« ForrigeFortsæt »
to Gentiles as well as to Jews, should be defign’d to be pertinent only to Jews; much less to a very few Jews. For (y) from the Time the Jews began to allegorize their facred Book, (which was long after the Captivity) there was an Opposition made to that Method ; and the Saducees in particular, who were a numerous Sect, 'opposed, for a considerable Time before and in our Saviour's Time, the new Explications, and profess'd to follow the pure Text of Scripture, or to interpret it according to the literal Sense. And tho’ the Pharisees, who made up the Body of the Jews, as well as the Elenes) used the allegorical Method in the Times of Jesus and the Apostles ; yet (%) they in great Measure quitted that Method, when Christianity prevail'd, which was built on that Method ; and argued, as is well known, against the New Testament for allegorizing the Law and the Prophets. And there has been for a long Time, and is at this Time as little Use of Allegory in those Respects among them, as there seems to have been during the Time the Books of the Old Testament were written, which (a) seem the most plain of all antient Writings; and wherein there appears not the least Trace of a typical or allegorical In
(y) Simon. Hift. Crit. du Vieux Teft. p. 92. 97.
(2) Allix's Judgment of the Jewish Church against the Unitarians, c. 23. Simon. Ib. p. 371. Ib. Hift. Crit. du Nov. Test. p. 245. Mangey's Remarks on Toland's Nazarenus, p. 37. Spencer de Leg. Hebr. p. 185.
la) Jenkin's Reaf. Vol. 2. p. 153. Le Clerc Bib. Univ. Tom. 10. 234. Ib. Bib. Cho. Tom. 27. p. 391, 392. Cuneus Rep. des Hebr. Vol 1. p. 377, 378, 395.
tention in the Authors, or in any other Jews of their Times. All the Books (6) written by Jews against the Christian Religion, (some whereof are printed ; and others go about Europe in Manuscript) chiefly attack the New Testament (c) for the allegorical Interpretations of the Old Testament therein, and That with the greatest Infolence and Contempt imaginable on that Account, and oppose to them a literal and single Interpretation as the true Sense of the Old Testament. And ac
(6) Scripta Judæi in Limborchii amicậ Collatione ; & WAGENSELII Tela ignea Satanæ, which is a Colle&tion of Jewijl Books against Christianity, wherein Rabbi Isaac's Munimen Fidei makes the chief Figure.
Some of these are cited and answer'd by KIDDER in his second and third Volumes of his Demonstration of the Messias ; and others are etsd by BASNAGE in his Histoire de Juifs. But the most important jeem to me to be three Spanish Manuscripts. - 1. Fortification de la Fé; which is a Translation of the aforesaid Munimen Fidei publik'd By WAGENSEIL. 2. Providentia Divina de Dios con Israel, by SAUL Levi Montera. This MORTERA was the Master of the famous STINOZA ; and this Work of bis is esteemid by the Jews to be the firewdelt Book they have against Christianity. They are forbid, under Pain of Excommunication, to lend it to any Christian, for fear of drawing a Storm upon themselves for producing fuch strong objections against the Christian Religion. Wherefore no Copies are to be procured of it but by the greatest Accidents. 3. Prevenciones Divinas contra la vana Ydolatria de las Gentes, by ISAAC OROBIO, who was that learned Jew, that had the famous Controversy with LIMBORCH concerning the Truth of the Christian Religion mention'd above. He had been Profesor of Philosophy and Physick in the Universities of Alcala and Sevile, and was a great Master in SchoolDivinity after the Mode of the Spanish Universities. The History he gave of himself, and especially of his Sufferings in the Inquisition to Mej. LIMBORCH and Le Clerc, is extreamly curious. LimBORCH. Hift. Inquif. p. 158, 159. 223. Le Clerc, Bib. Univ. Tom. 7. p. 289, &C.
(c) Allix's Judgment of the Jewish Church againfi the Unitarians, p. 423
cordingly the (d) allegorical Interpretations given by Christian Expositors of the Prophesies, are now the grand Obstacle and Stumblingblock in the Way of the Conversion of the Jews to Christianity.”
2. Secondly, there will be no Ground for this Distinction, if we consider how much Allegory was in Use among the Pagans; being cultivated by many of the Philosophers them felves as well as by Theologers ; by some as the Method of delivering Doctrines; but by (e) most as the Method of explaining away what, according to the Letter, appear'd absurd in the antient Fables, or Histories of their Gods.
Religion itself was deem'd a (f) mysterious Thing among the Pagans, and not to be publickly and plainly declared. Wherefore it was never simply represented to the People, but was most obscurely deliver'd and vaild under
Allegories, or Parables, or Hieroglyphicks; and especially among the (8) Egyptians, Chaldeans, and the oriental Nations. Si quis noverit perplexe loqui, loquantur. Sin minus taceat; was a (b) Maxim of the Jews, but equally thought right and true by the Pagans. They allegorized many Things of Nature, and
(d) Whiston's Lectures, p. 13. Mangey's Remarks on Toland's Nazarenus, p. 123.
(e) Cicero De Nat. Deor. 1. 2.. & 3. - Le Clerc Bibl. Chois. Tom. 7. p. 80. &c. Spencer de Legibus Hebr. p. 9.
(f) Spencer de Legibus, p. 182, &c. · (g) Simon Hist. Crit. des Commentateur, p. 4.
(b) Robinson's Natural History of Cumberland, &c, pt, 2, Introd, p.g.
particularly the heavenly Bodies; whence came the Saying, tota eft Fabula Cælum. They allegorized all their ( i ) antient Fables and Stories, and pretended to discover in them the Secrets of natural Philosophy, Medicine, Politicks, and, in a Word, all Arts and Sciences. The Works of HOMER, in particular, have furnish'd infinite Materials for all Sorts of allegorical Commentators to work upon ; and there is an antient (k) Book yet extant treating exprelly of the Allegories of HOMER, said to be written by the famous HERACLIDES of Pontus.
(1) The antient Greek Poets were reputed to involve divine, and natural, and historical Notions of their Gods under mystical and parabolical Expressions ; and are accordingly lo interpreted by the Greek Scholiasts.
The Sybilline Verses, the Answers given at Oraclès, "Sayings deliver'd under Agitation, and Dreams ( all which the Antients callid (m) Divinations by Fury) were seldom or ever plain, and usually received some allegorical Interpretation by the Skilful in Divination; as did also the numerous Signs and Prodigies, which, in the Course of Things, often hap
The Pythagorean Philosophy was wholly deliver'd in mystical Language; the Signification whereof was intirely unknown to the World abroad, and but gradually explain'd to those of the Sect, as they grew into Years, or were
(i) Clerici Hift Ecclef, p. 23. 24. (k) Apud Gale Opuscula Mythologica. (2) Dodwell's Letters of Advice, &c. p. 172. (m) Cicero de Divinatione,
proper to be inform’d. And in This PyTHAGORAS came up to SOLOMON's Character of wise Men, (n) who dealt in dark Sayings, and acted not much unlike the most divine Teacher that ever was. Our Saviour (0) fake with many Parables the Word unto the Multitude, as they were able to hear it; but withe out a Parcble spake he not unto them; and when they were alone, he expounded all Things to his Disciples.
'The Stoick Philosophers are particularly famous for allegorizing the whole heathen Theology, and all the Fables of the Poets. And Cicero, in the Person of BALBUS, () the Stoick, gives us a curious Specimen of their Method in his Books of the Nature of the Gods.
We have several (9) Treatises of heathen Philosophers on the Subject of allegorical Interpretation; from one of which, written by CORNUtus the Stoick, and from some other Philosophers, Platonists and Stoicks, the famous Origen is said (r) to have derived a great Deal of his Skill in allegorizing the Books of the Old Testament. And Origen thought the allegorical Method not only just and true in itself, but (s) proper to give the Pagans a more exalted Notion of the Holy Scriptures, which seemd too low and mean to them, and useful to convert the Learned of his Time to the Christian
6) Prov. 1. 6. 10) Mark 4. 33, 34 (P) Cicero De Nat. Deorum. I. 2. (9) Gale Opuscula Mythologica, &c. (r) Purplıyrius apud Eufeb, Hist. Eccl. l. 6. c. 19. s) Simon Hift. Crit. du V. Teit. p. 391.