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13. “ Make no mention of the name of other gods,
neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” The heathen attach great importance to the mentioning of the names of their gods. They do not generally pray as we do; but in time of difficulty or danger, repeat the name of their god, which is believed to have great power, carrying with it the nature of a charm which nothing can resist.
To be able to articulate the name of Siva, in the hour of death, is believed to be the password into heaven. him but do this; then, as the lightning strikes the palmirah tree, so his sins, and the power of the metempsychosis shall be destroyed.”
Nay, should he not be able to mention the names of his gods, let them but be whispered in his ears, and heaven is secure.”
No wonder, then, that the Israelites should be forbidden to mention the names of other gods.
19. — “ The first of the first fruits of thy land, thou
shalt bring into the house of the Lord.” The heathen generally give to their gods a part of the first produce of all fruit trees, and of the various kinds of grain, also the first milk given by a cow.
19.-" Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's
milk.” Cudworth, as quoted by Dr. A. Clarke, says, on this passage, “ It was a custom of the ancient heathen when they had gathered in all their fruits, to take a kid and boil it in the milk of its dam; and then in a magical way to go about, and besprinkle with it all their trees and fields, gardens and orchards." —“ Spencer also informs us, that the Zabei used this kind of magical milk to sprinkle their trees and fields, in order to make them fruitful."
It is a custom among the Hindoos to boil rice and milk,
with which they sprinkle their trees and gardens, in order to make them fruitful.
On the first day of the new year also the house is sprinkled in the same way; and a part of what is left is sometimes kept
till the next year.
28.-" I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive
out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite." The goddess of Siva sent hornets to destroy the giants.
XXV. 6. — “ Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil,
and for sweet incense.” These are all used in the temples, and are supplied by the people. The anointing oil is chiefly for the lingam, but it is also used for the god Pulliar and others.
XXVII. 19.-“ All the vessels of the tabernacle shall
be made of brass." All the utensils of the temples are made of the same metal. Thus the lamps used before the idols and other places, those vessels used for conveying water, or sacred fire, are always, in those temples that I have known, made of brass.
XXVIII. 22.-" Thou shalt make upon the breastplate.” Some of the breastplates worn by the idols (when taken out in procession) are exceedingly valuable and beautiful; they are suspended from the neck by chains made of gold. I once saw one which was worn by the goddess Pārvati, which had in its centre the largest and most perfect emerald that I had ever seen, and was studded with very valuable brilliants and rubies; the pearls which were pendant from it were exceedingly costly.
But breastplates are also worn by men of rank, and have generally been given by the sovereign, for services performed for the state. (Isa. lix. 17. Eph. vi. 14. 1 Thess. v. 8. Rev. ix. 9. 17.)
when he goeth in unto the holy place.” The Hindoo temples have a holy place*, which has a dome top to it. Its name signifies the principal or original place; into it none but the priest can go, and when he enters and performs the poosy, or ceremonial worship, he rings a bell which is carried in his left hand. (Verse 34.)
33. — “ Upon the hem of it, thou shalt make pome
granates.” This fruit is plentiful, and grateful to the taste; and a representation of it may be seen in temples, on pillars, friezes, or painted on the drapery which clothes the cars.
The only object is ornament.
42. — “ Consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they
may minister unto me, in the priests' office.” The Hebrew has for “ consecrate," “ fill their hands." See also Judges xvii. 5. 12. and i Kings xiii. 33. and many other places where the word “consecrate"
is in the margin rendered "fill the hand.” Is it not a remarkable fact that the word Kai-Reppi, which signifies, in Tamul, to consecrate a priest, also means to fill the hand?
When a layman meets a priest, he puts his hands together as an act of reverence, and the priest stretches out his right hand, as if full of something, and says, “ Blessings.”
XXIX. 7.-" Take the anointing oil, and pour it upon
his head, and anoint him.”
* In one of the large plates (No. 37.) illustrating the Researches of Belzoni in Egypt and Nubia, by John Murray, Albemarle-street, there is given a view of the temple at Erments, with a dome top, which corresponds exactly with the holy place of the temples of the Hindoos.
In reference to the representations given in the plates contained in Belzoni's Researches, I am of opinion that they principally refer to India; which I may, perhaps, hereafter attempt to prove.
When a priest is consecrated, water is poured upon his head, and also perfumed oils.
23.-" One cake of oiled bread.” The natives, on festive occasions, eat cakes made of the flour of rice, which are fried in fresh cocoa-nut oil.
XXX. 18. & 19. — “ Thou shalt make a laver of brass
to wash withal shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. Aaron and his sons shall
wash their hands and their feet thereat." In the vestibule of a heathen temple is kept a large brass laver filled with water. In it the priest washes his hands and feet before he enters into the holy place.
25.—“The art of the apothecary.” The Hebrew has
this “perfumer.” In all large temples there is a man whose chief business it is to distil sweet waters from flowers, and to extract oil from wood, flowers, and other substances. His name is the ThileKūran.
23.–6 Sweet cinnamon.” Whence did the Israelites procure this (at that time) rare and valuable spice? We know it was formerly found in Arabia, though now believed to be extinct. Whence did they get their numerous spices? Have not the Eastern Isles been always most famous for such articles? Has any island ever been so celebrated for cinnamon as Ceylon *? Is it not also at this day more valuable and more plentiful than that of any other country? It was never brought hither by speculators or cultivators. It is indigenous to the soil.
Were the ancients unacquainted with Ceylon ? Facts, history, and tradition go to say they were not. The theology of
* Many authors believe Taprobane, i. e. Ceylon, was the place.
Egypt is strongly related to that of India, and was probably either derived from it, or they both came from one common source.
Whither did Solomon's ships go on their three years' voyage? To the African Isles ? Were those places ever celebrated (in comparison with the Eastern archipelago) for the articles transported by the ships? Where did they procure their ivory? or, as the margin has it, “elephants' teeth.” It is well known that the Eastern Isles abound with elephants, and that those of Ceylon are the most prized of any in the East. Did the ships sail to the continent of Africa for them? Where did they procure their apes, their peacocks, their ebony, their precious stones, their silver and gold ? In what parts of the world are they so plentiful as in those alluded to ? Ceylon abounds in precious stones, peacocks, and ebony; and Java and Sumatra* abound in apes and gold.
There cannot be a doubt that Solomon's ships did sail to India; and if so, would they not touch at such a valuable island as Ceylon?+
XL 10.-“ Most holy.” Heb. “Holiness of holinesses."
The Tamul translation has it "holiness to holiness." * An old East India captain showed me a piece of what he called virgin gold, which was washed down a mountain in Sumatra, called Golconda.
+ In Pliny's notices of Ceylon, as quoted by Philalethes (noticed also in the Universal History), mention is made of one Annius Plocamus (a free man), who farmed the customs in the Red Sea, having been blown in a violent tempest off the coast of Arabia : he was unexpectedly driven, after a passage of fifteen days, to the port of Hippuros, in the Island of Taprobane (Ceylon); but the situation of the port is difficult to trace. The word hippuros, or hipporus, is probably composed of two Greek words, hippos, a horse, and orus, a mountain, which is the exact translation of the name of the place called Kuthre-Malli, i.e. horse-mountain, which lies on the N. W. coast of Ceylon.—(See Madras Gazette, Sept. 16. 1830.) In the neighbourhood of that place are numerous architectural remains, as pillars and tumuli, which go to corroborate the tradition that it was once a famous city; and that there the princess, named Alli, alias Abbi-Arasāni, whose marriage with Arjuna, one of the five Pandavas, is the subject of a very popular drama, called Alli-Arasāni-Nádagam, i.e. the comedy of the Princess Alli Arasāni.