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people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken unto us we will do.

The first rite made use of by Moses, as The rithe Lord commanded, was this: And Moses tual for

washing brought Aaron and his sons, and washed with them with water. The natural use of water, water,

Levit.viii. for cleanliness, to wash off all sorts of dirt or filth, that would soil the body, made it of constant use, and of great service, especially in those warm eastern countries. This was a very easy representation of purity, and might readily be applied to signify purity of heart, as it visibly made the body clean; the use of water, therefore, soon became a religious rite, and was established, as by universal custom and consent, a ceremonial denoting purity of mind, or an heart purged from iniquity. Hence divers baptisms, or kinds of washings, were so common among all nations, as well as with the Hebrews. Thus the Roman poet, so well skilled in the ancient rites and ceremonies of his nation, and of the heathen worship, represents his hero as unfit to carry the images of the gods, while defiled with blood, after a battle, till he should be purged, by washing in running water*. It was a re

* Tu, genitor, cape sacra manu, patriosque penates.
Me, bello è tanto digressum & cæde recenti,
Attrectare nefas, donec me flumine vivo

Virg. Æneid. 1. II. v. 717.

ceived custom, in like manner,


persons to wash themselves with water, before they sacrificed : whence the common expression, I go to wash myself, that I may sacrifice; I will now wash, that I may perform the sacred offices of religion *.

It was no wonder a rite of so plain meaning, and so proper instruction, should be of so general use, or that the wisdom of God, when it was to give the Hebrews a ritual, should make such use of water, one rite of it, when putting away the filth of the flesh, so properly put them in

mind of the answer of a good conscience 1 Pet. iii. towards God, as St. Peter reasons concern21. ing Christian baptism.

It may be proper just to mention here this general observation concerning all the rites of the Mosaical ceremonial, that they are instituted as rites, and to be used as rites only. The instructions they taught, promoted true religion and real goodness, as will appear more fully in another place ; but here we are to remark and keep in mind as we go along, that it is a general rule of interpretation of every ceremony of the ritual, that it was fit to give useful in

* Ego eo lavatum, ut sacrificem. Plaut. Aulular. iii. 6.43. Nunc lavabo, ut rem divinam faciam. Idem, ibid. iv. 2. 5.

The reader may see more in Saubert de Sacrificiis, p. 222


structions, or to guard against idolatry, or prepare for the more perfect and more spiritual state of religion under the Messiah. Thus Moses, in consecrating Aaron and his sons to the priest's office, brought them before the presence of Jehovah, and before the congregation of Israel, and washed them with water.

The next rite in the consecration of the Investing priests, was to put on them the proper gar

with the

priest's ments appointed for them in their service: the law gave express command for making ments. these garments; the directions were so particular, that no room might be left for private fancy and invention, or introducing the superstitions of idolatrous worship into the worship of Jehovah. The garments directed by the ritual were eight: four were usually called the linen garments, and were worn by all the priests; the other four were usually called the golden garments, because wrought with gold, together with other very rich materials. These holy gar- Exodus, ments, made for glory and for beauty, were xxviii. 2. peculiar to the high priest, and only worn by him when he officiated.

The use of these garments was required by the ritual, on pain of a very high punishment: And they shall be upon Aaron 43. and his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar, to minister in the holy place, that they bear not iniquity and

die ; it shall be a statute for ever unto him, and his seed after him.

The linen garments which were worn by all the priests, were breeches, coats,

girdles, and bonnets. Linen The ritual directed Moses, And thou breeches. shalt make them (Aaron and his sons) linen Exodus, breeches, to cover their nakedness; from the xxviii.42. loins even unto the thighs they shall reach.

This rite took care they should be decently covered, whatever gesture of body might be used in their duty, and effectually prevent such indecencies as are observed to have been used as honourable and as religious rites in the worship of Baal-Peor*, that the priests, in officiating, should uncover those parts which common modesty teaches to conceal. Here was a grave and decent garment appointed for the priests, fit for the service of their ministry, and very proper to prevent indecency, either through accident, or superstitious design.

Another garment appointed for the

priests was a linen coat: And for Aaron's Exodus, xxviii.4o. sons thou shalt make coats ; accordingly,

they made coats of fine linen of woven xxxix.27. work, for Aaron and his sons. This coat is

called a broidered coat, or a checkered

Linen coat.



* “ Gentium quidem profanarum flamines, quæ occultari maxime decebat, coram Pehore aperiebant, says Dr. Outram, from Maimon. and Kimbi. Outram de Sacrif. 1. I. c. 5. $ 3.


linen*, not such as is used for shirts and body-linen, but like diaper or damask, or thick checkered linen, in use for tables.

Another garment directed for the use of The the priests, was a girdle, different from the priests'

girdle. curious girdle of the ephod, one of the garments peculiar to the high priest. This curious girdle of the ephod was made of Exod. fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, xxxix. and scarlet, and needle-work. The common girdle of the priests seems to be plain, without the blue, purple, and scarlet, and seems well described by Dr. Lightfoot, as Ibid. a long linen swaddle, which many times is about them, over their caps, and downwards; a garment serviceable for warmth and strength. It is usually represented by the Hebrew writers as a sort of linen sash, of about four inches broad, and above sixteen yards long, and so might be wound round their forementioned coats, in very different manners, as occasion should call for.

The last of the garments appointed for Priests' the common priests, were bonnets; and bonnets. bonnets shalt thou make for them, says the Exodus, ritual: these were a sort of linen caps for xxviii.40. the head, represented as a sphere cut in

* The LXX render it Xitwva xoouußwtoy, wrought, as it were, with knots; Dr. Outram, Camisia utique lino facta, manicata, & opere tesselato texta, quæ ad pedes usque promittebatur; and our learned Dr. Lightfoot calls it a diaper shirt.

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