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be till Jesus came again : (s) the transactions between Peter and Simon Magus, and other sham-miracles and books under the names of the apostles: divers forg'd (u) passages put into authors and books (2) corrupted and forg'd in favour of christianity and orthodoxy : the (a) account of a statue erected by the Romans tó SIMON Magus as a god, and of worship paid to him by them : and that impudent for: gery of the Sybilline oracles (wherein the history and doctrines of the gospels were taught by suppos'd ancient pagan propheteffes 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 forg'd, more clearly than in the New Testament) which the ancient christians fo generally receiv'd as to be callid by the heathens in contempt (y) Sybillifts: to which may be
(s) Apoftol. Conft, I, 6.c.9, Arnobins, 1. 2. p. 64. Le Clerc. B. C. tom. 4. p. 203. . (0) Vid. Fabricii Cod. Apoc. N. T.
. . (u) Ap. Josephi Antiq. & Luciani Opera.
(w) Patres Antiqui. Hermes Trismegistes, Hystalpes, Orpheus, Aristoteles de Pomo. James's Corruption of the Fathers. Whiston's Esay on the Apost. Conft. p. 158, 675, &c. Ib. Pref. to Letter to Earl of Nott. p. 9, c. lb. ATHÀNASIUS coxvikt:d of forgery. RUFINUS, JEROM, and CASSIODORE, were remarkable forgers for the benefit of Orthodoxy.
(x) Justin Martyr, aliiq; Patres. (y) Origen contra Celsum, l. s.
added, the fabulous and lying accounts of numbers of martyrs, which even the credus lous and fuperftitious Donwelt has in some measure expos’d in his (2) differtation concerning the paucity of the martyrs ; being reftrain’d from proceeding farther from his (a) great veneration for the goodnefs and piety of several of the fathers, who, he fays; were too easy of belief of matter of fact, not fufficiently attested. Price:
They might be, I say, and were capable of having such things impos'd on them in favour of christianity, but cannot be deem'd capable of having such a grofs matter (6) against christianity impos d on them, as that beforemention'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 argu'd from, the Old Testament after that allegorical manner they seem now to have done ; especially, fince the authors of the books of the New Testament, and all the first fathers, and ORIGEN in particular,
. :(2) Apud Differt. Cyprianicas.
(a) Four Letters between the Bishop of Sarum and Mr. Dodwell, p. 29, 30. .
(5) Lightfoot's works, Vol. I. p. 375.
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 prophesies); and fince 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 to look on reasoning from the letter to be mean and low. · This will appear yet stronger, if it be confider'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 bebrezo. MATTHEW is said by all the fathers to have wrote his gospel in hebrew for the use of such christians who understood hebrew: the (c) 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, PAPIAS, Hegesippus, and other Ancients, used the gospel according to the Hebrews, which was written in he
"... brew :
(6) Whiston's Boylcan Le&t. p. 27, 43, 51. Ib. Eljay, (Pezron Defen. de l'Antiq. des Tems, p. 304.
Origen Hom. 1. in Cant. Cant."
() Epiphan. Her. 29.
brew: the church of Cefarea in Palestine used the hebrew of MATTHEW's gofpel, a copy whereof was, as Jerom (f) informs us, prefery'd to his time in the library of Cefarea, collected by PAMPHILUS the martyr': thé church of Alexandria receiv'd a copy of MATTHEW's gospel in hebrew from PANTÆNus: and Origen, who was learned in the hebrew tongue, plac'd the hebrew text, (which he look'd on as authentick, tho' (g) agreeable to the present [fuppos'd corrupt bebrew text), as well as the present [fuppos'd corrupt] Septuagint, and the several greek versions made from the suppos'd corrupt] hebrew, in his famous Hexapla; a work receiv'd by the church in his time, with the (b) greatest applause. All which should seem to be sufficient security against the Jews making any alterations in the hebrew text to the prejudice of christianity. Belides, we are informd by (i) TertuiLIAN, that the books of the Old Teitament in hebrew, which the Jews presented to Prolemy King of Egypt, were shewn in his time among the curiosities of the Ptolomean library, which, as well as the Septuagint verlion, preserv'd in the same libra
. . ry,
(f) Hierom Desc. Ecc. in Mat.
) Whifton's Ejay, p. 297. (h) Hody de Text. Origin. l. 3. pr. 1. C. g (i) Tertulliani Apologeticus, c. 18.
ry, must hinder the Jews from being able to corrupt the Old Testament, as charg'd upon them by Mr. WHISTON, without being detected.
In fine, no one could well imagine that the primitive christians, and Origen in parricular, should be capable of such a degree of stupidity to be so impos'd on, but Mr. WhisTON; who, notwithstanding the ancient 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 of, if not all, those ancient fathers should know to be true. For no real instances of the monstrous corruptions, and impositions, and folly, and ignorance, and negligence, prevalent among christians : not even the loss of Origen's Hexapla, a work so useful to all learned christians: nor the loss of CLEMENT's epiAle to the Corinthians (a book esteemid (m) canonical by the ancients) for many hundred years, and but lately brought to light: nor even the taking the bible out of the hands of the people both of the Greek and Latin
(k) Simon Hift. Crit. du Nov. Teft. c. 5.