Page images

thou finish it above, and the door of the ark thou shalt place in the fide thereof with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

17. 0. And I, behold! I, will bring the flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life from under heaven, every thing which is in the earth shall die.

P.J. And I, behold! I, bring a flood of waters upon the earth to confume all flesh in which is the breath of life from under heaven; every thing that is upon the earth shall die.

18. 0. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt enter into the ark, thou, and thy fons, and thy wife, and thy ion's wives with thee.

P.J. And I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt enter into the ark, thou, and thy fons, and thy wife, and thy son's wives with thee.

19. · O. And of every thing that liveth of all fesh two of every sort fhalt thou cause to enter into the ark to be preserved alive with thee; male and female fhall they be,

P. J. And of every thing that liveth of all flesh, two of every fort Hall go into the ark to be preserved alive with thee; male and female thall they be.

20. 0. Of fowl after their kind, and of cattle after its kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every sort shall go in unto thee to be kept alive.

P. J. Of fowl after its kind, and of cattle after its kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every fort shall go in unto thee, through the * agency of the angel who shall lay hold upon them, and caute them to go in unto thee to be kept alive.

21. 0. And thou, take unto thyself of all food that is eaten, and thou fhall gather it unto thyself, and it shall be for food for thee and for them.

P.J. And thou, take into thee of all food that is eaten, and it fhal} be unto thee and unto them for food.

O. And Noach did according to all that the Lord commanded : so did he.

P.J. And Noach did according unto all that the Lord had commanded him,

פרקי אבות


CHAP. 2. 1. RIBBI said: Which is that right path which a man fhall chuse for himself ? Every one which is honorable to him who walketh in

* Hand.

it, and which bringeth honor to him of men. Be careful of a light precept as of a heavy vne: for thou knowest not the recompence of reward of the observance of the commandments: and balance the loss arising from the violation of a comniandment, with the recompence for observing it, and the advantage of trangression with the harm resulting from it. Attend also unto three things, and thou Malt not fall into the hands of transgreflion. Consider what is above thee: an eye that seeth, and an ear that heareth, and that all thy deeds are written in the book.

2. Rabban Gamaliel the son of R. Judah the Prince said: The study of the law is beautiful when joined to an occupation; for the laboring in them both caureth forgetfulness of fin. And all study of the law, which has not fome employment joined with it, is ultimately of no avail and draweth on fin. And all who are engaged in public affairs should engage in them for the sake of God. For the merits of their fathers aflift them, and their righteousness endureth for ever. And as to you, faith God, I deem you worthy of a great reward, even as if ye had done it of yourselves.

3. Beware of those in power, for they draw not nigh unto a man but when their own neceflity compcls them. They appear friendly at the time their interest is advanced, but they do not stand by a man in the time of his distress.

4. He was wont to say, execute His will as thine own will; in order that He may execute thy will as his own will. Annul thine own defire on account of His will, in order that He may annul the desire of others on account of thy will. Hillel said, Separate not thyself from the congrega- · tion, and confide not in thyself until the day of death. And país not judgment upon thy neighbour until thou art come into his situation. Neither speak thou a word which cannot be heard (i. e. understood) but one which may be heard. Neither say thou, At my leisure I will learn; It may be thou wilt have no leisure.

5. He was wont to say, A fool feareth not sin, neither is a man of no understanding pious. Neither doth the bashful learn, nor he that is given to anger teach: Neither doth be who frequently wandereth become wise. And in whatsoever place there are no men, do thou strive to play the man.

0. He also, when he saw a Ikull floating on the surface of the water, taid to it: Because thou hast made others to swim, thou now swimmest ; and the end of thofe who caused thee to swim is, that they also thall swim. j.e. Because thou haji deliroved others thou thyself art now destroyed; and the end of those who deliroved thee is, that they alio Mall perish.

7. He was wont to say, He who multiplieth fleih, multiplieth worms: he who multiplieth riches, multiplieth cares: he who multiplieth wives, multiplieth forcereffes: he who multiplieth maid-fervants, multiplieth wickedness: he who multiplieth man-lervants, multiplieth robbery: he who multiplieth his knowledge of the law, multiplieth life: he who multiplieth the school, multiplieth wisdom: he who multiplieth counsel, mul

preth prudence: he who multiplieth righteousness, multiplieth peace. Nie who getteth a good name, getteth it unto himself. He who acquireth the words of the law, getteth unto himself the life of the world to come.

8. Rabban Jochanan the son of Zaccai received the traditions from Hillel and Shammai. He was wont to lay; If thou hast learned the law abun

antly, ascribe not merit unto thyself, for thereunto wast thou formed. 1. Jochanan had five scholars, and these were they ; R. Eliezer the son of ircanus, and R. Joihua the son of Chananiah, and R. Jole the priest,

U : 2

and and R. Simeon the son of Nathanael, and R. Eliezer the son of Arach. He thus pointed out their praises. R. Eliezer the son of Hircanus is a cistern coated with plaister, which loseth not a drop. R. Joshua the son of Chananiah, blessed is the that bare him. Jose the priest is devout. R. Simeon the son of Nathanac dreadeth sin, and R. Eliezer the son of Arach is a fountain increasing in strength. He was wont to say, If all the wise men of Israel were in one scale of the balance, and R. Eliezer the son of Hir. canus in the other scale, he would outweigh them all. Abba Saul said in his pame, If all the wise men of Israel were in one scale of tlie balance, and R. Eliezer the son of Hircanus with them also, and R. Eliezer the fon of Arach in the other fcale, he would outweigh them all.

9. He said unto them: Go out, and fee which is that right way unto · which a man shouid clcave. R. Eliezer said, A good eye, (i.c. oitentment) R. Joshua faid, A good companion. R. Jote laid, A good neighbor. R. Simlow, said, He who foreseeth what is to come to pass. R. Eliezer faid, A good heart. He said to them, I prefer the words of Eliezer the ion of Arach before your words : because his words are a summary of your words. He said unto them, Go out, and fee which is that evil way from which a man should keep at a distance. R. Eliezer said; An evil eye. R. Joshua said, A wicked companion. R. Jose said, A bad neighbour. R. Simeon said, He who borroweth and payeth not again. For he who borroweth from a man is as if he borrowed from God as it is written (Pl. 37. 21.) The wicked borroweth and payeth pot again, but the righteous Theweth mercy and giveth. R. Eliezer said, An evil heart. He said to them, I prefer the words of Eliezer the son of Arach before your words, because his words are a summary of your words.

10. These fame uttered three sentences. R. Eliezer said, Let the glory of thy companion be dear to thee as thine own; and be not prone to wrath; and repent one day before thy death (i, e. As thou m et die to-morrow, repent to-day.) And warm thyself at the fire of the wisemen; but beware of their hot coals, left thou be burnt; for their bite is as the bite of a fox, and their fting as the fring of a scorpion, and their hilling as the hilling of a fiery serpent, and all their words are as live coals of fire.

11. R. Joshua said, An evil eye, (i. e. avarice) and wicked inclinations, and hatred towards mankind carry a man out of the world.

12. R. Jose said, Let the wealth of thy neighbour be dear to thee as thine own, and prepare thyself to learn the law fince it is not thine by inheritance. And let all thy works be done to the glory of God.

13. R. Simeon laid: Be careful in the reciting of the Shema and in prayer : and at whatsoever time thou fhalt pray, make not thy prayer only a matter of courte; but remember that there are mercies for which thou fhalt pray before the Lord: as it is written : (Joc). 2. 13.) For he is gracious and merciful, Now to anger and of great kindness and repenteth him of the evil. And be not wicked in thine own eyes (i. e. Be not lo difpleased and in theartened at thy wickedneks, us to do pair of repentance. )

14. R. Eliezer said, Be diligent in learning the law, that thou mayest know what answer to make to the Epicurcans: and consider before whose face thou workeft: that thy talk master is faithful, and that he will give thee a full reward for thy work.

15. R. Tarphon laid, The day is fhort, and the work is great, and the


workmen are lazy, and the reward is abundant and the master of the house is urgent.

16. He was wont to say, It is not incumbent upon thee to complete the work, neither art thou at liberty to cease from it. If thou hast learned the law abundantly, they will give unto thee an abundant reward. For faithful is thy taik-master, who will give thee a full reward for thy work: and know, that the reward of the just will be given in the world to come.


DENCE ARISING FROM EXPERIENCE.. M UCH the greatest part of the knowledge that men poisess, is derived

Ne from experience; and by experience I understand the testimony of those perceptive powers with which our Creator has furnithed the human frame : if the information conveyed through these powers to the mind cannot be relied on, the attainment of all knowledge is impoflible-- These powers are of two sorts :

1. Those by which we receive such information as relates to the state of external objects (the various works of Gud) or to changes in this fiate. And,

2. Those by which we receive such information as relates to the internal state of our own minds, and the changes in this itate, whether voluntary, or involuntary.

The first of these powers, we distinguish by the name of sensation, the second by that of consciousness.

By the faculty of sensation we become acquainted with the various works of creation, and the changes in their state.

By the faculty of consciousness we become acquinted with the various operations of our mental powers, the state of our dispositions, and the various acts of the will.

Now it must be observed that the knowledge attained by sensation, can generally be communicated to other men with the same degree of clearners, and certainty, as that with which it was originally attained: the receivers of fuch knowledge can enable other men to ascertain the REALITY of this knowledge which themselves have received, because they can shew beyond all poflibility of doubt, that their experience is not the eifect of mere imagination, by subjecting the objects of their experience to the examination of the senses of other men. For unless general experience was regular and constant, that is, unless the same object uniformly excited the same ideas, the world could not fubfift. Indeed we therefore call objects the same because they excite the same ideas. Accordingly,

When Dr. Stork, the celebrated phyfician at Vienna, set forth his experience of the wonderful virtues of the hemlock, were the physicians at London fatisfied with the mere allegations of his experience?-No such matter. Like men of sense they did not take his experience upon truit (as certain pious persons would have us to take that of themselves, or their friends) but judiciously had recourse to their own. When the Doctor's experience was not confirmed by the efficacy of such hemlock as was to be gotten in England; they sent to the Doctor for some of his own, with which he had done such wonders at Vienna. Equally disappointed in what was unquestionably genuine, they very properly deemed his alleged

experience, experience, to be no better than a groundless fancy: And why so? Cer. tainly, because it did not accord with their own.

When Sir Isaac Newton made his famous experiment (the 8th of the ad part of his first book of Opticks) to discover the proportion of the fines of incidence to the fines of retraction in different refracting mediums, nobody doubted the result of this experiment as related by that great mathematician and philosopher. But when Dollond tried the same experiment in 1757, he found the result very different, and in consequence of this discovery, invented his famous Achromatic telescopes. But if (according to the maxim of these same good persons) he had entertained implicit faith in Sir Isaac's experience, this valuable improvement had never been made. But upon certain occasions, implicit faith can be as uteful to protestants as to papists.

Very different is the nature of that other fort of experience, which arises from consciouiness. The knowledge received from this faculty, cannot like the former, be communicated to other men, with the same degree of clearness, and certainty, as we ourselves have received it. It is the knowledge of the invisible state of mind of each individual; and can no more become the knowledge of any other man, as the kuowledge received by sensation can, than the conscience, or character, or actions of any one man, can beconie tlie conscience, or character, or actions, of any other man. Such knowledge is wholly perfonal; and we can only rely upon the mere verbal allurances of those who affert, that they are in poilellion of such internal experience: but this is not to have knowledge, it is only to have faith ; i. e. it is not to have certainty, it is only to have probability, for the ground of our reliance; and of the degrees of this probability, or what is the same thing, of the degrees of credit due to such affertions, every.. man must judge from what he perceives in himself.

The prophets and apoltles were conscious of the knowledge communicated to their minds, by the incomprehensible mode of inspiration; and they were conscious this knowledge so communicated, was communicated to them by God Himself. Yet did Gideon require (Judges vi.) the evidence of jinti, i.e. citernal, in confirmation of internal experience. But when it was requisite to ascertain to other men with perfect certainty, the reality of this internal experience, they who alleged the consciousnels of such uudiscoverable feelings, were enabled to work mirables, i. e. to call in the ad of external experience, in attestation of their own internal experience, and thus to evince the reality of it, by an appeal to the senses of other nien. We may therefore fately conclude that,

All appeals to private consciousness, under the name of EXPERIENCES (which certain persons are so fond of relating: are utterly futile : they admit of 10 proof ubatfocrcr, and only tend to mislead and disturb weak, but well diípored persons; of this fort are all pretences to certain feelings, and to God's dealings with particular persons in these days. What then must be the fente or inodesty of those who expect a credit to be paid to pretences of internal experience, which even God Himself in the cate of divine inspiration did not think proper to require; and who inflicted a signal punitlment upon his own inspired meilenger for regarding such pretences, ikings, xiii. 18.

The Rev. Darid Simpson of Macclesfield, gives an account in one of his publications, of an honeti calvinistical minister who experienced a call to montert the lope. The contequence was as might be expected, according

« PreviousContinue »