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ki tach meraoth eineylhem ) that כי טה מראות עניהם)
pect a reference to this Jewish sealing up of eyes, in their marriage solemnities, in the Scripture; but I would ask, whether there may not be some ground to believe, the Prophet Isaiah alludes to these two different methods of treating other people, in chap. xliv. 18? They have not known, nor understood : for he hath shut their eyes, daubed their eyes is the marginal translation, which is known to be the exact import of the original words, () they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand, Is the supposition void of all probability, and altogether absurd ?
If there is any thing at all in it, there is equally an allusion to this method of applying stupifying drugs, in Isaiah vi. 10, I should suppose, where the Prophet says, Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes ; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed. I do not imagine there is an illusion to three different operations here : because it is not only difficult to conceive, what other operation the making the ears heavy should allude to; but because one single thing—the stupifying the senses, would be abundantly sufficient to answer this whole description; for in such a situation, with ears open, they would not be able to hear to any purpose; and with eyes unsealed, they would not be able to see with any advantage to themselves. Two things possibly might be intended, and shutting the eyes mean sealing them ; but we cannot suppose three; perhaps one only is meant-the stupifying them.
How beautiful in this view do these words appear, which have been painful and difficult to many! the quality of the persons treated after this manner; the tenderness expressed in these sorts of punishment; the temporary nature of them; and the after-design of making them partakers of the highest honours; which appear in the relations of Olearius and of Sir Thomas's chaplain, all serve to throw a softness over this dispensation of Providence, towards those that deserved great severity, which will appear, I dare say, perfectly new to many of my readers. The Jews, to whom the words of the vith chapter relate, will not be displeased with such an illustration; but it ought to be observed also, that they were the Gentiles, who were abandoned of God to stupid idolatries, that the xlivth chapter, 18th verse refers to; the dereliction of both by God, at different periods being dreadfully deserved by both; and being appointed with designs of mercy as to both; which general thought is certainly true, being the doctrine of St. Paul in the with to the Romans, whatever may be thought of this illustration of these passages, deduced from modern Oriental customs,
Treasures hidden under Ground, supposed in the East
to be discoverable by Sorcery.
As treasures are frequently hidden under ground in the East, by those that are apprehensive of revolutions ; so the finding them is one great object, in their apprehensions, of sorcery.
We are told by travellers into the East, that they have met with great difficulties very often, from a notion universally disseminated among them, that all Europeans are magicians, and that their visits to those Eastern countries are not to satisfy curiosity, but to find out, and get possession of those vast treasures they believe to be buried there in great quantities.
These representations are very common; but Sir J. Chardin's MS. in a note on a passage of the Apocrypha,' gives us a more particular and amusing account of affairs of this kind. * It is common in the Indies, for those sorcerers that accompany conquerors, every where to point out the place where treasures are hid. Thus at Surat, when Siragi came thither, there were people who, with a stick striking on the ground, or against walls, found out those that had been hollowed or dug up,
: 1 Macc. i. 23.
and ordered such places to be opened.” He then intimates, that something of this nature had happened to him in Mingrelia. Among the
various contradictions that agitate the human breast, this appears to be a remarkable one : they firmly believe the power of magicians to discover hidden treasures, and yet they continue to hide them.
Dr. Perry has given us an account of some mighty treasures hidden in the ground by some of the principal people of the Turkish empire, which upon a revolution were discovered by domestics privy to the secret.' D'Herbelot has given us accounts of treasures concealed in the same manner, some of them of great princes, discovered by accidents extremely remarkable;" but this account of Chardin's, of conquerors pretending to find out hidden treasures by means of sorcerers, is very extraordinary.
As however people of this cast have made great pretences to mighty things in all ages, and were not unfrequently confided in by princes, there is reason to believe they pretended sometimes, by their art, to discover treasures anciently to princes, of which they had gained intelligence by other methods: and as God opposed his Prophets, at various times," to pretended sorcerers, it is not unlikely that the Prophet Isaiah points at some such prophetic discoveries in those remarkable words
+ P. 77.
u Voy. l'Art. Amadeddulat, p. 107; et l'Art. Isu.ail Samani, p. 502, 503.
* Exod. vii. 11, ch, vüi, 19, and Is. aliv, 25.
Is. xlv. 3. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of sacred places, that thou mayest know, that I the LORD which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel: I will give them, by enabling some Prophet of mine to tell thee where they are concealed.
Such a supposition throws a great energy into those words.
Great also was the extent of the prohibition to the Jewish people, not to consult sorcerers : they were neither to do it as Saul did, to know the event of a war; nor after they had conquered, to find out the treasures of the vanquished.
Taxes paid in Kind, i. e. by a Part of the Produce
of the Field.
The Eastern people to this day, it seems, support the expenses of government, in common, by paying such a proportion of the produce of their lands to their princes. These are their taxes. No wonder it was so in remoter ages.
The MS. C. gives us this account: “ The revenues of princes in the East are paid in the fruits and productions of the earth. There are no other taxes upon the peasants."y
y This is mentioned in a note on 1 Esdras iv. 6, and an. other on 1 Mac, X. 29.