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positions are called different styles ;' But when they wrote on linen or parchment, they used a reed (calamus) formed into a pen, and some colouring substance equivalent to ink; like Isaiah when he wrote his prophecy in ch. viii. 1. In Ezekiel ix. 2, 3, 11. we read of six persons with scribes' or writers' ink-horns at their sides ar girdles, which, though not conformable to our customs, is yet agreeable to those of the East. Thus Dr. Shaw informs us, that among the Moors in Barbary, “the Hojas, that is, the writers or secretaries, suspend their ink-horns in their girdles, a custom as old as the prophet Ezekiel:" and adds in a note, that “the part of these ink-horns (if an instrument of brass may be so called) which passes betwixt the girdle and the tunic, and holds their pens, is long and flat; but the vessel for the ink, which rests upon the girdle, is square, with a lid to clasp over it.” And Hanway in like manner says of the Persians, that their writers carry their ink and pens about them in a case, which they put under their sash,"c which Sir John Malcolm tells us is about ten or twelve inches in length, and three or four round, beautifully painted, and is also worn by ministers in Persia as an ensign of office.

The ancient form of a book was commonly that of a roll, and hence the frequent mention of rolls in Scripture. For it is well known that the books found in Herculaneum are in the form of rolls, and that the ancient Jewish books did not, like ours, consist of distinct leaves bound together, but were, as the copies of the Pentateuch used in the Jewish synagogues still are, long rolls of parchment, with the writing distinguished into columns. So that what are called leaves in Jer. xxxvi. 23, seem rather to have been the columns into which the

d

a Prideaux Connect. A.A.C. 332. • Trav. p. 227.

Vol. i. p. 332. llistory of Persia, vol. i. ch. 10.

breadth of the roll was divided, as many of the eastern rolls are at this day. Accordingly, Josephus, when describing the introduction of the Seventy-two translators of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, to Ptolomy Philadelphus, says, “ But as the old men came in with the presents which the high-priest had given them to bring to the king, and with the membranes or skins upon which they had these laws written in golden letters, he put questions to them concerning these books. And when they had taken off the covers wherein they were wrapt up, they showed him the membranes. So the king stood admiring the thinness of these membranes, and the exactness of the joinings, which could not be perceived, so exactly were they connected one with another; and this he did for a considerable time." The author of the present work has seen a roll, on which was written the Veda, or sacred book of the Hindoos, in the Sanscrit language. It was of silk paper, nine feet ten inches long, and four and three-eighth inches wide. The writing was in two columns, beautifully executed, with ten paintings at top, five and five; and along the columns, at different but unequal distances, were other three and twenty paintings, which were understood to be either incarnations of their deity, or expressive of some parts of their mythology. The edging on the sides and foot were also elegantly designed.-In general, the ancient rolls were only written on one of the sides, but the roll mentioned in Ezekiel ii. 10, was written within and without, to show the abundance of the matter contained in it. These latter rolls were called by the Greeks οπισθογραφα βιβλια, books written on the back or outer side ; and from them by the Romans, Libri opistographi, or as Juvenald calls them, Scripti in tergo.

* Antiq. xii. 2.

Lucian Vit, Auct, 9.

Plin. Epist. iii. 5.

d Sat, i, lin, 6.

And of this kind was the book or roll mentioned in Rev. v. 1., which was written within, and on the back, and sealed with seven seals. It is easy to see that rolls of linen, silk or parchment were liable to the injuries of time, both as to their texture and writing: they seem therefore to have been preserved in chests of wood, or some other durable material. Jeremiah's roll is indeed said to have been preserved in an earthen pitcher, but Michaelis rather thinks it the name of a place, and that the original word Aemetha means Ecbatana, the capital of Media. With respect to deeds of no great length, but of great importance, they seem to have been engraved on sheets of lead rolled up. For Pliny informs us,' that “writing on lead (plumbeis voluminibus, rolls of lead) was of high antiquity, and came after writing on the bark and leaves of trees, and was used in recording public transactions.” Josephus frequently speaks of decrees of states being written on brass.

Besides books in the form of rolls, we also read in Scripture of letters being sent from one person to another. These were, in general, in the form of rolls also, and resembling probably those in the East at this day. Thus Neibuhre tells us that “the Arabs roll up their letters, and then flatten them to the breadth of an inch, and paste up the end of them, instead of sealing them.” And Hanway? tells us, that "the Persians make

up

their letters in the form of a roll, about six inches long, and that a bit of paper is fastened round it with gum, and sealed with an impression of ink, which resembles our printers' ink, but not so thick."-When letters were written to inferiors, they were often sent open, or in the form of an unsealed roll: but when addressed to equals

b

a Chap. xxxii, 14. Supplem. ad. Lex. Heb. p. 60. c Nat. Hist. xüži, 11.

Joseph Antiq. xv. 6. e Arab. p. 90. { Travels, vol. i. p. 317.

or superiors, they were enclosed in a bag of silk or satin, sealed and directed.. Hence the insult of Sanballat to Nehemiah, in sending his letter to him by his servant open.—It was just now said, that these letters were sealed ; I may remark, as an additional circumstance, that the very ancient custom of sealing them with a seal or signet set in a ring is still retained in the East. Thus “ in Egypt,” says Dr. Pocock, “they make the impression of their name with their seal, generally of cornelian, which they wear on their finger, and which is blacked, when they have occasion to seal with it.” And Mr. Hanwayd remarks, that the Persian ink “serves not only for writing, but for subscribing with their seal : indeed many of the Persians in high office (he adds) could not write: but in their rings they wear agates, which serve for a seal, on which is frequently engraved their name and some verse of the Koran." So Dr. Shaw, in like manner, says in his Travels, p. 247, that 56 As few or none either of the Arab shekhs, or of Turkish and eastern kings, princes or bashaws, know to write their own names; all their letters and decrees are stamped with their proper rings, seals, or signets, which are usually of silver or cornelian, with their respective names engraved upon them on one side, and the name of their kingdom or principality, or else some sentence of the Koran,' on the other.” It was perhaps to this that the apostle alludes, when he says, “ The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal or impression on the one side, The Lord knoweth them that are his : and on the other, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” The author of this work saw a letter addressed from a governor general of India to the king of Persia, in Persic, on beautifully glazed white paper, fifty inches long, and twenty inches broad. The written part, however, was only two feet long, and one foot broad; the rest being filled with a beautiful ornamental painting at the head of the letter, and a very elegantly painted border round the whole sheet. The bag in which it was sent, and which the author also saw, was a cloth composed of gold threads and crimson silk. It was tied at the neck with a gold lace, which, after being knotted, passed through an immense red seal, four inches in diameter, and about an inch thick, of red wax; which seal was entirely covered with Persic characters, which were supposed to be the titles of the Persian king. In order to preserve the seal and lace entire, the bag was opened at bottom, to extract the letter, but the natural way of opening it would be either by melting the wax or cutting the lace between the wax and the bag. So much as to their manner of writing in general.

b Ch, yi, 5.

· Harm. Ob. vol. ii. p. 129. Neibuhr Arabie, p. 90.

Gen, xli. 42. Esth. fü. 10. 12. viii. 2. 8. 10. Jer. xxii. 24. & Travels, vol. i. p. 317. • 1 Kings xxi. 8. Esth, iii. 12. Dan. vi. 17. Eccles. xlix. 11. * 2 Tim, ii. 19.

SECT. II.

Some Account of their principal Books. The Old Testament divided into the Pentateuch, former prophets, latter pro

phets, and Hagiographa. Account of the origin of chapters and verses. The Books referred to in Scripture, but at present lost. The Septuagint: Josephus. Of the Talmudical writings, the following are the most remarkable. 1st. The Midraschim, or Commentaries. 2d. The Midraschim Rabbot, or Great Commentaries. 3d. The Pirke Abbot, or Sentences of the Fathers. 4th. The Mishna, its origin, author, and contents described. 5th. The Gemara. 6th. The Talmud. 7. The Targum. 8th. The Commentary on the Old Testament by Aben Ezra. 9th. Maimonides, writings of, described. 10th. Abarbanel's Commentary on the Law.

The Hebrew Scriptures, which form the most ancient book in the world, are arranged by the Jews in a different

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