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[160] Moreover, there is another order of Essens, 1 who agree with the rest as to their way of living, and customs, and laws, but differ from them in the point of marriage, as thinking that by not marrying they cut off the principal part of human life, which is the prospect of succession; nay, rather, that if all men should be of the same opinion, the whole race of mankind would fail. However, they try their spouses for three years; and if they find that they have their natural purgations thrice, as trials that they are likely to be fruitful, they then actually marry them. But they do not use to accompany with their wives when they are with child, as a demonstration that they do not many out of regard to pleasure, but for the sake of posterity. Now the women go into the baths with some of their garments on, as the men do with somewhat girded about them. And these are the customs of this order of Essens.

1 There is so much more here about the Essens than is cited from Josephus in Porphyry and Eusebius, and yet so much less about the Pharisees and Sadducees, the two other Jewish sects, than would naturally be expected in proportion to the Essens or third sect, nay, than seems to be referred to by himself elsewhere, that one is tempted to suppose Josephus had at first written less of the one, and more of the two others, than his present copies afford us; as also, that, by some unknown accident, our present copies are here made up of the larger edition in the first case, and of the smaller in the second. See the note in Havercamp's edition. However, what Josephus says in the name of the Pharisees, that only the souls of good men go out of one body into another, although all souls be immortal, and still the souls of the bad are liable to eternal punishment; as also what he says afterwards, Antiq. B. XVIII. ch. 1. sect. 3, that the soul's vigor is immortal, and that under the earth they receive rewards or punishments according as their lives have been virtuous or vicious in the present world; that to the bad is allotted an eternal prison, but that the good are permitted to live again in this world; are nearly agreeable to the doctrines of Christianity. Only Josephus's rejection of the return of the wicked into other bodies, or into this world, which he grants to the good, looks somewhat like a contradiction to St. Paul's account of the doctrine of the Jews, that they "themselves allowed that there should be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust," Acts 24:15. Yet because Josephus's account is that of the Pharisees, and St. Patti's that of the Jews in general, and of himself the contradiction is not very certain.

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