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SECT. XXIV. • 4
One Thing more is to be observ'd "in relation to thesesacred Gifts, whether appointed by the Law, or becoming doe from Vows, or given out of mere Free-Will; that they did not take their Rise from the Mojaical Institution originally, nor should be suppos'd to be abolisli'd with the ceremonial Rites thereof. The Use of them was allow'd, and confirm'd by that temporal Covenant; and they were taken in to make a Part of it: and when that, and she Obligation thence arising ceas'd, they stood just as they did before.
Making Donations, either by Vow or Free-Will, of that which was to provide for and adorn the Worship of" God, to raise an Awe and Admiration of h}! in the Minds of Men, and thereby promote the Growth of Piety and Virtue, was either apparent by the Light <$f NaTffre or a very old and early Revelation. We find Gen. xiv. Tythes were paid, in the Days of AbraGen. ham. And Jacob fays; This Jlone, wbicb 1 xxviii.22. haw have set for a pillar jhall be God's house; and bf all that thou Jhall give me, I -will surely give the tenth unto thee. And * those who have read much inform us, that it has been a Custom, time out of Mind, for Kings and Generals of Armies, among Heathen Nations, wh£n they had subdued their Enemies, and taken the Spoil, td consecrate the tenth Part thereof to thd Service of their Gods.
- The last holy Rite we have to inquire intOi is their manner of Fasting and Humiliation. UpOn such Occasions, they afflicted and] mortified themselves various Ways; by abstaining from all the Pleasures and Comforts of sensual Enjoyment: They put on Sackcloth, strew'd themselves over with -j- Ashes, threw their Bodies upon the Ground, and wept and mourn'd severely. The Days of their
Dejure Belli V Pads.
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keeping them, were either public and stated, or private and arbitrary. The public, were either such as the Law hacLappointed, or the common Exigence of the Nation occasionally requir'dj which were sometimes,seven Days; sometimes, three; sometimes, only till the Evening of the same Day. If they were private, they continued, according to the Will of those that undertook them.
There was but one ordinary legal Fast; and that was, 'The Day of general Atonement; kept, every Year, upon the tenth of September. Of extraordinary Fasts, appointed by Authority of the civil Magistrate, we have several Instances. When the Children of Moab, and the Children of Ammon were coming against Jehoshaphat King of Judah, to Battle; we are told, ^Chron. He feared, and set himself to seek ^lokd, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. jer. Again; It came to pass in the fifth year of xxxvi. 9. jehoiakin the fin of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lor D, to all the people in . Jerusalem; and to all the people that came from the Cities of Judah to Jerusalem.
Also, upon their Return from the Captivity, Ezra says j Tfo» I proclaimed a fast Ezra.viii. there, at the river Ahava, that we might21effliSl our selves before our God; to seek of him, a right way, for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
As to the Manner of their keeping these Fasts, we have likewise several Instances. When the rest of the Tribes were incens'd against that of Benjamin for their inhuman and inhospitable Behaviour, and had met with ill Success in their Endeavours to correct them for it; Then all the children Juqlg.xx. of Israel, and all the people, went up, and2' came unto the house of God, and wept, and fate there before the Lor D, and fasted that day until even.
Samuel says, Gather all Israel to Miz- J^S. peh, and I will pray for you unto the Lord. And they gatheredr together to Mizpeb, and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said f'erry We have finned against the Lord. Again, after the Captivity, when they were under Persecution from Antiochus, we read, that they fasted, and put on Sackcloth, jL *£ and cast ashes upon their heads, and rent Q^_2 their
2 Mac. tbeir cloaths. Again j They besought the merciful Lord, with weeping, and fa/ling, and lying fat upon the ground, three days long.
As to private Fasting, we have some mention of it, in the fame Place where the Vows of Daughters and married Women are qualified; of the Wife, it is said; Numb. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflic~l xxx. lZ: fa foul*, her husband may efablijh it,and her husband may make it void. The valiant Men, which burnt the Bodies of Saul and i Sam. 0f hjg Sons, fas ed seven days. And after, a Sam. i they (David and the men of Israel) mourn'd z' and wept and fasted until even, for Saul and
for Jonathan his son.
* Sam. So, when the Lord struck the child
X11* l6' that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and It
was very stek; David besought God for the
child, and fasted, and went in, and lay all
night upon the earth. And, a little after, he
fays, while the child was yet alive I fasted
and wept. And when Ahab King of Israel
heard the Judgment of God denoune'd a
i Kings gainst him by the Prophet Elijah, he rent
xxi. 27. fa chaste^ and pUf sackcloth upon his step,
and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went