The Assemblies

THERE were two kinds of assemblies; the one, known as the Sabbath, was the General Meeting of all the members of the religion; the other, to which I give-on the authority of Estebène de Cambrue the name of Esbat, was only for the special and limited number who carried out the rites and practices of the cult, and was not for the general public.

The derivation of the word Sabbath in this connexion is quite unknown. It has clearly nothing to do with the number seven, and equally clearly it is not connected with the Jewish ceremonial. It is possibly a derivative of s'esbattre, 'to frolic'; a very suitable description of the joyous gaiety of the meetings.

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