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SECT. XVI.

The NAZARITES.

So much, for those Persons who were employ'd in the Administration of Religious Affairs, in the Service of the Tabernacle and Temple. We have yet, under the Name of Holy Perfons, fome ochers to treat of; such as in the old Testament, we find, were call’d Nazarites, Prophets; and Scribes. Of these, in their several Turns.

We will begin with the Nazarites: who were a kind of Religious, that consecrated themselves to God by a Vow for a Time; whereby, they likewise bound themselves to certain Rules and Abstinences, during the whole Time of their Vows.

What the Law injoins concerning them, Numb. vi. 1,&c. is as follows; When either man or woman

Shall Separate themselves, to vow a vow of a * Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD. He fall separate himself from wine and strong drink,and shall drink no vinegar

*Which Word signifies One that is separated.

of

of wine or vinegar of frong drink; neither Shall be drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes or dried. All the days of his paration, shall be eat nothing that is made of the vine, tree, from the kernels even to the

busk. All the days of the vow of his fe1 paration, there hall come no razor upon

bis bead; until the days be fulfilld, in which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy; and fall let the locks of the bair of his bead grow. He shall come at no dead body. He shall not make himself unclean (mourn) for his father, or for bis mother; for his brother, or for his fifter, when they die. And, if any man die very suddenly, by him, and be bath defiled the head of bis confecration; then be mall fave his bead, in the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day shall be Have it: and on the eighth day, be fall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the Priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congrega tion. And the Priest shall offer the one for a fin-offering, and the other for å burnt

off. ring, and make an atonement for him, G

and shall hallow his head that same day. And he mall confecrate unto the Lord

the

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the days of his feparation; and fall bring a lamb of the firft year, for a trefpass-of

. fering : But the days that were before, fbal be loft; because his feparation was defiled.

These were the Conditions of the Vow; then follows an Account of what Offerings were to be made, and other Parciculars to be observed, at the Expiration of the Term, for which the Dow was made. After which it is said; This is the law of the Nazarite, who hath vowed; and of his offering unto the LORD for his feparation, besides that that his band fall get. Which makes it reasonable to conclude, that this Vow was undertaken, mostly, by People in narrow Circumstances ; 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 Pair of Turtles, was the Offering of those who were not of Ability to afford a better. But we find, better was expected, if his Hand Sou'd get it; if he throve and prosper'd in the World, afterwards.

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

Angel

5.

an Angel declares, even before he was conceiv'd, that no razor fhould come upon Judg. xii. his bead, for he should be a Nazarite unto God from the womb. Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a fon : and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat

any unclean thing; for the child shall be a 5. Nazarite to God, from the womb to the day

of bis death. Upon this Condition, he
was to deliver Ifrael. And therefore when,
afterwards, his Hair was cut off by Dalis
lah, his great Strength immediately left him.

We have another Instance in Samuel;
whose Mother vowed a vow, and said, O 1 Sam. i.
LORD of Hofts, if thou wilt indeed look
on the afli&tion of thine handmaid, and
give unto thine bandmaid a man-child, then
I will give him unto the LORD, all the
days of his life; and there shall no rázot
come upon his head.

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

II,

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

think, relating to St. Paul. In the first, Actsxviii.

he is said, to have shorn his head in Cenchrea; for be bad 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. Do this therefore, says he, that we say 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 save their beads: and all may know, that those things whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing ; but that thoutby felf, walkest also orderly and keepest the law.

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

all

23.

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