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necessary obligation of all whatever unto God. Whereby, ma- although they act themselves at distance, and seem to be
at loose, yet do they hold a continuity with their Maker. into Which catenation or conserving union, whenever his pleasure the shall divide, let go, or separate, they shall fall from their the existence, essence, and operations; in brief, they must retire unto their primitive nothing, and shrink into their chaos again.
They who hold the egg was before the bird, prevent this doubt in many other animals, which also extendeth unto of them. For birds are nourished by umbilical vessels, and the navel is manifest sometimes a day or two after exclusion. The same is probable in all oviparous exclusions, if the lesser part of eggs must serve for the formation, the greater part for nutriment. The same is made out in the eggs of snakes; and is not improbable in the generation of porit, wiggles or tadpoles, and may be also true in some vermiparous exclusions: although (as we have observed in the daily progress in some) the whole maggot is little enough to make a fly, without any part remaining.4
Of the Pictures of the Jews and Eastern Nations, at their Feasts, especially our Saviour at the Passover.
CONCERNING the pictures of the Jews, and eastern nations at their feasts, concerning the gesture of our Saviour at the passover, who is usually described sitting upon a stool or bench at a square table, in the midst of the twelve, many make great doubt; and (though they concede a table gesture) will hardly allow this usual way of session.5
Wherein, restraining no man's enquiry, it will appear that accubation, or lying down at meals, was a gesture used by very many nations. That the Persians used it, beside the
They who hold, &c.] This paragraph was first added in the 2nd
5 session.] See Fenelon's Letter to the French Academy, § 8, p. 231. Glasg. 1750.-Jeff. I give this reference, though I have not been able to avail myself of it.
testimony of humane writers, is deducible from that passage in Esther: "That when the king returned into the place of the banquet of wine, Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was." That the Parthians used it, is evident from Athenæus, who delivereth out of Possidonius, that their king lay down at meals on an higher bed than others. That Cleopatra thus entertained Anthony, the same author manifesteth, when he saith, she prepared twelve tricliniums. That it was in use among the Greeks, the word triclinium implieth, and the same is also declarable from many places in the Symposiacks of Plutarch. That it was not out of fashion in the days of Aristotle, he declareth in his Politicks; when among the institutionary rules of youth, he adviseth they might not be permitted to hear iambicks and tragedies before they were admitted unto discumbency or lying along with others at their meals. That the Romans used this gesture at repast, beside many more, is evident from Lipsius, Mercurialis, Salmasius, and Ciaconius, who have expressly and distinctly treated hereof.
Now of their accumbing places, the one was called stibadion and sigma, carrying the figure of an half-moon, and of an uncertain capacity, whereupon it received the name of hexaclinon, octoclinon, according unto that of Martial
Accipe Lunatâ scriptum testudine sigma:
Hereat in several ages the left and right hand were the principal places, and the most honourable person, if he were not master of the feast, possessed one of those rooms. The other was termed triclinium, that is, three beds about a table, as may be seen in the figures thereof, and particularly in the Rhamnusian triclinium, set down by Mercurialis.+ The customary use hereof was probably deduced from the frequent use of bathing, after which they commonly retired to bed, and refected themselves with repast; and so that custom by degrees changed their cubiculary beds into discubitory, and introduced a fashion to go from the baths unto these.
As for their gesture or position, the men lay down leaning + De Arte Gymnastica.
* Esther vii.
That the Persians, &c.] This sentence was first added in the 2nd edition.
on their left elbow, their back being advanced by some pillow or soft substance; the second lay so with his back towards the first, that his head attained about his bosom ;7 and the rest in the same order. For women, they sat sometimes distinctly with their sex, sometimes promiscuously with men, according to affection or favour, as is delivered by Juvenal.
Gremio jacuit nova nupta mariti.
And by Suetonius, of Caligula, that at his feasts he placed his sisters, with whom he had been incontinent, successively in order below him.
Again, as their beds were three, so the guests did not usually exceed that number in every one, according to the ancient laws, and proverbial observations to begin with the Graces, and make up their feasts with the Muses; and therefore it was remarkable in the Emperor Lucius Verus, that he lay down with twelve, which was, saith Julius Capitolinus, præter exempla majorum, not according to the custom of his predecessors, except it were at public and nuptial suppers. The regular number was also exceeded in the last supper, whereat there were no less than thirteen, and in no place fewer than ten, for as Josephus delivereth, it was not lawful to celebrate the passover with fewer than that number.8
Lastly, for the disposing and ordering of the persons; the first and middle beds were for the guests, the third and lowest for the master of the house and his family, he always lying in the first place of the last bed, that is, next the middle bed, but if the wife or children were absent, their rooms were supplied by the umbra, or hangers on, according to that of Juvenal.9
Locus est et pluribus umbris.
For the guests, the honourablest place in every bed was the first, excepting the middle or second bed, wherein the most honourable guest of the feast was placed in the last place,
7 bosom.] See note 4, p. 23.
The regular number, &c.] This sentence first added in 2nd edition. Juvenal.] (Not Juvenal, but Horace), Epist. lib. i. 8, 1. 28. See also Hor. Sat. ii. 8, 22: 66 -quos Mæcenas adduxerat umbras,' -"Porro et conviva ad cœnam dicitur okιav suum adducere, cum amicum aliquem non invitatum secum adducit."-Plut. 7, 6.
because by that position he might be next the master of the feast. For the master lying in the first of the last bed, and the principal guest in the last place of the second, they must needs be next each other, as this figure doth plainly declare, and whereby we may apprehend the feast of Perpenna made unto Sertorius, described by Sallustius, whose wor we shall thus read with Salmasius: Igitur discubuere, Sertorius inferior in medio lecto, suprà Fabius; Antonius in summo; Infrà scriba Sertorii Versius; alter scriba Mecenas in imo, medius inter Tarquitium et dominum Perpennam.
At this feast there were but seven, the middle places of the highest and middle bed being vacant, and hereat was Sertorius the general, and principal guest slain; and so may we make out what is delivered by Plutarch in his life, that lying on his back and raising himself up, Perpenna cast him
*Jul. Scalig. Familiarum Exercitationum Problema 1.
CHAP. VI.] OF THE JEWS AT THEIR FEASTS.
self upon his stomach, which he might very well do, being master of the feast, and lying next unto him; and thus also from this tricliniary disposure, we may illustrate that obscure expression of Seneca; that the north wind was in the middle, the north-east on the higher side, and the north-west on the lower. For as appeareth in the circle of the winds, the north-east will answer the bed of Antonius, and the northwest that of Perpenna.
That the custom of feasting upon beds was in use among the Hebrews, many deduce from Ezekiel,* "Thou sattest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it." The custom of discalceation or putting off their shoes at meals, is conceived to confirm the same; as by that means keeping their beds clean; and therefore they had a peculiar charge to eat the passover with their shoes on; which injunction were needless, if they used not to put them off. However it were in times of high antiquity, probable it is that in after ages they conformed unto the fashions of the Assyrians and eastern nations, and lastly of the Romans, being reduced by Pompey unto a provincial subjection.1
That this discumbency at meals was in use in the days of our Saviour, is conceived probable from several speeches of his expressed in that phrase, even unto common auditors, as Luke xiv.: Cum invitatus fueris ad nuptias, non discumbas in primo loco; and, besides many more, Matthew xxiii., when reprehending the Scribes and Pharisees, he saith, Amant protoclisias, id est, primos recubitus in cœnis, et protocathedrias, sive, primas cathedras, in synagogis; wherein the terms are very distinct, and by an antithesis do plainly distinguish the posture of sitting, from this of lying on beds. The consent of the Jews with the Romans in other ceremonies and rites of feasting makes probable their conformity in this. The Romans washed, were anointed, and wore a cenatory garment and that the same was practised by the Jews, is deducible from that expostulation of our Saviour with Simon,† that he washed not his feet, nor anointed his head with oil; the common civilities at festival entertainments: and that expression of his concerning the cenatory or wedding gar+ Luke vii.
* Ezek. xxiii.
1 However it were, &c.] This sentence was first added in 2nd edition.