Billeder på siden

Sec. XXVI. Of his remark, under the same article, upon Paul's exclamation before the council, ' Of

the hope and resurrection of the dead I am cal• led in question,

347 Sec. XXVII. Of his asserting in the same place, from

i Theff. iv, that the first Christians made themselves sure they should see the end of the world; and of his saying, that Luke actually foretells it as

what should happen in his life-time. 365 Sec. XXVIII. Of his saying in the Ignorant Philo

sopher, that Christ's words, Mat. xvii. 17. were the cause of all persecutions among Christians. 373


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Of Mr. Voltaire's false reflections on some of the sacred books.

389 SECT. I. Of his saying, that some thought the first book of

Samuel a composition fo late as the monarchy of
the Greeks, in his Philosophy of History. 389

Of his charge against Daniel's prophecies, as forged

after the destruction of the Persian empire by the
Greeks, in the same Philosophy of History. 394

Of his calling, in the same work, our book of Job an

Hebrew translation of an Arabic original, and de-
nying it to be a Jewish book.

Of his reflections, in his Philosophical Dictionary,
against the genuineness of Solomon's writings. 445

S E C T. V.
Of his insinuation that Matthew's Gospel was not

written till after the taking of Jerusalem by Titus, from the mention of Zacharias's death. 477

S E C T. VI. Of his calling Toldos Jeschut quite contrary to our gospels, and making it a more antient writing.

487 The Conclusion.

515 A P P E N D I X. Concerning Mr. Voltaire's remarks upon the filence

of cotemporary writers about the massacre of the infants, the star, the miracles of Christ, the darkness and other prodigies at his death, which are recorded by the evangelists.


[ocr errors][merged small]

Page 32. 1. 20. after these words, have done, add, and might fancy

that Job lived when that calamity was at no great distance, as some

others have thought, among whose arguments, &c.
Page 65. 1. 22. for 717 read7217.
Page 1 80. 1. 6. from the foot, in note, for object, read subject,
Page 422. 1. 13. from the foot, for many, read mercy.

[ocr errors]


T is not the intention of the following sheets, to ,

detract from Mr. Voltaire's real excellence. He is indeed, I acknowledge, a moft elegant, easy, and {pirited writer, who abounds in many just and noble reflections, conducive to banish ignorance, persecution, and ferocity of manners out of the world, and to spread knowledge, liberty, and civilization

among men. Accordingly, his works are read with great avidity, and holden in high esteem by all in the present age, who make any pretensions to taste and refinement. Nevertheless, amidst all these agreeable and useful qualities, he appears to me often chargeable with a disregard to truth and candour, upon some interesting subjects which he handles. In particular, I think, he frequently shews a want of veracity and fairness, where he speaks of the Jewish historian Josephus, whose works, notwithstanding several things in them liable to exception, are of much service to us Christians. For, as they confirm the truth of the accounts of his nation contained in the Hebrew scriptures, so they acquaint' us with the civil and religious state of Judea, at the time of our Saviour's appearance; they inform us, there was then a general expectation of a great person to arise among the Jews, built upon prophecies in their facred books, whence many afsumed the character, promising to bestow upon them those advantages, which they fondly wished to receive by him. And, which is a principal advantage we derive from them, they bear very large and copious testimony to the fulfilment of Jesus's predic

[ocr errors]


Thereafter, I will point out far more numerous wrongs

he hath done the sacred writers, by misquoting or misinterpreting their words; which may serve to rescue them, together with fome persons whofe characters they celebrate, from that unreasonable scorn and displeasure, which he intended by these arts to excite against them.

Finally, I will consider and refute some unjust reflections, or innuendos, which he hath thrown out against different canonical books, in order to preserve due honour and regard for them.

And, surely, every impartial judge will agree, the moreaccurate in his researches, the more upright in his narratives, and the more candid in his conclusions Mr. Voltaire shall be found, upon the whole, about other matters, the less excuse and apology must remain for an opposite conduct and behaviour, where he treats of things generally revered, yea

of things in their natureand consequences fupremely important, since,upon such subjects,the greatest attention and candour ought in all reason to have been manifest and conspicuous.

which were finished by him in the twenty-sixth year thereafter, being the thirteenth year of the reign of Domitian, and the fifty-sixth of his own life. And his later treatise, in two books, Concerning the Antiquity of the Jews against Apion, in the first of which he establishes the early rise of his pation, from the writings of the Phenicians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, and even of the Greeks themselves, and confutes the calumnies cast upon them by Manetho, Chaeremon, and others; and in the second he proceeds to disprove the Nanderous charges of Apion himself, against them and their rites. This Apion was an Egyptian grammarian, and one of the commissioners on the part of the Gentiles in Alexandria to Caligula the emperor, when the whole Jewish people living there fent an embassy to Rome, to complain of the injuries they had received, but he was dead ere Josephus wrote.

« ForrigeFortsæt »