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preach'd to them. And he directs the Corina 1 Cor.
xvi. 2. tbians, to lay by them in store, upon the forft day of the week, what would be reafonable for them to bestow in Charity. And St. John calls it exprelly The Lord's- Rev.i. 10. Day. But the High Festival and Celebration of this Day, with a joyful Commemoration of the Resurrection of our LORD, and the great Benefits we receive thereby, is what we call Easter : which fignifies the Rising
The Scripture gives us several Instances of its being kept in an extraordinary solemn and grand manner. The first that we read of, was when the Children of Israel were encamped in Gilgal, in the Plains of Josh. v. Fericho under Fofhua their Leader, in the Land of Canaan; being the first Opportunity they had of keeping it, since its primitive Institution. The next, was that of Hezekiah one of the good Kings of Judab; who abolish'd all the heathen Idolatry of his Predecessors, and reviv'd the worship of the true God.
However, the necessary Preparations being too many and too great to be made within the Time appointed by the Law,
2 Chron. XXX.
the first Month; he took counsel with his princes, and came to a Resolution to keep it in the second Month: when there assembled at Jerusalem much people, and kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the Priests prais’d the LORD day by day, finging with loud Instruments unto the LORD. And then the whole asembly took counsel to keep other seven days ; and they kept other seven days, with gladness : The king giving to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand seep; and the princes, a thousand bullocks and ten thoufand sheep. So there was great joy in Jerusalem.
The keeping of this Feast, in the second Month, and for twice seven days, tho' not warranted by the Law, appears to have been very excusable, when we consider how long the Land had been deprived of that Happiness, and, in the mean time polluted with Idolatry. Besides there was
in some measure, a Dispensation provided Numb. for it in the Law. For where they could ix,10,11.
not be qualified in the first Month, they were to observe it in the second. And no
Wonder the Rejoicings of that People
But afterwards, King Joiab kept a Pafi fover which exceeded this ; of which it
it said, There was not bolden such a pas- 2 Kings ; fover from the days of the judges that jud
ged Israel; nor in all the days of the king's
S E C T. X.
The Feast of PenTECOSTE.
* The Form of which may be seen, Numb. vi. 24.
Lev. xxiii. .
together, because they relate to the same thing: as appears from the following Di
rections in the Law. When ye.come into 10, &c. the land which I give unto you, and shall
reap (begin to reap) the barveft thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the Priest : And be Mall wave the Seaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after, the fabbath (the Feast of the Passover) the Priest hall wave it, &c. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the self same day that
ye Mall have brought an offering unto the LORD your God. And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the fabbath, from the day that
ye brought the Sheaf of the wave-offering ; seven fabbaths shall be compleat. Even unto the morrow after the seventh fabbath fall ye number fifty days; and ye Mall offer a new meat-offering unto the LORD, &c.
The Wave-Offering of the first Sheaf, to implore the divine Blessing upon the ensuing Harvest, was to be made therefore upon the fixteenth of the Month Nisan, (March ;) about which Time their Harvest began; that Climate being so much
warmer, and forwarder than ours. And fifty Davs being allow'd with that for the getting in all their Corn; that is, the remaining fifteen in Nifan (March;) and twenty nine in Ijar or Zif (April,) the sixth of Sivan (May) would be the Day of Pentecoste - When they were to hold the solemn Festival of Thanksgiving, for their Participation of the Harvest; together with a grateful Commemoration of their being deliver'd from Egyptian Servitude, and enjoying their Property, by reaping the Fruits of their Labours.
Therefore this Feast was also call'd the Feast of Weeks. Seven weeks thou shalt Deut. number unto thee: begin to number the sea
xvi.9,&c. ven weeks, from such time as thou beginneft- to put the fickle to the corn. And thou Malt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God, with a tribute of a free-will offering of thine band, &c. in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place bis name there. And thou shalt remember that thou was't a bondman in Egypt; and thou Malt observe and do these statutes.
Learned Interpreters have obsery'd that the very Day of Pentecoste, was the same