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[137] But now if any one hath a mind to come over to their sect, he is not immediately admitted, but he is prescribed the same method of living which they use for a year, while he continues excluded'; and they give him also a small hatchet, and the fore-mentioned girdle, and the white garment. And when he hath given evidence, during that time, that he can observe their continence, he approaches nearer to their way of living, and is made a partaker of the waters of purification; yet is he not even now admitted to live with them; for after this demonstration of his fortitude, his temper is tried two more years; and if he appear to be worthy, they then admit him into their society. And before he is allowed to touch their common food, he is obliged to take tremendous oaths, that, in the first place, he will exercise piety towards God, and then that he will observe justice towards men, and that he will do no harm to any one, either of his own accord, or by the command of others; that he will always hate the wicked, and be assistant to the righteous; that he will ever show fidelity to all men, and especially to those in authority, because no one obtains the government without God's assistance; and that if he be in authority, he will at no time whatever abuse his authority, nor endeavor to outshine his subjects either in his garments, or any other finery; that he will be perpetually a lover of truth, and propose to himself to reprove those that tell lies; that he will keep his hands clear from theft, and his soul from unlawful gains; and that he will neither conceal any thing from those of his own sect, nor discover any of their doctrines to others, no, not though anyone should compel him so to do at the hazard of his life. Moreover, he swears to communicate their doctrines to no one any otherwise than as he received them himself; that he will abstain from robbery, and will equally preserve the books belonging to their sect, and the names of the angels 1 [or messengers]. These are the oaths by which they secure their proselytes to themselves.

1 This mention of the "names of angels," so particularly preserved by the Essens, (if it means more than those "messengers" which were employed to bring, them the peculiar books of their Sect,) looks like a prelude to that "worshipping of angels," blamed by St. Paul, as superstitious and unlawful, in some such sort of people as these Essens were, Colossians 2:8; as is the prayer to or towards the sun for his rising every morning, mentioned before, sect. 5, very like those not much later observances made mention of in the preaching of Peter, Authent. Rec. Part II. p. 669, and regarding a kind of worship of angels, of the month, and of the moon, and not celebrating the new moons, or other festivals, unless the moon appeared. Which, indeed, seems to me the earliest mention of any regard to the phases in fixing the Jewish calendar, of which the Talmud and later Rabbins talk so much, and upon so very little ancient foundation.

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