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site of which, now a bare rock, surrounded by vestiges of a wall, they consider holy ground, and tread it only barefooted. They believe this to be the place where the tabernacle of the Lord, with the ark of the covenant, had been pitched. For the same reason, no dead are buried on the sanctified hill, but at its base. Not far from the site of the temple there are extensive ruins of a fortress and town. They keep the passover, by sacrificing as many lambs or kids, a year old, as may be required for the repast of each family, abstaining for seven days from the use of leavened bread. On this and the other festivals, they pitched their tents, in former times, upon Gerizim all night, and offered their sacrifices not far from the site of the ancient temple. This spot, which is called Muzbih,“ place of sacrifices,” is indicated by two rows of stones laid on the ground, and a round pit stoned up, in which the flesh was roasted. But they have for many years desisted from this custom, and kept the festivals in their houses, on account of the exactions and oppressions of the Turkish gover
On the day of Pentecost each individual kills a cock, which is likewise the custom of the Jews, who name the cock Kapparah, or "expiation." Since, however, the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, the Jews can offer no pashcal lamb, and they only observe those parts of the feast which include the use of unleavened bread, herbs, and wine. May not this feeble remnant of the ancient Samaritan nation have been preserved for the express purpose of transmitting to the present times, without any intermission, an example of the commemoration of the blessed ordinance so mercifully instituted in remote ages as typical of the one and all-sufficient sacrifice of the promised Messiah? The Samaritans are thus living witnesses to the authenticity of the Levitical law, so rashly impugned by some modern philosophising Christian teachers.
The Samaritans assert that Joshua deposited on Gerizim the twelve stones brought from the Jordan. They show, also, a spring, near the site of the temple, named Najij, at which they believe the Great Prophet, or the Messiah, whom they call El-Muhdy, the guide, will appear when He comes upon the earth. They go four times a year in procession to the top of Gerizim, at their great festivals, reading the law all the way."
The above statement is extracted from a work of high value,* not only in reference to its immediate object, but as presenting to our view points of deepest interest in connexion with Eastern lands and their tenants.
With pleasure we add the following fromThe Pathways and Abiding Places of our Lord: illustrated in the Journal
of a Tour through the Land of Promise. By the Rev. J. M. WairWRIGHT, D.D.
The only object of special interest in Nablouse is the synagogue of the Samaritans. We were desirous of seeing the celebrated manuscript of the Pentateuch, which they, with singular hardihood, affirm to have been written in the time of Moses. It had the appearance, indeed, of a venerable “ roll of a book;” but we had reason to infer that they themselves put little faith in this legend of such unknown and high antiquity. On making inquiry of the venerable rabbi, in reference to the recent celebration of the passover, we were taken to a terrace above a small court, whence
* " Journal of a Deputation sent to the East, by the Coinmittee of the Malta Protestant College in 1849.”
we could look down upon the places where the seven lambs were sacrificed. The cinders and ashes being pointed out, we were told that the ceremonial had been performed upon this spot, instead of Mount Gerizim, in consequence of the bigotry of the Mohammedan. We stood then, for the first time in our lives, near a spot where an animal sacrifice is still performed. But a few days had gone by since a meek and innocent victim had been led hither, unconscious of its doom, and here its blood had been poured forth as an offering. How could such an event fail to set before us a vivid picture of the wonderful rite, ordained in the beginning, the sacrifice of the innocent to wash away transgression ? From the first offering made by Abel, up to the present hour, that mysterious thought, the just shall die for the unjust, the guiltless for the guilty, had never been suffered to perish from the earth. The offering which Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock, pointed, indeed, with a simple and touching sublimity, to the Lamb slain; but it received from the future sacrifice on the cross its only significance and efficacy; the cinders and ashes before us, on the contrary, were not more lifeless and cold than this poor attempt to prefigure the past by a ceremony now so empty and unmeaning. The altar of Abel was the monument of a mighty faith, yet powerful even in death ; but this altar of the poor Samaritans is the feeble token of a stubborn unbelief, cold, formal, and unfruitful, though with a semblance of life. The lofty ceremonial of the Jews, with all the majesty of the Temple of Solomon; the long array of priests and Levites in countless numbers in their courses; the tribes of the Lord out of the whole land coming up to one altar; the smoke of the sacrifice of untold victims ever rising to heaven; the sacred fire never extinguished; the awful mystery of the high priest, but once a year, and then not without blood, entering into the holy of holies,-all this formed, indeed, a worship not too holy nor magnificent for the mighty meaning, the great Atonement. It has ceased; but could it be renewed with tenfold dignity and glory, it would now be as empty and unmeaning as it was before affecting and sublime. Yet even this vain Samaritan shadow of a ritual once so splendid and imposing, is full of significance to him who has laid hold by faith of the substance of the deluded Samaritan's hope. They ignorantly still perform a service designed only to prefigure an event now long passed. “But the Samaritan who clings to the semblance of an offering, and even when driven from the altar on his holy mountain, substitutes, with singular perseverance, a few rude stones in the common court-yard of any hovel—is not more blind and obstinate than the Jew, who will not behold that finger of God which, during these many centuries, has forbidden the victim to bleed in Jerusalem, and the smoke of the sacrifice to ascend to Mount Moriah.
What a lesson to unbelief! how striking this circumstance to the faithful! A poor, obscure, and despised handful of Samaritans, shut up in a secluded village in this narrow valley, between the mountains of blessing and of cursing, --scarcely one hundred and fifty human beings, all countedare, in the whole world, the only believers in one God who still vainly deem that they make the atonement of blood! Indeed, a little remnant, and yet a wondrous monument, both of the truth and of the justice of God!
And now, since neither at Jerusalem nor on this mountain can men worship the Father with the blood of the dying victim, and beneath the clond of smoke ascending from the burning sacrifice, is not the time ap
proaching when the poor offering here made shall also ccase ? Then shall Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles unite in the faithful confession, that God has removed every outward ceremonial of a sacrifice of blood, because that great event has transpired which alone gave it power and efficacy. Then, indeed, shall
“One song employ all nations, and all cry
Worthy the Lamb, for He was slain for us !" Hasten the time when Samaritans, Jews, Christians, and even the pagans of the Gentiles, shall unite in the new song, " Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;" when the angels shall join in the song,
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing!"
Our Creditors. "Their debtors they are” (Rom. xv. 27); thus wrote the great apostle of the Gentiles, respecting a contribution that it pleased the believers of Macedonia and Achaia to make for the poor Jews at Jerusalem. Let us ponder his words: “It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things” (ver. 27). These are words of inspiration; unlike the words of man, they enunciate an heaven-born principle; they speak with angel-voice, with accent clear and loud, to every Christian Gentile, of their long-neglected dutynot their pleasure-of an accumulated debt, with interest due, and compound interest yet unpaid,-a debt unpaid for eighteen hundred years; true, in the lesser view, for which the Macedonians cared—and in the greater, of the soul, alas, too true, as the judgment will reveal.
Let us therefore listen, that we may know and perform our duty as Christians to the wandering and almost-forgotten Jew of the present time;" then will our labour not be in vain, for there is much we cannot do, and there is much it is our duty to do. We cannot re-collect the scattered tribes, or restore them to Immanuel's land, or build Ezekiel's temple, or cause the conversion of the nation; He who scattered them will, in His own time and way; but we can, and it is our scriptural duty to make a collection for their temporal wants, and how much more for their spiritual necessi ties; for, though they are a byword amongst the nations, they are loved for the fathers' sakes;" though an household name of reproach with many, yet the “gifts and calling of God are without repentance;" and to the uncared-for and despised Jew pertain " the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for evermore” (Rom. ix. 4, 5).
Now, the prayerful and Bible-reading Christian will acknowledge that the one great aim of his pilgrimage should be to have the mind of Christ, and to do His will; this is his distinguishing privilege, and it enables him to think and act correctly; yet this can only result from a clear apprehen
sion and appreciation of the Divine mind, as seen, for instance, in the model character of St. Paul for our imitation. He had read and studied the patriarchs, the fathers, the law, the prophets, and the gospel; and, acquiescing in the revealed will, he endorses and reiterates the Divine announcement to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. ix. 15). And as the vibration of this celestial chord fell on this model mind, it strung in sweetest harmony his renewed soul, which breathes “more plaintire strains than Israel's captive lyre by Babel's streams."
Such is the model—where are the copies? We find a few imperfect delineations; we pause, we do not write to censure; rather let us for a moment again contemplate the revealed will relative to ourselves and the creditors, the objects of St. Paul's prayers, and feeling, and labour, and charity; they dwell among us, yet are not amalgamated with us; they are what their fathers were, “a peculiar people,” yet “beloved for the fathers' sakes" above all other nations. The Jews must have this undying pre-eminence-none can take it from them, it is their birthright, their distinctive badge in all their wanderings and persecutions; it is the glory that encircles the Hebrew throne, or gleams in Hebrew exile, yet they are members of the fallen progenitor of our race; for, as concerning the Gospel, the good news that their Messiah is God's salvation unto the ends of the earth, they did not understand, and are “enemies for our sakes;' but, though the blessings of the Hebrew covenant are extended, and made over to us Gentiles, in all its heavenly fulness, yet we are plainly told not to boast against the branches, or to say that the branches are broken off that we might be grafted in; we are reminded of the cause of their being broken off-unbelief, and that we only stand by faith and of the power of God, * lest he also
us, “for God is able to graff them in again.”. Of this mystery St. Paul would not have us ignorant, “lest we should be wise in our own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved.” A glance at this passage will discover the true nature of the debt we owe, and the work which the British Society seeks to accomplish : it is not to do the work of “the Deliverer, who shall come out of Zion, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob,” but it is distinctly with the " remnant at the present time,” according to the election of grace, there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved;" this is the scriptural position of the remnant in the present time—the creditors with whom we have to do -that whosoever among them shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved ; and for our encouragement, it seems added, that there is an “clection of grace," that the Gentile may know that his labour shall not be in vain in the Lord; yet if this cheering truth were not added, his duty would be the same; but with the assurance shall these elect creditors continue to wander in by-ways? and will not the Gentile debtor direct them by his contributions to the old ways ? or shall they, at the last, appear at the bar and say, Done cared for our souls? True, we do not know who are the elect, and our labour may be apparently unsuccessful; yet our duty is plain, and the result is with our God; and even now the future cedars of Lebanon may be striking their roots deep in the earth, for Judah shall again take root downward (2 Kings xix. 30); which, when we are sleep
ing in the dust, shall extend their branches unto the rivers, and their shade unto the ends of the earth. Our debt to carry back the Gospel is very clear: “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy, through their unbelief, even so, have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy;" and respecting the means of payment, St. Paul is equally explicit : “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed, and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher ? and how shall they preach except they be sent ?” This is practical reasoning, and it is our duty to imitate our working model; but we have another motive to urge us; we are told that “ faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God;" we should also follow him in his heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel, that they might be saved; farther, we dare not attempt, we feel we cannot,in amazement we are lost, as we read the unearthly words, "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart, for I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” We hear another Moses saying, “Forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written” (Exod. xxxii. 32); and whilst we own that the copy of our love, or zeal, or charity, at its utmost, can only be an imperfect delineation, we may imagine what St. Paul would have done with the great wealth of the Church of the present day, or what he would do, if he was again its almoner; would he not help the British Society to gather in the “elect remnant," to sow the incorruptible seed by the way-side, and to send out its messengers-of whom it may still be written, beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things ?” We need not add more,—our debt and duty are clear.
Notice of Books
Life Spiritual. By the Rev. GEORGE SMITH, Minister of Trinity Chapel,
Poplar. London: Snow.
The earnestness and simplicity visible through the whole are very refreshing. There is an absence of all strainedness of expression, while, at the same time, there is often striking as well as sober thought. Pulpit ministrations, in which great truths are presented as they are set before us in this work, cannot fail to be eminently instructive. No reader, if we may venture to speak from our own experience, will go through these pages without being benefited. We commend them cordially to all who believe that, amid the tumultuous heavings of mortal life, the preservation and increase of the “life spiritual" is a matter demanding constant and prayerful attention. To such persons, Mr. Smith's volume will prove an acceptable and efficient help, serving as a guide and encouragement to “keep the heart with all diligence.”