ABLUTION PDF Print E-mail
Mix'd mathematics - Chronology
Written by Ephraim Chambers   
Thursday, 01 January 1728 09:00
in Antiquity, a Religious Ceremony, in use among the Romans; being a sort of purifying, perform'd by washing the Body, ere they enter'd on Sacrifice. See SACRIFICE.
Sometimes they wash'd their Hands and Feet, sometimes the Head, and oftentimes the whole Body : For which purpose, at the Entrance into their Temples were plac'd Vessels made of Marble Triumphant (as Du Choul calls it) fill'd with Water.

This Custom, without doubt, they learnt from the Jews, since we read in Scripture, that Solomon plac'd at the Entry into the Temple which he erected to the true God, a great Laver, which the Holy Text calls a Sea of Brass, where the Priests wash'd themselves before they offer'd Sacrifice ; having beforehand sanctify'd rhe Water, by throwing into it the Ashes of the Victim that was slain in Sacrifice.

ABLUTION, among the modern Romanists, is understood of the little Drop of Water and Wine, which they take after the Communion, to wash down and facilitate the Digestion of the Host.

The same Term also signifies that which serves to wash the Hands of the Priest who consecrated it.

ABLUTION, in Pharmacy, is a Preparation divers Remedies undergo, by warning 'em in Water, or some other Fluid, proper ro cleanse and free 'em of their Impurities. See LOTION.

The Word is sometimes also used, tho with less Propriety, for the washing, or infusing of certain Medicines in Water, to freshen 'em, and dissolve their Salts ; call'd Dulcifying. See DULCIFYING.