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vault or leap up, and therefore they had wooden horses in their houses and abroad, that thereby young men might enable themselves in this action; wherein by instruction and practice they grew so perfect, that they could vault up on the right or left, and that with their sword in hand, according to that of Virgil,
Poscit equos atque arma simul, sultúque superbus
corpora saltu Injiciunt in equos. So Julius Pollux adviseth to teach horses to incline, dimit, and bow down their bodies, that their riders may with better ease ascend them. And thus may it more causally be made out what Hippocrates affirmeth of the Scythians, that using continual riding they were generally molested with the sciatica or hip gout. Or what Suetonius delivereth of Germanicus, that he had slender legs, but increased them by riding after meals; that is, the humours descending upon their pendulosity, they having no support or suppedaneous stability.
6 Or what Suetonius, fc.] Hippocra- serves, were not only used among the tes observes, that the Scythians, who Romans, but are still to be found even were much on horseback, were troubled in England. Victorious generals used to with defluxions and swellings in their compel the vanquished even of the highlegs, occasioned by their dependent pos est rank, to stoop that they might mount ture, and the want of something to sus- by stepping on their backs. He mentain their feet. Had stirrups been known, tions some spurious inscriptions and coins this inconvenience could not have been which exhibit the stirrup. He names urged, and on this fact, together with Mauritius as the first writer who has exother arguments, Berenger much relies pressly mentioned it, in the sixth cenin his opinion that stirrups were not tury, and from Eustathius it appears that known to the ancients. See his History even in the 12th century, the use of and Art of Horsemanship, 2 vols. 4to. stirrups had not become common. Montfaucon attributes this ignorance to “Abdallah's friend found him with his the absence of saddles, and to the impos- foot in the stirrup, just mounting his sibility of attaching stirrups to the horse- camel." Sale's Koran, Prelim. Disc. p. cloths, or ephippia, which were anciently 29. Abdallah lived in the sixth century. used for saddles.
-Jeff. Beckman, in his chapter on stirrups, “Stirops. From the old English astige (History of Inventions and Discoveries, or stighe, to ascend or mount up, and vol. ii, 270,) among other authorities, ropes; being first devised with cords or refers to the present chapter in the French ropes, before they were made with leatranslation. Nothing, he says, resemb- ther and iron fastened to it.” Verstegan, ling stirrups, remains in ancient works p. 209. “ To have styed up from the of art or coins. Xenophon, in his chap- very centre of the earth.” Bishop Hall's ter on horsemanship, makes no mention Contemplations on the Ascension, rol, ii, of them. Stone mounting-steps, he ob- p. 285. Hinc Stigh-ropes. Jeff.
Now if any
say that these are petty errors and minor lapses, not considerably injurious unto truth, yet is it neither reasonable nor safe to contemn inferior falsities, but rather as between falsehood and truth there is no medium, so should they be maintained in their distances; nor the contagion of the one approach the sincerity of the other.
Of the Picture of Jephthah Sacrificing his Daughter.
The hand of the painter confidently setteth forth the picture of Jephthah in the posture of Abraham, sacrificing his only daughter. Thus is it commonly received, and hath had the attest of many worthy writers. Notwithstanding upon enquiry we we find the matter doubtful, and many upon probable grounds to have been of another opinion; conceiving in this oblation not a natural but a civil kind of death, and a separation only unto the Lord. For that he pursued not his vow unto a literal oblation, there want not arguments both from the text and reason.7
According to Sir John Carr's “ Cale- or friend's wife, son, or daughter, &c. donian Sketches," in his account of a had been returning from a visit to his male equipage, that island is not yet "a family, his vow gave him no right over land of bridles and saddles.”—Mo. Rev. them. Besides, human sacrifices were Sep. 1809.- Jeff
ever an abonination to the Lord; and * For that he pursued not, fc.] The this was one of the grand reasons why observations of Dr. Adam Clarke on this God drave out the Canaanites, &c. bevery interesting question, are so spirited cause they offered their sons and daughand satisfactory, that I must insert them. ters to Moloch, in the fire; i.e. made Judg. xi, 31-_-" The translation of which, burnt-offerings of them, as is generally according to the most accurate Hebrew supposed. That Jephthah was a deeply scholars, is this — I will consecrate it to pious man, appears in the whole of his the Lord; OR, I will offer it for a burnt- conduct; and that he was well acquaintoffering:' that is, 'if it be a thing fit for ed with the law of Moses,—which prohia burnt-offering, it shall be made one: if bited such sacrifices, and stated what was fit for the service of God, it shall be conse to be offered in sacrifice,-is evident crated to him.' That conditions of this enough from his expostulation with the kind must bave been implied in the vow king and people of Ammon, verse 14 to is evident enough; to have been made 27. Therefore it must be granted that without them it must have been the vow he never made that rash vow which seof a heathen or a madman. If a dog had veral suppose he did; nor was he capable, met him, this could not have been made if he had, of executing it in that most a burnt-offering : and if his neighbour's shocking manner which some Christian
For first, it is evident that she deplored her virginity, and not her death ; "Let me go up and down the mountains and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows."
Secondly, when it is said, that Jephthah did unto her according unto his vow, it is immediately subjoined, et non cognovit virum, and she knew no man; which, as immediate in words, was probably most near in sense unto the vow.
Thirdly it is said in the text, that the daughters of Israel went yearly to talk with the daughter of Jephthah four days in the year; which had she been sacrificed they could not have done: for whereas the word is sometime translated to lament, yet doth it also signify to talk or have conference with one, and by Tremellius, who was well able to judge of the original, it is in this sense translated : Ibant filiæ Israelitarum, ad confabulandum cum filia Jephthaci, quatuor diebus quotannis: and so it is also set down in the marginal notes of our translation. And from this annual concourse of the daughters of Israel, it is not improbable in future ages the daughter of Jephthah came to be worshipped as a deity, and had by the Samaritans an annual festivity observed unto her honour, as Epiphanius hath left recorded in the heresy of the Melchisedecians.
It is also repugnant unto reason; for the offering of mankind was against the law of God, who so abhorred human sacrifice, that he admitted not the oblation of unclean beasts, and confined his altars but unto few kinds of animals, the ox, the goat, the sheep, the pigeon, and its kinds. In the cleansing of the leper, there is, I confess, mention made of the sparrow; but great dispute may be made whether it be
properly rendered. And therefore the Scripture with indignation ofttimes makes mention of human sacrifice among the Gentiles; whose oblations scarce made scruple of any animal, sacrificing not only man, but horses, lions, eagles; and though they come not into holocausts, yet do we read the Syrians did make oblations of fishes unto the goddess Derceto. It being therefore a sacrifice so abominable unto God,
writers (tell it not in Gath) have con executor of God's justice to punish in tended for. He could not commit a crime others." which himself had just now been an
although he had pursued it, it is not probable the priests and wisdom of Israel would have permitted it; and that not only in regard of the subject or sacrifice itself, but also the sacrificator, which the picture makes to be Jephthah, who was neither priest, nor capable of that office; for he was a Gileadite, and as the text affirmeth, the son also of an harlot. And how hardly the priesthood would endure encroachment upon their function, a notable example there is in the story of Ozias.
Secondly, the offering up of his daughter was not only unlawful and entrenched upon his religion, but had been a course that had much condemned his discretion; that is, to have punished himself in the strictest observance of his vow, when as the law of God had allowed an evasion; that is, by way of commutation or redemption, according as is determined, Levit. xxvii. Whereby if she were between the age of five and twenty, she was to be estimated but at ten shekels, and if between twenty and sixty, not above thirty. A sum that could never discourage an indulgent parent; it being but the value of a servant slain; the inconsiderable salary of Judas; and will make no greater noise than three pounds fifteen shillings with us. And therefore their conceit is not to be exploded, who say that from the story of Jephthah's sacrificing his own daughter, might spring the fable of Agamemnon, delivering unto sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia, who was also contemporary unto Jephthah ; wherein to answer the ground that hinted it, Iphigenia was not sacrificed herself, but redeemed with an hart, which Diana accepted for her.
Lastly, although his vow run generally for the words, "Whatsoever shall come forth, &c." yet might it be restrained in the sense, for whatsoever was sacrificeable and justly subject to lawful immolation; and so would not have sacrificed either horse or dog, if they had come out upon him. Nor was he obliged by oath unto a strict observation of that which promissorily was unlawful; or could he be qualified by vow to commit a fact which naturally was abominable. Which
Iphigenia, fc.) So the son of Ido- resting scene in Fenclon's Telemachus, meneus, on whose fate there is an inte- book v.-Jeff
doctrine had Herod understood, it might have saved Jobn Baptist's head, when he promised by oath to give unto Herodias whatsoever she would ask ; that is, if it were in the compass of things which he could lawfully grant. For his oath made not that lawful which was illegal before; and if it were unjust to murder John, the supervenient oath did not extenuate the fact, or oblige the juror unto it.'
Now the ground at least which much promoted the opinion, might be the dubious words of the text, which contain the sense of his vow; most men adhering unto their common and obvious acception. “Whatsoever shall come forth of the doors of my house, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt-offering." Now whereas it is said, Erit Jehovæ, et offeram illud holocaustum, the word signifying both et and aut, it may be taken disjunctively; aut offeram, that is, it shall either be the Lord's by separation, or else, an holocaust by common oblation ; even as our marginal translation advertiseth, and as Tremellius rendereth it, Erit inquam Jehova, aut offeram illud holocaustum. And, for the vulgar translation, it useth often et where aut must be presumed, as Exod. xxi; Si quis percusserit patrem et matrem, that is, not both, but either. There being therefore two ways to dispose of her, either to separate her unto the Lord, or offer her as a sacrifice, it is of no necessity the latter should be necessary; and surely less derogatory unto the sacred text and history of the people of God must be the former.
Of the Picture of John the Baptist in a Camel's Skin.
The picture of John the Baptist in a camel's skin is very questionable,' and many I perceive have condemned it. The ground or occasion of this description are the words of the
Lastly, although his vow, fc.] First usual, supports the opinion which Browne added in 2nd edition.
attacks. “It was fit the Baptist, who l in a camel's skin, &c.] Ross, as came to preach repentance for sin, should