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SECT. XVI.

The NAZARITES,

So much, for those Persons who were cmploy'd in the Administration of ReligU ous Affairs, in the Service of the Tabernacle and Temple. We have yet, under the Name of Holy Persons, some others to treat of; such as in the old Testament, we find, were, call'd Nazarites, Prophet*) and Scribes. Of theses in their several Turns*

We will begin with the Nazarites: Who were a kind of Religious, thac consecrated themselves to God by a Vow for a Timej whereby, they likewise bound themselves to certain Rules and Abstinences, during the whole Time of their Vows. Numb. Wnat the Lav> injoins concerning them, vi. i,&c is as follows; When either man or woman Jhall separate themselves, to vow a vow of a * Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord. He shall separate himself from wintr and strong drink,and shall drink no vinegar of wine or vinegar of Jlrong drink; neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes or dried. All the days of his separation, shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the busk. All the days of the vow of his separation, there shall come no razor upon bis head; until the days be fulfill'd, in which he feparateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and pall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. He shall come at no dead body. He shall not make himself unclean (mourn) for his father, or for his motheri for his brother, or for his stster, when they die. And, if any man die very suddenly, by him, and be hath defiled the bead of his consecration-, then he shall Jhave his head, in the day of his cleansing; en the seventh day shall he Jhave it: and on the eighth dayi he shall bring two turtles, or- two young pigeons, to the Priest, so the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And the Priest shall offer the orte for astn-offering, and the other for a burntoffring, and make an atonement for him, a$d shall hallow his head that fame day. And he shall consecrate unto the Lord

* Which Word signifies One that is separated.

the days of his separation; and Jhail bring a lamb of the first year, for a trefpafs~offering: But the days that were before, Jkall be lojl', because his separation was defiled. These were the Conditions of the Vow; then follows an Account of what Offerings were to be made, and other Particulars to be observed, at the Expiratioa of the Term, for which the Vow was made. After which it is said j This is the Jaw of the Nazarite, who hath vowed j and cf his offering unto the Lor D for his separation besides that that his band Jh all get. Which makes it reasonable to conclude, that this Vow was undertaken, mostly, by People in narrow Circumstances j who, having nothing else to offer, offer'd themselves to the Lord; and therefore it was look'd upon as a very meritorious and holy Action. A Fair of Turtles, was the Offering of those who were not of Ability to afford a better. But we find, bet'ter was expected, if his Hand pou'd get it; if he throve and profper'd in the World, afterwards.

We have one notable Instance of this Kind, in Samson-, concerning whom, an

Angel

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an Angel declares, even before he was conceiv'd, that no razor should tome upon JudS- **• his heady u for he should be a Nazarite unto God from the womb. Then the wo<man came and told her husband, faying, A man of God said unto me, behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son: and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing; for the child flail be aNazarite to God, from the -womb to the day of his death. Upon this Condition, he was to deliver Israel. And therefore when, afterwards, his Hair was cut off by Dali* lah, his great Strength immediately left him.

We have another Instance in Samuel*, whose Mother wooed a vow, and said, 6 »**■ *• Lord of Hop, is thou ivilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and give unto thine handmaid a man-child, then I will give him unto the Lor r>, all tht days of his life; and there flail no rdzot come upon his head.

Of the temporary Vow of Nazaritifm, we have something occurs in two Places in the New Testament: And, both, * I

* Hammond thinks the first relates to Aquija, St. Paul'* Companion.

X x think,

think, relating to St. Paul. In the firs, Actsxviii. js t0 nave jhorn his head in Cen

chrea; for he had a vow. Not, that the Term, for which he had vow'd, was expir'd; but because he had been polluted by some accidental Impediment, and was to purify himself, and so proceed in his Separation. In the second, we find him at 'Jerusalem; where, because he had given Offence to some Judaizing Christians, in admitting the Gentiles without obliging them to be circumcis'd, St. James, (who, probably, knew of his Vow) advises him to clear himself from all such censorious Aspersions, by a favourable Opportunity; ib. xxi. j)0 this therefore, fays he, that we fay to thee; we have four men which have a vow on them: them take, and purify thy self with them, and be at charges with them (be at the Expence of procuring Offerings for them, for they are poor) that they may shave their heads: and all may know, that those things whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thy self, walkest also orderly and keepesl the law.

And, accordingly, this good-natur'd Apostle, (who was all things to all Men, in

all

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