that mournful event, big with the destinies of untold millions of our race, "the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." This account is literal and exact to a degree, but Farrar evidently finds it too severe a trial of "his belief," for this is how he refers to it: "An earthquake shook the earth and split the rocks, and as it rolled away from their places the great stones which closed and covered the cavern sepulchres of the Jews, so it seemed to the imagination of many to have disimprisoned the spirits of the dead, and to have filled the air with ghostly visitants, who, after Christ had risen, appeared to linger in the holy city." Thus does Farrar speak of one of the most precise accounts of what took place after the crucifixion, as only "the imagination of many," as far as the risen bodies of the saints are concerned and their appearance in Jerusalem. He is quite willing to believe in one resurrection, but not in more than one, though both events are recorded in the same Gospel. And yet, after this manifestation of his own unbelief, he has the hardihood to term the opinion of the Jews, expressed at that time, that the body of Jesus was stolen from the sepulchre, "one of the blaspheming follies which was repeated and amplified twelve centuries afterwards in the Toldôth Jeshu." Nevertheless, this divine disclaims "a right to scathe the rejector of miracles by abuse and anathemas." What does he term the expression "blaspheming follies," we should like to know? And where is his own faith in
In a person partially or fully persuaded that the Messianic prophecies must needs be fulfilled in him, there would be an almost unconscious effort to adapt himself, as far as possible, to what he understood to be their import, and to satisfy the conditions they seemed to foreshadow. In such a case we might reasonably expect to find an occasional want of accommodation between the predictions and their alleged accomplishment, similar to what is clearly discernible in the Gospel narratives of Jesus. If the idea became entertained that a violent death was the fitting termination to the Messianic mission, not only would such a death not be avoided, but it would even be sought, and those means adopted to bring it about which would most likely be successful. None can deny that the course pursued by Jesus was one calculated to exasperate his countrymen, and he might, therefore, without much risk of making a mistake, announce to his disciples that men would betray and kill him.
The belief in the virtue of this appeal to God survived in the Church founded by Jesus, so that in the earliest period of its history, when an apostle had to be chosen in the place of Judas, and the choice lay between Barnabas and Matthias, the assembled disciples, numbering in all about 120, having prayed, saying, "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship," proceeded to determine the will of God in the usual Jewish way. "And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles" (Acts i. 24–26) .
The Jewish method of drawing lots was very similar to that pursued at the present day, except that marked stones or pebbles were used instead of paper. These stones, with the names of the objects which were to be drawn for, on them, were placed in a box or urn, or occasionally, as we read in the verse last quoted, in "the lap" of some duly appointed person. Two men, probably priests, stood near, one to the right and one to the left, and each in succession drew a stone. An old Jewish commentator, Rabbi Rashi, tells us that in this way the lottery was conducted in connection with the scapegoat. (See Leviticus xvi. 8). In drawing the lots, as above described, one official used his right hand and the other his left hand.
This oracular custom consisted in using the words of the Bible itself to decide the Church in seasons of doubt and perplexity. It was sometimes termed or . It consists in choosing verses or words of Scripture at hazard, either by putting the finger, when the eyes are shut and the Bible open, on the exposed leaf, pricking the verses with a pin at random, or by taking the first line of some particular verse before determined upon, and thence drawing conclusions concerning the future. Bibliomancy was prohibited under pain of excommunication as early as 465 A.D. by the Council of Vannes, and in the next century the Councils of Agde and Orleans gave their decisions against it. Election by lot continued to prevail in the Christian Church till the seventh century. It was introduced into England about the time of the Norman Conquest. The custom of appealing to the Bible in this manner became so common among all classes, that the superstition was denounced from the pulpit as being forbidden by the Divine command, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
When a bachelor, or "single brother," desires to marry, and cannot decide for himself, or is in doubt about the matter, he puts the affair into the hands of the elders, who draw a lot for him from papers on which are written the names of "single sisters" who are willing to marry. The female chosen for the brother in this manner is always accepted by him without demur as his wife. The author has heard his mother say that her father, David Collis, prayed earnestly that Anna Planta might be given to him in this way, and he had the happiness of having his request granted.
term she had asked for, "she returned unto her father, who did with her according to hiss vow which he had vowed." We have been mercifully spared a recital of all the horrors that must have attended this unnatural sacrifice. It might have been thought that here was a momentous event calling loudly for divine interference such as is said to have happened in the case of Isaac, a miraculous intervention against such a useless, wanton, and cruel dedication of a faithful maiden to so fearful an end by the hand of her own father, but nothing of the sort took place: on the contrary, it became a custom for "the daughters of Israel" to commemorate this atrocious sacrifice four days in the year, and, as regards Jephthah himself, he was thought worthy, in consequence of his inhuman deed, to have his name enrolled among the list of those Jewish saints who for their pious conduct "obtained a good report through faith."
Also includes a newspaper ad for an event to explore ways for "the common good" to touch "civic life in America"--this is called for by Jesuit Georgetown University "In partnership with the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture and the Archdiocese of Washington")What about the Jesuit spirituality specifically? Ignatius de Loyola, founder the Jesuit order, developed what are called the Spiritual Exercises.
it must be the devil and performed by devil worshippers), Pope John Paul II asked the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews "to determine what responsibility, if any, the Church bore for the slaughter of millions of European Jews during World War II.
Martyrdom has often appeared to be a desirable termination to a life of piety, and we learn that this sect esteemed death better than life if the former would contribute to their glory. When persecuted by the Romans on account of their religion, they endured the extremity of suffering rather than blaspheme their legislator, or partake of what was forbidden them to eat by the rules of their community. They were tortured, they were burnt and torn to pieces; but, says Josephus, they could not be made to shed a tear, for they "smiled in their very pains, and laughed those to scorn who inflicted the torments upon them, and resigned up their souls with great alacrity, as expecting to receive them again." These facts, and many more which history affords, show to us how insufficient is the argument that Paley employs, when he would infer the divine origin of the Christian
Josephus tells us that one of the doctrines of the Essenes was "that all things are best ascribed to God;" and elsewhere he informs us that they believed every event of life is pre-arranged and controlled by fate or destiny. These ideas are prevalent in the New Testament, as well as fully indicated in the older Jewish Scriptures. The followers of Jesus believed that he was "verily pre-ordained before the foundation of the world," and that his arrest and crucifixion were the result of "the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." He himself taught that even such inferior events as the death of sparrows only happen in accordance with the permission of the author of all, and that the very hairs of our heads are numbered by him. The idea of the Divine selection of persons, times, and circumstances, of the immediate interference of God in the destinies of individuals and of nations; of his choosing some, and rejecting others, runs throughout the whole of our Scriptures. The offering of Abel was accepted in preference to that of Cain, though why God had "respect" to the one more than to the other is not stated. That of Cain was certainly the more innocent of the two, unaccompanied as it was with animal suffering and loss of life. Jacob was chosen instead of Esau, notwithstanding the latter was, to all appearance, by far the nobler man. The Hebrews are represented as being selected by God to be a special people unto Himself, "above all people that are upon the face of the earth." So little were they superior, however, to others,