

Suetonius and Tacitus, who wrote at a somewhat practice Job alludes, when he says, “My days are

later period, both mention the general expectation in swifter than a post." (9. 25.) Instead of passing away

very remarkable words. Suetonius says, “An ancient with a slowness of motion like that of a caravan, my

and settled persuasion prevailed throughout the East, days of prosperity have disappeared with a swiftness like

that the Fates had decreed that Judæa about this period that of a messenger carrying despatches.

was to give birth to such as should attain universal empire.” (Vesp. § 4.) And the words of Tacitus are

nearly similar: “Many were -persuaded that it was conMESSIAH, nuo (Dan. 9. 25,26,) that is, the tained in the ancient books of the priests, that at this Anointed, the same as XPLOTOS, or Christ, (Mark 15.32,) | very time the East should prevail, and that some power is the name given to Our blessed Lord. Persons who held should proceed from Judæa, and possess the dominion the offices of prophet, priest, or king, were anointed with of the world.” (B. V. c. 13.) These expectations, which oil, as being symbolical of the graces of the Holy Spirit, agitated even the Gentiles, were no doubt fondly which qualified them for their respective duties; and as cherished by the Jews, writhing as they were under Our Lord fulfilled, for the redemption of our fallen race, the yoke of the Idumean Herod and his Roman allies; all these offices, the term Messiah is now exclusively | even the bold and the wicked, as well as the “just and applied to Him.

devout,” “ waited for the consolation of Israel.” (Luke As a Prophet, whose office was to teach and reprove, 2.25.) And this “consolation" was presented to them; Jesus has perfectly instructed us in the will of God; and, but not coming in the guise of a temporal deliverer, few as a Priest, whose office it was to offer sacrifices for the of the house of Israel turned to Him who came to expiation of the sins of the people, to bless them and redeem them that were under the law." (Gal. 4. 5.) pray for them, Jesus, who was both priest and victim, Into a detail of the events of the life of Our blessed offered Himself a sacrifice to God, in order to expiate our Lord we need not here enter, as they form the subject sins; for in Him we have redemption through his blood, of numerous separate articles, and as the record is acceseven the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his sible to all, in the pages of the Evangelists. We shall grace. (Ephes. 1. 3.) He has blessed us, in turning only remark that Our Saviour was born at the comevery one of us from our sins; and He ever liveth to mencement of the last year of the reign of Herod the intercede for us with God as our Mediator; for if any Great, and suffered crucifixion in the year A.D. 33, man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus being the twentieth year of Tiberius. Chronologists Christ the righteous. (Rom. 8. 34; 1 Tim. 2. 5; 1John are all agreed that our common æra, which was first 2. 1.) As a King, not like the earthly sovereign whom used by a Roman monk named Dionysius Exiguus in the Jews expected to deliver them from the yoke of the the year 526, and introduced into the Western Church in Romans, and who, they believed, would make them the the year 532, places the birth of Christ some years too most powerful people upon earth, Jesus reigns over a late; but it has not yet been determined whether the people whom he hath purchased to himself out of all the difference is two, three, four, or even eight years. nations of the world; he gives for their government, laws | Some early writers assert that the birth of Our Lord which are calculated to render them perfectly bappy both imposed silence on the heathen oracles, a statement here and hereafter; he defends them against their spiri substantially true, but the assertion that the temple of tual enemies, and he will judge them at the last day. Janus at Rome was closed at this time because there His mediatorial kingdom commenced after his resurrec was peace throughout the Roman empire, is more tion, when he entered into his glory, (Luke 24. 26,) but questionable; it rests entirely on the authority of Oroit will not be eternal. The authority which he now sius, who wrote in the fifth century; for there is no alluexercises as a Mediator and Judge, is only a temporary sion to the circumstance in any more ancient writer. dispensation, which will cease when he shall have ful We will now give a brief view of the predictions confilled his office, that is, after the last judgment. This tained in the Old Testament, concerning the advent, life, St. Paul sets forth in a striking and precise manner, in doctrine, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension of 1 Corinthians 15. 24,25,28.

Jesus Christ. Such a variety of circumstances, predicted The advent of the Messiah had been the great theme concerning one person so many years before he was of prophecy with the inspired writers, and at the period born, and of such an extraordinary nature,—all accomat which he actually appeared, as we learn from the plished in Christ, and in no other person that ever unexceptionable testimony of pagan authors, a general appeared in the world, point him out with irresistible expectation prevailed that some great Person would evidence as the Messiah, the Saviour of mankind. shortly appear in the East, who should more than realize (1.) The prophecies of the Old Testament distinctly the fictions of the golden age. Among the works which announced that the Messiah was to come, when the

[blocks in formation]

n the fifand affecting midst the hich he ran are

government should be utterly lost from Judah. “The and preach the Gospel to the poor and illiterate; that he sceptre shall not depart from Judah ..... until Shiloh should restore sight to the blind, health to the diseased, come.” (Gen. 49. 10.) This prediction all the ancient and light to those who had been oppressed with darkJews applied to the Messiah. Now the tribe of Judah ness; that he should teach the true and perfect way, is no longer a political body; it has no authority or and should be the great instructor of the Gentiles; that magistrates of its own, but is dispersed and confounded kings should fall down before him, and all nations pay among the other tribes of Jews; its present condition, him homage and obedience; that his reign should be therefore, is an evident mark that Shiloh or the Messiah gentle and benevolent; and that the influence of his is already come.

Gospel should harmonize the jarring passions of man(2.) Daniel points out the precise time in which he kind, and, together with the knowledge and worship of was to come, to make an end of sin, and to bring in an the true God, establish peace and purity on the earth. everlasting righteousness. He fixes the seventy weeks (56. 6,7,8.) (of years, that is, four hundred and ninety years) on one (5.) In the fifty-third chapter, the same prophet gives side, at the edict of Artaxerxes for the rebuilding of a most striking and affecting picture of the temper and Jerusalem, which was accomplished by Nehemiah; and behaviour of the Messiah amidst the many distressing on the other, at the death of the Messiah, and the esta- | and humiliating scenes through which he passed. blishment of his church. The two points of this duration Hence the most striking scenes of Christ's passion are are therefore known, and one determines the other: the delineated by the prophetic pencil with the same truth term at which a revolution of four hundred and ninety and exactness as if they had been drawn on the spot years commences necessarily shows where it ends, and when the secret volume of the Divine decrees was this ending coincides with the advent of Our Lord. unrolled, and when that which had been foreseen in The prophets Haggai (2. 6-9,) and Malachi (3. 1,) fore- vision was exhibited in reality. In addition to these told that the Messiah, the desire of all nations, whom | prophecies of Isaiah, it may be remarked, that long they were seeking, should come before the destruction before, David foretold the change of the order of the of the second Temple, and that his presence should fill priesthood by the Messiah,—the office he should sustain, it with a glory which the first Temple had not, though the sufferings which he should undergo,--and the it was far richer and more magnificent. Jesus Christ glorious triumphs he should enjoy from his resurrection, preached in that Temple, which was totally destroyed his ascension, and the extensive propagation of his within forty years afterwards. The second Temple has Gospel. (Psalm 2. 6; 22; 110.) been destroyed upwards of seventeen centuries; whence . (6.) The Messiah was not to lie in the grave and see it is manifest that more than seventeen centuries have corruption, (Psalm 16. 10,) but was to be raised from elapsed since the Messiah came.

the dead on the third day after his interment, and to (3.) The place where the Messiah was to be born, ascend into heaven, there to reign at his Father's right Bethlehem, and the tribe from which he was to spring, hand, invested with universal dominion. (Psalm 24. 7; that of Judah, were literally predicted by Micah 5. 2. 68. 18.) That these things were exactly accomplished in Both these circumstances are recorded by the Evangelists the person of Christ is obvious to every one who compares as fulfilled, the providence of God so ordering it, that these predictions with the statements of the Evangelists. Augustus should then command a general census to be (7.) It was likewise foretold that the Messiah should taken, which caused Joseph and Mary to go to Beth- abolish the Old and introduce a New Covenant or dislehem, not only that she might be delivered there, but pensation with his people; and accordingly, Jesus Christ that their names being there entered, their family might brought in a more perfect economy. (Jerem. 31. 31-34.) be ascertained, and no doubt might afterwards arise as | The old covenant is therefore abolished, and its observance to their being of the line of David. All the Evangelists | is rendered impracticable by the expulsion of the Jews have mentioned that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of from Judæa and Jerusalem, and the destruction by fire Judæa, and that this is an undoubted fact we are of that temple and altar, on which the whole of the informed by St. Paul, when he asserts that it is evident | Jewish public worship depended. It is as impossible to that Our Lord sprang out of Judah. (Heb. 7. 14.) doubt now that the Mediator is come, as to question

(4.) The prophet Isaiah has particularly foretold that those external facts which prove that the ancient covethe Messiah should be born of a virgin, (Isai. 7. 14,) nant subsists no longer. The manner in which the and that he should descend from the family of David, Evangelical historians exhibit the fulfilment of the pro(9. 6,7; 11. 1,2,) which was a particular branch of the phecies by Christ is remarkable, for they did not apply tribe of Judah. While he points out his miraculous them with hesitation, as if they were doubtful concerning birth, and describes his descent, he pourtrays his cha- their sense, or undecided as to their object. Their bold. racter in colours so striking and distinguishing, as to ness of assertion bore the stamp and character of truth. render its appropriation to Christ obvious to every one They had the clearest proof, more particularly from who compares the picture with the original. It was miracles, that their master was the promised Messiah, this prophet that foretold (53. 1,) that the Messiah and were therefore fully persuaded that all the proshould be destitute of outward power or influence tophecies centred in him. They appear to have had no attract the esteem and ensure the attachment of the conception, that this evidence could, in the nature of world; that though in the eye of God he should be the things, be referred to any one else; and therefore they chief corner stone, (38. 16,) elect, precious; yet that he pressed the arguments drawn from the Old Testament should be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence upon the minds of the unconverted, with all the sincerity (8.14,15) to men who were guided by the motives which of conviction, and all the authority of truth. in general actuate the human breast, such as interest, By the accomplishment of the prophecies, which is ambition, and the love of sensual enjoyments; and par- the particular and incommunicable character of Jesus ticularly it was foretold, that the Jews should fall on this Christ, all pretended Messiahs, whether past or future, rock; should refuse to build on him, as the only found are convicted of imposture. This may be deemed ation of their hopes: but should in their attempt to conclusive, from the following considerations. shake and overthrow it, be themselves scattered and There is but one Deliverer promised, and to one only broken to pieces. The same prophet declared (6.9,10,11) | do the Scriptures bear testimony. Whoever, therefore, that he should veil the eyes of the wise and learned, has neither been promised nor foretold, can be nothing

[blocks in formation]

but an impostor; and whoever cannot ascend as high as phecy; affording a strong proof of the intimate union the first promise, or rests upon Scriptures less ancient which subsists between the two dispensations of Moses than those of the Jews, stands convicted of imposture by and of Jesus Christ, and equally precluding the artful that circumstance alone, either because he has no title, pretensions of human imposture, and the daring oppoor has only a false one. All the prophets foretold what sition of human power. The plan of prophecy was so the Messiah is to do and suffer; there can be no doubt, wisely constituted that the passions and prejudices of therefore, between him who has done and suffered what the Jews, instead of frustrating, fulfilled it, and renthe prophets foretold, and him who has had no know- dered the person, to whom they referred, the suffering ledge of their predictions, or has not fulfilled them. and crucified Saviour who had been promised. It is Among the predictions of the prophets there are some worthy of remark that most of these predictions were that cannot be refuted, and which are so annexed to delivered nearly, and some of them more, than three certain times and places, that they cannot be imitated thousand years ago. Any one of them is sufficient to by a false Messiah. It was requisite, for instance, that indicate a prescience more than human; but the collecthe true Messiah should come into the world before the tive force of all taken together is such, that nothing destruction of the second Temple, because he was to more can be necessary to prove the interposition of teach there. It was necessary that he should lay the Omniscience than the establishment of their authen, foundations of the church in Jerusalem, because from ticity; and this, even at so remote a period as the preMount Sion it was to be diffused over the whole world. sent, is placed beyond all doubt. For the books, in It was necessary that the Jews should reject him before which they are contained, are known to have been their dispersion, because such dispersion was to be the written at the time to which, and by the persons to punishment of their wilful blindness. Finally, it was whom, they are respectively assigned, and also to have necessary that the conversion of the Gentiles should be been translated into different languages, and dispersed his work or that of his disciples, since it is by this into different parts, long before the coming of Christ, visible mark that the prophets point him out. Now It is absurd, therefore, to suppose that any forgery with that the Temple is no more, Jerusalem is possessed by respect to them, if attempted by the first Christians, strangers, the Jews are dispersed, and the Gentiles are should not have been immediately detected; and still converted, it is clear that the Messiah is come; but it is more absurd, if possible, to suppose that any passages not less. inanifest that no one else can repeat the proofs thus forged should afterwards have been admitted uniwhich he has given of his coming; and consequently, no versally into their Scriptures by the Jews themselves; one else can accomplish what the prophets foretold would who, from the first application of these predictions to be fulfilled by the Messiah.

Jesus Christ, have endeavoured, by every method, to That Jesus Christ is the true Messiah, and actually pervert their meaning. Surely if the prophecies in quescome in the flesh, is evident if we consider that it is tion had not been found at that time in the writings to intimated that whenever he should come, the sacrifices which the first propagators of Christianity appealed, the and ceremonies of the Mosaic law were to be superseded Jews needed only to produce these writings in order to by him. (Psalm 40. 6-8; Jerem. 31. 31-34; Dan. 9. 27; refute the imposture; and since no refutation was then Heb. 8. 13.) Now sacrifice and oblation have ceased. attempted, it was a demonstration to the men of that They virtually ceased when Jesus offered himself a sacri age; and the same prophecies being found there now, fice, and in a few years after they actually ceased. A without the possibility of accounting for it if they were few of the ancient ceremonies are adhered to; but, as forged, becoming in all reason as forcible a demonstration one of the Jewish writers acknowledges, “ the sacrifices to ourselves at present, that they were written there from of the Holy Temple have ceased.” Let every Jew, the beginning, and, consequently, by Divine inspiration." therefore, ask himself this question : “Should Messiah Dr. White also observes, in his Bampton Lectures, the Prince come at some future period, how are the “ The prophecies which respect the Messiah are neither sacrifice and oblation to cease on his appearance, when few in number, nor vague and equivocal in their referthey have already ceased near eighteen hundred years?" ence; but numerous, pointed, and particular. They

The ancient Jews appear to have had just notions bear on them those discriminating marks by which of the Messiah, which became gradually corrupted by Divine inspiration may be distinguished from the conexpecting a temporal monarch and conqueror; and find-jectures of human sagacity; and a necessary or probable ing Our Lord to be poor and humble, they rejected him. event from a casual and uncertain contingency. They Most of the modern Rabbins, according to Buxtorf, are such as cannot be referred to the dictates of mere believe that the Messiah is come, but that he lies con natural penetration; because they are not confined to cealed because of the sins of the Jews. Others believe general occurrences, but point out, with singular exacthe is not yet come, fixing different times for his appear- ness, a variety of minute circumstances relating to times, ance, many of which are elapsed; and being thus baffled, places, and persons, which were neither objects of forethey have pronounced an anathema against those who sight nor conjecture, because they were not necessarily shall pretend to calculate the time of his coming. To connected with the principal event, or even probable reconcile the prophecies concerning the Messiah that either in themselves or in their relation. They were seemed to be contradictory, some have had recourse to a such as could only have occurred to a mind that was twofold Messiah; one in a state of poverty and suffer- under the immediate influence of the Divinity, by which ing, the other of splendour and glory. The first, they distant periods were revealed, and the secrets of unborn say, is to proceed from the tribe of Ephraim, who is to ages disclosed. The scheme of prophecy, considered in fight against Gog, and to be slain by Armillus, (Zech. its first opening, its gradual advance, and its final and 12. 10;) the second is to be of the tribe of Judah and full completion in the advent, the ministry, the death lineage of David, who is to conquer and kill Armillus ; and resurrection of the Messiah, and the extensive proto bring the first Messiah to life again, to assemble all gress of the Gospel amongst the Gentiles, together with Israel, and rule over the whole world.

its blessed influence on individuals, societies, countries, “ The connexion of the predictions belonging to the and the whole race of mankind, is an object, the greatest Messiah,” Dr. Eveleigh observes, in his Bampton Lec and most sublime that imagination could conceive, and tures, “ with those which are confined to the Jewish the most pleasing and important that the human mind people, gives additional force to the argument from pro- can contemplate. “To Jesus give all the prophets wit

[blocks in formation]

ness; and around him they throw the beams of their having taken their pretended Messiah prisoner, immeunited light. In illustration of these remarks, we be- diately put him to death. hold the promise of a Redeemer given to our first parents, In A.D. 721 arose another pretended Messiah in immediately after the fall, in obscure and general terms. Spain; his name was Serenus. He drew great numbers (Gen. 3. 15.) It foretold a victory which would be after him under a promise of conducting them to Palesgained over the enemy that had deceived and conquered tine, but perished, with the greater number of his folthem; a victory the most illustrious in its effects and lowers, by the swords of the Saracens. consequences, and which should amply revenge on the The twelfth century was fruitful in false Messiahs. serpent's head the evils and miseries which he had About the year 1137 there appeared one in France, introduced into the world. Farther, we behold the who was put to death with many of those who folpromise renewed in somewhat clearer language to the lowed him; and about the same time the Persians patriarchs, particularly to Abraham, the great father of were disturbed by a Jew, who called himself the the faithful, and the precise line indicated from which Messiah. He collected together a vast army; but he the Messiah was to be descended; the fulfilment of also was put to death, and his followers treated with which prophetic promise may be seen in the genealogies great inhumanity. In the year 1157, a false Messiah of Jesus Christ, taken from the public registers by stirred up the Jews at Cordova, in Spain. The wiser St. Matthew and St. Luke. The prophets have not only and better sort looked upon him as a madman, but the foretold, in general terms, a great revolution that would great body of the Jews in that country believed on him ; take place in the world by the coming of the Messiah ; on this occasion great numbers of the Jews in Spain but they have delineated some particular circumstances were destroyed. In the year 1167 another false Messiah attending it which only the eye of Omniscience could arose in the kingdom of Fez, which brought great have foreseen. They have marked out the precise time troubles and persecution upon the Jews that were scatand place of the Messiah's birth; they have described, tered through that country. In the same year an with wonderful exactness, the distinguishing features of Arabian also set up there for the Messiah, and prehis office and character; they have displayed, with equal tended to work miracles. When search was made for beauty and truth, the effects and consequences of his him, his followers fled, and he was brought before the advent; and, through all their predictions, something Arabian king. Being questioned by him, he replied, pointing to the Messiah, either by direct application, or that he was a prophet sent from God. The king then by secondary and distant reference, is so interwoven asked him what sign he could show to confirm his miswith the general contexture, the universal scheme of sion? “ Cut off my head," said he, “and I will return prophecy, that, by keeping it in our eye, we shall be to life again.” The king took him at his word, profurnished with a clue to trace out their ultimate design, mising to believe him if his prediction came true. It is and contemplate their mutual connexion with, and needless to say the poor wretch never came to life again. dependence on, each other; for the testimony of Jesus Those who had been deluded by him were grievously is, clearly and eminently, the spirit of prophecy. This punished, and the Jews condemned to a very heavy fine. is its ruling and vital principle. Divested of this, it Not long after this, a Jew who dwelt beyond Euphrates loses its spirit and its power. We behold no consist- called himself the Messiab, and drew vast multitudes of ency; the impression of its dignity is weakened, its people after him. He gave this for a sign of it; that object is de based, its end is darkened; but viewed in he had been leprous, and was cured in the course of one this light, we behold in it a harmony which delights, a night. He, like the rest, perished in the attempt, and grandeur which astonishes, and from the result of the brought great persecution on his countrymen. whole arises such evidence as carries conviction to the 1 In the year 1174 a magician and false Christ arose in understanding." See MEDIATOR.

Persia, where he was called David Almusser. He preTaking advantage of the restlessness of their nation tended that he could make himself invisible; but he was under a foreign rule, many impostors have arisen at dif soon taken and put to death, and a heavy fine laid upon ferent times, who have assumed the title of Messiah, and his brethren the Jews. In the year 1176, another of have found numerous followers among the Jews. Of these impostors arose in Moravia, who made similar pres these Our Saviour forewarned his disciples, saying, tensions; but his frauds being detected, and not being "Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." able to elude the efforts that were made to secure him, (Matt. 24. 11.) Of these the earliest, as well as the he was likewise put to death. In A.D. 1199 arose in most celebrated, was Coziba, who raised the standard of Persia an impostor called David el David. He was a tevolt against Adrian. See BARCOCHAB.

man of learning, a great magician, and pretended to be : In the reign of Theodosius the Younger, (A.D. 434,) the Messiah. He raised an army, but was taken and another impostor arose, called Moses Cretensis. He pre- imprisoned, and having made his escape, was afterwards tended to be a second Moses, sent to deliver the Jews seized and beheaded. Vast numbers of the Jews were who dwelt in Crete, and promised to divide the sea, and massacred for having taken part with this impostor. give them a safe passage through it. His deluded We are told by Maimonides of another false Christ hearers gave so much credit to this, that they neglected that appeared in this century, but he gives no particulars their lands, houses, and all other concerns, and took of his name, country, or his good or ill success. It only so much with them as they could conveniently appears that in the twelfth century no less than ten false carry. And, on the day appointed, this false Moses Messiahs arose, and brought severe calamities and persehaving led them to the top of a rock, men, women, and cutions upon the Jews in various parts of the world. children threw themselves headlong into the sea until so After this period, it is true that several false Mesmany were drowned that the eyes of the rest were siahs appeared, whose pretensions were as extravagant as opened, and they became sensible of the cheat. They those of their predecessors, but they met with comparathen began to look out for their pretended leader, but tively little countenance from their countrymen. Thus, he had disappeared, and escaped out of their hands. in the year 1497, one Ismael Sophus deluded some of - In A.D. 529, the Jews and Samaritans rebelled against the Jews in Spain; but he speedily perished, and such the Emperor Justinian, and set up one Julian for their as believed in him were dispersed. In 1500, Rabbi king, and accounted him the Messiah. The emperor Lemlem, a German Jew of Austria, declared himself a sent an army against them and killed great numbers, and a forerunner of the Messiah, and pulled down his own

d, on to the top headlong 11 of the res




oven, promising his brethren that they should bake their partly from their colonies in Spain, (Jerem. 10. 9; Ezek. bread in the Holy Land next year; finding his predic- 27. 12,) partly from Arabia, (Ezek. 27. 19,) and partly tion falsified, he was cured of his delusion. In 1509, a from Meshech, or the country of Caucasus. (Ezek. Jew of Cologne, whose name was Pfefferkorn, pretended 27. 13.) There were also several mixed metals, as to be the Messiah; he afterwards affected, however, to SouT hhashmal, (Ezek. 1. 4,) rendered by our translaturn Christian. In 1534, Rabbi Solomon Malcho gave tors“ amber," but signifying a mixture of gold and out that he was the Messiah, and for so doing was burnt to silver, which bore with the Romans the namic of death by Charles V. of Spain. In 1615, a false Messiah aurichalcum. “ Brass,” (1 Macc. 8. 22,) and “fine brass,". arose in the East Indies, and was greatly followed by the talkolißavov, (Rev. 1. 15,) are also mentioned; Portuguese Jews who were scattered over that country; the first being probably copper, and the second the and in 1624, one in the Low Countries pretended to be Corinthian brass of Roman authors, for Josephus expressly the Messiah, of the family of David. He promised to mentions that the richer Jews in later times possessed destroy Rome, and to overthrow the kingdom of Anti splendid cups or vessels made of that compound. christ, and the Turkish empire; but he attracted compa- There was an extraordinary quantity of silver and ratively little attention.

gold supplied to the Temple of Solomon, and in the In 1666 appeared the most memorable impostor of most flourishing period of the Hebrew state we find that modern times, Sabatai Sevi, who gained a vast number large quantities of the precious metals were in the posof proselytes. He was born at Aleppo, and imposed session of the Israelites, (iChron. 22. 14; 29. 4,) and upon the Jews for a considerable time; he afterwards, we find the same among other Asiatic people, particu. with a view of saving his life, turned Mohammedan, but | larly the Persians, who were noted for their extraordinary was at last beheaded.

riches in gold and silver cups and other treasures. EsagThe last false Messiah that made any considerable geration cannot be supposed in this case, and we are number of converts was Rabbi Mordecai, a German Jew, therefore led to believe that great quantities of the prewho appeared in the year 1682. He was soon detected cious metals were obtained in those times: gold from as an impostor, and was compelled to fly from Italy to Africa, from India, perhaps from Northern Asia; silver Poland to save his life; it is not known what became of particularly from Spain. Though the Hebrews never him afterwards.

rivalled their teachers in the arts, the Egyptians, they

doubtless attained a considerable degree of proficiency, METALS AND METALLURGY. Metals are and we find that before their captivity, the working of the heaviest bodies in nature, and the most compact and | metals constituted three distinct branches of manuopaque of minerals. They are forty-three in number, facture, such as the iron-smiths, 5072 hharoshiy and have all more or less of that peculiar lustre known barzel, (Isai. 44. 12.) the copper-smiths or brass-foununder the name of metallic. There is great variety in | ders, hun) Un hharoshiy nichoshelh, (1 Kings 7. 14,) their degrees of malleability and elasticity ; a few which and the gold and silver workers, O'973 isoriphim, possess these qualities in an eminent degree, have hence (Judges 17. 4) or the '9730 mitsariphim. (Mal. been called perfect metals. The various metals are 3. 2.) The workers in metal, particularly iron, were found distributed through the earth's strata either in beds carried away captive by the conquerors when they were or masses; in minute particles among the debris of rocks, overcome. (2Kings 24. 14,16; Jerem. 24. 1.) or in veins which run through various rocks and strata. Among the instruments named as used by the workers With the exception of gold and platina, metals are rarely in metal are the anvil, Dys paam, (Isai. 41.7;) the found in a pure state, but are generally combined with hammer, 17apa makkabah, (Isai. 44. 12,) also the hamother substances. Hence metallic ores, when dug out mer or mallet of the stone-mason, Wu palish, (Isai. of the earth, have to undergo first the process of roasting, | 41. 7;) the tongs, Dinp so mal kachaim; the bellows, or subjection to a considerable heat, to free them from no2 mappuach, (Jerem. 6. 29;) the melting-pot, 7732 sulphur; and afterwards smelting, or the application of matsriph; the melting furnace, 713 koor. (Ezek. 22. 18.) a greater heat, combined with various fluxes, to reduce Manipulations also are mentioned; as the melting of the them to their true metallic character.

metals, not only to make them fluid for the purpose of The art of working in metals, or metallurgy, is one of casting, but also for separating from the precious metals the most ancient in the world, having been practised by the mixed common minerals, such as silver from the the Antediluvians, (Gen. 4. 22,) and it was carried to a lead ore which was combined with it. This is referred very high degree of perfection at an early period by the to by mnd nathach, to melt, (Ezek. 22. 21; 24. 11.) Egyptians, from whom its simpler departments were The tin, 592 bidel, is referred to in Isaiah 1. 25, in this learnt by the Hebrews during their sojourn among them. process of purification, and likewise the cleansing of The works in metal executed in the wilderness show a metals, in Ezekiel 22. 18,20. This operation is indidegree of skill in individuals which, it would seem, was cated by the word 973 tsoriph, which signifies to refine, not transmitted to their posterity, as otherwise Solomon purify, separate from the dross, (Isai. 1. 25,) and PPR would not have been obliged to employ Hiram, the zakak, (Job 28. 1.) where it signifies a place for the Tyrian, to furnish the metal work for the Temple. gold which they refine. The dross, D'I'd segim, was (1 Kings 7. 13.) The mountains of Palestine contained separated from the more precious metals by strong fosores, (Deut. 8. 9,) but it does not appear that the sils, as alkali, 72 bor, (Isai, 1. 25,) a substance used for Hebrews ever cultivated the mining arts to any extent, cleansing, as alkaline salt, perhaps also borax, which is and therefore they procured gold, silver, and other metals, used in smelting metals; and lead also was used. (Jerem. from distant countries, such as Ophir and Spain, as like- | 6.29.) The casting of images, TD) nasach, (Isai.40.39,) wise instruments composed of metal ready made, or metal and also of vessels, columns, &c., mentioned in Exodus plates. (Jerem. 10. 9.)

25. 12; 26. 37, under the term pyo yatsak, is conclusive In the Old Testament, mention is made of iron, 5792 that the practice was very early known. Gold, silver, barzel, steel, (Jerem. 15. 12;) copper or brass, nun) and copper only are mentioned in these places; the nichosheth; silver, 903 kasaph; gold, 317 zahab; tin, 599) casting of iron is never alluded to, and was perhaps bidel ; and lead, 79 opherelh. (Numb. 31, 22; Ezek. unknown. The hammering and beating out, yp 7 raka, 22. 18; 27. 12.) These metals were obtained by the (Exod. 39. 3; Isai. 40. 19;) the welding or joining, Hebrews from the Phænicians, who procured them) par dabak, (Isai. 41.7;) the brightening or polishing,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »