The Question stated about absteining from blood.

The Israelites are recconed to have had two sorts of Proselites, one to the law of Moses, the other only to the precepts of the sons of Noah. The first they circumcised the other not. Yet the Patriarchs were circumcised before the law of Moses though they lived only under the Precepts of the sons of Noach, circumcision being instituted upon a covenant wth Abraham & his posterity. And therefore circumcision made men debtors to the law upon no other account then as it made \adopted/ them sons of Abraham who were all of them \Isaac & Iacob. For all the Israelites were/ obliged to the law of Moses.

The Gentiles were called not to be|coad|me||opted sons of Abraham \by adoption/ but to beleive in Iesus Christ & therefore were not obliged to circumcision & |ye| law of Moses, but being sons of Noach they were obliged {to be} to the Precepts of the sons of Noach. The Gentiles who observed these Precepts {lived} were allowed to live among the people of Israel & are called \Proselites of justice &/ Proselites of the Gate, \& strangers sojourning in Israel/ & (in the fourth Commadment {sic}) strangers within the{ir} Gates of Israel. And such Proselytes were the Xtians to be \it was sufficient for Xtians to become/ such Proselytes.

The Apostles therefore being consulted about obliging the circumcising the Gentiles & obliging them \Gentiles by circumcision/ to become the sons of Abraham & keep the law \of Moses/ returned such an answer as imported that it was sufficient for them to observe the laws imposed upon the sons of Noah before the days of Abraham.

Some of those laws were moral & \sufficiently/ enforced by the Christian reli
gion; as to abstein from idolatry blasphemy & theft: others were positive; as to abstein from things offered to idols, from blood & things strangled \& from fornication/; that is, from communicating with the heathen in their festivals upon things offered to idols of because it tends to idolatry, from blood & things stranguled because & it leads to cruelty, & from prohibited weomen because of the ill consequences, whether they be \were/ prohibited without \untill/ no marriage \only/ or by reason of affinity, or of because they are idolaters their being idolators or \during/ their menses.

Noah was allowed to feed upon \clean/ animals provided they were killed by bleeding to death. But he was not allowed to feed upon \blood/ least he should thirst after their blood of animals & for the sake of it become cruel & kill more animals then were necessary for food, \or cut them in pieces before they were quite dead by bleeding./ He was not to eat things stranguled because that sort of death is painfull. He was not to eat a limb taken off from a living animal because of the cruelty. And so Moses commanded that the people of Israel should not seeth a Kid in the mothers milk, nor take a bird wth its young nor muzzel the mouth of an Ox wch treadeth out the corn, because such actions incline men to cruelty & savour of unmercifulness.

When Moses commands|ed| to abstein from bloo eating blood, & inforced his law with this reason: for the blood is the life \or soul/ of the animal: doth \did/ he not refer to an ancienter Law in use among the nations from the days of Noah, & vizt, {The} Flesh wth ye life thereof thou shalt not eat Gen 9.4, & interpret that Law by saying that {by} the life, נפש, anima, is to be understood the blood; for the life \or/ is in the blood: & therefore with the blood you shall only make an attonemt for your own lives or souls? For is not this to tell us that by the life in that ancient law is to be understood the blood? With the blood of the sacrifices you shall make an attonement for your lives or souls, but you shall not eat it <1v> {because} in that ancient law of the sons of Noah, the life forbidden to be eaten with the flesh, is the blood or is in the blood.

When Moses commanded to abstein from eating blood & enforced his law with this reason: For the blood is the life of the flesh, did he not refer to an ancienter Law in use among the nations from the days of the sons of Noah, vizt flesh with the life thereof thou shall not eat, Gen. IX.4. & did he not interpret this Law by saying that the life [נפש, anima] is the blood or is in the blood? {illeg} In the wilderness the children of Israelites \& the strangers which sojourned among them/ were to kill all their sheep & Oxen \& Goats/ at the door of the Tabernacle, & pour out their blood {illeg} because it is the life of the flesh & the life of the flesh \the flesh/ [in the according to the Law \of Nations/ given to Noah.] is not to be eat the flesh was not to be eaten with the life thereof \Levit. XVII.3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 14./. But when the Lord thy God, saith Moses, shall enlarge thy border, & thou shalt say I will eat flesh: if the place which the Lord thy God shall ch hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee thou shalt kill of thy herd & off {sic} thy flock & thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after – only be sure that thou eat not the blood. For the blood is the life [mentioned in the law given to of nations given to Noah,] & {illeg} [by that Law] thou mayst not eat the life with the flesh. Thou shalt not eat it, Thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water. Deut. XII.15, 20, 21, 23, 24. This Law Moses imposed not only upon the people of Israel but also upon the stranger who sojourned within th among them, & therefore looked upon it as the law of God imposed upon Noah & \all/ his posterity \nations/; not as \one of/ the new Laws instituted by himself \given to Israel in Mount Sina/, but as an old law [wch needed only to be explained & enforced the Law] given to the sons of Noah presently after the flood \an old law wch needed only to be explained & enforced./ When therefore Moses saith, be sure that thou eat not the blood; for the blood is the life & thou mayst not eat the life with the blood: doth not Moses in saying thou mayst not eat the life with the blood recite that ancient law & thereby enforce his prohibiting the eating of blood? & doth he not \And/ in saying be sure that thou eat not the blood, for the blood is the life \doth he not/ explain what is meant by {the} נפש anima, the soul or life in that ancient law? And when he \in/ relating the history of the flood, he recites that law ancient law doth But Flesh wth the life thereof ye shall not eat, doth he not insert the blood by way of explication, Flesh wth the life thereof [wch is the blood] thereof] ye shall ye not eat? The language used by Noah might be so far antiquated in the days of Moses as \in reciting that ancient law/ to need an explication.

\Cain was a tiller of the ground & offered the fruit of the ground to the Lord &/ Abel was a keeper of sheep & offered of his flock. to the Lord Flesh Sheep were therefore \kept &/ sacrificed & eaten {illeg} before the flood, & \{sic} upon {Noahs} sacrificing/ God renewed the license of eating {illeg} it provided they eat it without נפש the blood: wch makes it probable that God {illeg} blood was prohibited before the flood. Moses prohibited it & so did the Apostles to all nations not because blood defileth him that eateth it but because the prohibition tendeth to mercit mercy. Qua

Quære, whether the law be still in force.


In six or eight hundred years, lang\u/ages alter very much, & the language in wch this law {illeg} Thou \was given to Noah/ Flesh wth the נפש thereof thou shalt not eat, was given to the days of Noah might be so altered before the days of Moses that the word נפש Nepesh might need an explication. When therefore Moses When therefore Moses commands both the children of Israel & the strangers who sojourned amongst them that they should not eat the blood of animals with the flesh, & enforces his command with this reason For the blood is the נפש of the flesh & the flesh wth the נפש thereof thou shalt not eat (Levit XVII & Deut XII) doth he not recite the ancient law of Noah: Flesh with the life \נפש/ thereof shall ye not eat, & doth he not interpret the word Nepes by saying that the blood is the נפש of the flesh? And when in {illeg} relating the history of the flood he sets down that ancient law Flesh with the נפש thereof, vizt the wch is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat, \Gen IX.4/ doth he not insert the words blood blood thereof into the law for interpreting what is to be here understood by the word נפש? For נפש \This word/ here must signify a corporeal substance wch can be eaten & therefore not the life |but ye| blood in wch the life is seated or the blood of the life. \or soul/ For as it is called in the next words Gen IX. 5.

When therefore Moses inserts \the word blood into this Law/ into the words of this Law the blood thereof is \was/ it for explaing {sic} what the \word/ נפש here signifies in this manner Flesh with ye נפש thereof, thou shalt that is the blood thereof, thou shalt not eat was it not for explaing {sic} what the word נפש signifies? And when Moses

This was These things were done for food |& the distinction between beasts clean & unclean before the flood shewed what beasts were then lawful to be sacrificed & eaten & what not:| & after the flood when God said to Noah Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you even as the green herb have I given you all things he repeted & reestablished an old Law. And when he added: but flesh wth the blood thereof shall ye not eat: it may be takenfor a part of that Law old Law. Moses repeated This prohibition of \Law against/ eating blood was repeated by Moses to all nations & again by the Apostles; not because blood defileth him that eateth it, but because the prohibition is a check to salvageness & cruelty.

Quære, Whether the Law be still in force?

<2v> [Editorial Note 1]

Tis not {illeg} any defilement by prohibited meats but the danger of idolatry & cruelty wch upon wch the prohibition is founded of eating them is founded, not the company of weomen, but the danger {illeg} dangers of ill consequences in certain cases wch occasioned the prohibition in those cases.

[Editorial Note 1] The text on this page is written upside down.

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Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

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