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His means has revealed the holiness of Mount Gerizim, and of the house of GOD.
“We salute you, Osynagogue of Israel, the people of our LORD and Master, who has chosen this people above all nations of the earth ; for you are a people holy to the LORD. We call ourselves Samaritans; and we assure you, our brethren in Israel, that we are extremely devoted to Moses the prophet, and to the holy law. We observe the sabbath as God has commanded; for on that day nobody moves out of his place, except it be to pay his devotions at the house of the LORD. As all those who sought God went to the tabernacle of witness, we do nothing there but read the law, praise God, and pay Him our thanksgivings; and whereas the Jews ride on horseback, go out of the city, light fires on that day, and converse with their wives, we separate ourselves the night of the sabbath, and light no fire. The Jews do not wash after
every kind of pollution; but we do, and purify ourselves thereby. We pray to God evening and morning, according to the command He has given us, * You shall offer me a lamb in the morning, and another lamb between the two evenings.' We lie upon the ground when we worship God before Mount Gerizim, the house of God.
“ We have seven solemn feasts wherein we assemble. The first is the feast of the passover, at the time that our fathers came out of Egypt. We sacrifice the lamb the fourteenth day of the first montli, at evening, a little before sun-setting; and cat it roasted, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. We make this sacrifice only upon Mount Gerizim: and we prepare it on the first day of the month Nisan, according to the Greeks. We reckon seven days for the feast of unleavened bread ; six whereof we cat bread without leaven. On the seventh we go early at break of day to Mount Gerizim to celebrate the feast, and read the law. When prayers are ended, the priest gives the blessing to the people from the top of the eternal mountain. We do not begin to reckon the fifty days of the feast of the harvest, like the Jews, from the more row of the feast of the passover: but we reckon them from the day following the sabhath that happens in the feast of unleavened bread, till the morrow of the seventh sabbath, on which we celebrate the feast of harvest upon Mount Gerizim. We celebrate also the seventh month, which begins with the feast of trumpets. Ten days after is that of propitiations; in which we sing hymns and say prayers, from one day to the other, night and day. The women and children fast, as well as the men, and we dispense with none but those that suck ; whereas the Jews dispense with all under seven years old. We observe the feast of tabernacles upon Mount Gerizim, the fifteenth of the seventh month. We set up tabernacles, according to the order given us by God, Ye shall take you the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and the boughs of thick trees and willows of the brook. We spend seven days in joy under these tents, and on the eighth we end the feast of the LORD with a hymn."
“We very circumspectly observe whether the conjunction of the sun and moou happen in the night, or in the day before noon.
If it happen before noon, that day is the first of the month ; but if it happen at twelve o'clock or a little after, we delay the beginning of the month till the morrow : if the conjunction be lunar, the month continues twenty-nine days, but thirty if it be solar. If the new moon fall on the eleventh of the month Adar of the Greeks, we intercalate a month, and reckon thirteen that year. And the month that immediately follows is the first month of the year. But, if the month begin on the twelfth of Adar or some days after, then that is the first month of the year, and we reckon but twelve ; for the week of unleavened bread must be in Nisan. The Jews reckon otherwise than we: we begin the sabbatic year and the jubilee from the first day of the seventh month.”
“ We sprinkle the water of separation the third and fourth days upon all that are defiled by the contact of women; and we sprinkle it seven days upon the woman who has an issue upon her. The woman who is delivered of a boy separates only forty-one days; and eighty if it be'a girl: the circumcision is made exactly on the eighth day after the birth, without deferring it one single day as do the Jews. We purify ourselves from the defilements contracted in sleep; and we touch none of the unclean things specified in the law, without washing in clean water. We offer to God the fat of the victim, and give the priest the shoulder, the jaw, and the ventricle."
“ It is not lawful for us to marry a niece, or a cousin, as is done by the Jews: we believe in Moses, and in Mount Gerizim. We have priests of the race of Levi, descended in a right line from Aaron and Phineas. We are all of the tribe of Joseph, by Ephraim, Manasses ; and of the tribe of Levi, Our habitation is in the holy city of Sichem; and at Gaza we have a copy of the law written in the time of grace, in which we read these words : 1, Abishai, the son of Phineas, the son of Eliezar, the son of Aaron, have written this copy at the door of the tabernacle, in the thir. teenth year of the people of Israel's entrance into the Land of Canaan, upon its frontiers. We read this law in Hebrew, which is the holy tongue ; and do nothing but according to the commands of God, given us by Moses, the son of Amram, our prophet, upon whom be peace for ever and ever. We give you notice, you that are our brethren, children of Israel, that R. Huntington, an uncircumcised man, is arrived here from Europe, and has acquainted us that you are a great people, composed of men pure and holy like ourselves, and that you have sent him to desire of us a copy of the law ;? to whom we would not give credit till he had written before us some characters of the holy language, in order to assure you that we have the same Mosaic religion that you profess; and if we had not
I must leave the reader to judge whether any
unfair means were used by Mr. Huntington to obtain this Samaritan pentateuch. I must own, the whole trausaction appears very little to his credit,
been willing to oblige you, we should not have sent a copy of the law by the hands of the uncircumcised, for that is a reproach to us. Nevertheless we have committed it to him with two other little books, that we might not absolutely deny your request. We also conjure you in the name of the living God not to deny our's, and to tell us what religion you are of? Tell us what is the language you speak, the city you live in, the king that governs you, and what religion he professes? Have ye any priests of the race of Phineas ? Have ye only one priest ? In the name of God tell us the truth, without any shadow of dissimulation ; and send us a copy of the law, as we have sent you our's. Send us also some learned men, some prophets, some persons of repute, and especially some descendant of Phineas; for know that God has chosen us children of Israel to be His people, and to live at Gerizim, according to what He has said, Ye shall seek their habitation, and shall go there. He has said also, Ye shall keep three feasts every year ; the males shall rejoice three times a year before the Lord. Know also, that all the prophets are buried in the territory of Sichem ; our father Joseph, Eleazar, Ithamar, Phineas, Joshua, Caleb, the seventy elders, with Eldad and Medad.”
“ If you be willing to oblige us, acquaint us whether you be devoted to Moses, and to his law, to Gerizim, and the house of God; and send us some persons, without being concerned about the length of the journey. Do not entrust a Jew, for they hate us. If you send us any deputy, give us.