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for its Integrity, and as a standard Text) from Enemies, which fubverted the Truth of Chriftianity, by making the Apostles, to all Appearance, cite falsely, and argue falsely from the Books of the Old Testament. · This was being imposed on in Religion, and sacrificing Christianity, which was dearer to them than their Lives, in too gross a Manner to be conceived. The Christians of old were capable of having several gross Things put upon them by dishonest People among themselves ; (m) plying for God and Religion being deem'd by many, either no Crime at all, or, however, a very pardonable one; if not perhaps meritorious;) as for Example, the (n) Story of the Cells at Alexandria, and other Lyes, which they received and improved from the Jews; who were such celebrated Lyars, that a lo) Lyar and a few fignify'd the fame Thing; the (p) History of the Phenix to illustrate and prove the Resurrection; the (q) Account of St. John's being boild in a Cauldron of Oyl, and coming out unhurt; and his constant (+) lifting up and stirring the Earth over his Grave, as a Man in Sleep does his Bed-cloaths, to prove John alive, as it was supposed to be foretold by Jesus in the Gospel he should be till Jesus came again ; (s) the Transactions between Peter and Simon MAGUS and other Sham-Miracles; forged (t) Gospels, and Books under the Names of the Apostles; divers forged (u) Passages put into Authors, and Books (w) corrupted and forged in favour of Christianity and Orthodoxy; the (x) Account of a Statue erected by the Romans to SIMON MAGUS as a God, and of Worship paid to him by them; and that impudent Forgery of the Sybilline Oracles (wherein the History and Doctrines of the Gospels were taught by supposed antient Prophetesses in as clear a Manner as in the New Testament itself; and the Doctrines of the Christians, in that Age, wherein the Sybilline Oracles were forged, more clearly than in the New Testament) which the antient Christians fo generally received as to be call'd by the Heathens in contempt (y) Sybillists; to which may be added, the fabulous and lying Accounts of Numbers of Martyrs, which even the credulous and superstitious Dodwel has in some Measure exposed in his (2) Dissertation concerning the Paucity of the Martyrs; being restrain'd from proceeding farther from his (a) great Veneration for the Goodness and Piety of several of the Fathers, who, he says, were too easy of Belief of Matter of Fact, not sufficiently attested.
(m) Pezron Defense de l'Antiquité des Tems. p. 224. : (n) Juftin Martyr, Aliiq; , (01 Juvenal Satir. 6. v. 547. Rutil Itinerar. 1. 1. v. 393. See also Simon Suppl. aux Cerem. des Juifs p. 12.
(0) Clement. Epift. ad Corint. (9) Tertullian. De Præscrip. c. 46.
(r) S. Austin in John 21. 22, 23.
(s) Apoftol. Const. 1. 6. c. 9. Arnobius, l. 2. p. 64. Le Clerc. B. C. Tom. 4. p. 203
(t) Vid. Fabricii Cad. Apoc. N. T.
(u) Ap. Fosephi Antiq. & Luciani Opera. Patres Antiqui. Hermes Trismegistes, Hytajpes, Orpheus, Aristoteles de Pomo. James's Corruption of the Fathers.
(w) Whiston's Eljny on the Apost. Conft. p. 158,675, &c. Ib. Prof. to Letter to Larl of Nott. p. 9, &c. Ib. ATHANASIUS convicted of Forgery. RUFINUS, `JEROM, and Cassio DORE, were remarkable Forgers for the Benefit of Orthodoxy..
(x). Justin Martyr, aliiq; Patres. (y) 'Origen contra Celjum. 1.5.
(2) Apud Dissert. Cyprianicas.
They might be, I say, and were capable of having such Things imposed on them in favour of Christianity, but cannot be deem'd capable of having such a gross Matter (6) against Christianity imposed on them, as That before-mention'd. And it seems much more reasonable to suppose, that there has been no such Corruption of the sacred Text of the Old Testament, and no such Imposition of Jews on Christians, as Mr. Whiston (and That without just Proofs) pretends ; but rather, that the Apostles cited, interpreted, and argued from, the Old Testament after that allegorical Manner they seem now to have done;
lly, since the Authors of the Books of the New Testament, and all the first Fathers, and ORIGEN in particular, do undoubtedly often allegorize the Books of the Old Testament (as (c) Mr. Whiston himself allows both the Apostles and Fathers do in 'all other Cases but That of Prophehes); and since they all seem to look on allegorical Reasoning as a Method no less conclusive than by rational Proofs, nay to be a truly rational Way of Reasoning, and look on Reasoning from the Letter to be mean and low.
(aFour Letters between the Bishop of Sarum and Mr. Dodwel. p. 29, 30. (b) Lightfoot's Works. Vol. 1. p. 375.
(c) Whiston's Boylean Left. p. 27, 43, 51. Ib. El ay, &c. ' p. 92.
This will appear yet stronger, if it be con: fider'd, that, as the (d) Body of Christians had the Septuagint Version, which was read in their Churches, among them from the Time of Jesus, so there were many among the primitive Christians, who understood Hebrew. Matthew is said by all the Fathers to have wrote his Gospel in Hebrew for the Use of such Christians, who understood Hebrew; the (e) Nazarean Christians, who were skilful in the Hebrew Tongue, constantly used the Hebrew Books of the Old Testament, as well as the Hebrew of Matthew's Gospel; IGNATIUS PAPIUS, HEGES IPPUS, and other Antients used the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which was written in Hebrew; the Church of Cesarea, in Palestine, used the Hebrew of MATTHEW's Gospel, a Copy whereof was, as Jerom (f ) informs us, preserved to his Time in the Library of Cefarea, collected by PAMPHILUS the Martyr; the Church of Alexandria received a Copy of MATTHEW's Gospel in Hebrew from PANTÆNUS; and Origent, who was learned in the Hebrew Tongue, placed the Hebrew Text, (which he look'd on as authentick, tho' ($) agreeable to the present [supposed corrupt Hebrew Text,) as well as the present [supposed corrupt ) Septuagint, and the several Greek Versions made from the [ supposed corrupt] Hebrew, in his famous Hexapla; a
(e) Epipban. Her. 29.
(f) Hieron Desc. Ecc. in Mat. : a (8) Whiston's Ejas. p. 297.
Work received by the Church in his Time, with the (b ) greatest Applause. All which Thould seem to be fufficient Security against the Jews making -any Alterations in the Hebrew Text to the Prejudice of Christianity. Besides, we are inform'd by(i) TertulLIAN, that the Books of the Old Testament in Hebrew, which the Jews presented to PTOLEMY King of Egypt, were shown in his Time among the Curiosities of the Ptolo mean-Library; which, as well as the Septuagint Version, preserved in the fame Library, must hinder the Jews from being able to corrupt the Old Testament, as charged upon them by Mr. Whiston, without being de tected.
In fine, no one could well imagine that the primitive Christans, and Origen in particular should be capable of such a Degree of Stupidity to be so imposed on, but Mr. WhisTON ; who, notwithstanding the antient Fathers do (k) unanimously affirm, that St. MATTHEW's Gospel was originally written, and was extant among them in Hebrew, yet (1) maintains, they were all mistaken in that Fact; which one would think, fome, if not all, those antient Fathers should know to be true. For no real Instances of the monstrous Corruptions, and Impositions, and Folly, and Ignorance, and Negligence, prevalent among
(5) Hody De Text. Origen. l. 3. pt. I. 5. . lij Tertulliani Apologeticus. c. 18. (k) Simon Hift. Crir. du Nov. Teft.-C. 5: (1) Whiston's Ejay. p. 182.
---D :- H i . Christians;