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passages of the Old Testament; it being a matter of no manner of moment to them, but of great mischeif to them so to do. For the Old Testament, literally understood, not any where serving the purposes of christians; and the Jews rejecting all the alle gorical reasonings and interpretations of christians; and likewise plainly seeing, that the whole Old Testament in any copy, or however translated, or however chang'd by them, was as capable of being allegorically apply'd to prove christianity, as their own vulgar Hebrew, or the copies of the Septuagint in the hands of christians; there was no sense nor reason in making the few changes charg‘d upon them by fome fathers; much less those vast changes now charg'd upon them by Mr.W; or indeed in making any changes at all. And besides doing what serv'd not their purpose, the Jews would thereiu have been certainly detected and expos’d to the just censures of christians; who, as appears, watch'd them, and charg'd them with such attempt, even without proper (6) materials to make good the charge. Mr. W. himself should allow the Jews to be under fome restraints, how much foever they were dispos'd to corrupt the bible ; when he can suppose, that (c)
(6) Simón Hift. Crit. du ý. T. p.6. (6) Whiston's Ejay, p.220.
in the days of Josephus, the Jews durft rigt make any alteration in the sacred books, and that (d) direct corruption was in certain cases by no means practicable..
In fine, ORIGEN himself, one of the most zealous christians that ever was; and who, by the time wherein he liv'd, and by his great learning and ability, and by compiling his Hexapla, consisting of the Hebrezo text in Hebrew and Greek characters, the versions of AQUILA, SYMMACHUS, the Seventy; and THEODOTION; in lix columns; was the most capable of all men to know, whether the Jews had corrupted the Old Testament in respect to the citations made from thence in behalf of christianity; but yet he never charg'd the Jews, as far as appears, with any such corruptions, either in the numerous notes, which he made on his Hexapla, or in any of his other works; whichi if he had found out, he would not have fail'd to have discover'd. And this negative argument is the stronger, inasmuch as ORIGEN has treated of the Jewish corruptions of the bible in a (e) letter to AFRICA Nus; wherein he only charges the Jews
(d) Whifton, Ib. p. 238.
(e) Origenis Epift. ad Afritanum. Apud Whifton's EF fety; p. 133: It is also přinted at the end of WESTEIN's Edi. tich of ORIGEN's Dialogice agaiift the Mircionitess
with corrupting such places of their holy books as feem'd to derogate from the ho. nour of their Rulers in the eyes of the world. Whereby he should seem to fuppose them free from all charge of corruption in respect to all passages, wherein he, as a christian, was too much concern'd to be silent, at a time when he was treating of their corruption of their holy books in other respects, and that of corruptions fuppos'd by him (f) to be made by the Jews, fince the days of the apostles. 'Nay, we are inform'd' by two (g) learned authors, that Origen has fomewhere in his works particularly vindicated the Jews in this matter.
VI. That the Septuagint version was not, in the
days of Jesus and the apostles, agreeable
to the Hebrew text. M R . Whiston (b) asserts, that the Sep
IV tuagint version was in the days of Christ and his apostles agreeable to the genuine Hebrew text of that age.
(f) Åpud Whiston, Ib. p. 139, 140.
) Simon Hift. 'Crit. du’v. Teft. p. 6. See also Glaffi Philologia Sacra, p. II.
(h) Whiston's Ejay, p. 3.- 17.
But for proof of this assertion he produces nothing but mere suppositions, all chimerical or improbable, ridiculous commendations of partial and ignorant Jews, and forg'd tales.
He argues such agreement (i) to be a natural consequence, from the common state of books translated out of one language into another, and especially in the case of Jacred. books, own'd for such both by translators and copyérs. Whereas it is as probable, that books should be ill as well translated; and it is more probable; that books deem'd sacred should be ill than well translated; for the directors in such translations, thơ' real ber lievers of the sacredness of the books are very capable of sinister views, and being govern'd by them, as having usually departed in many respects from the original sense of their sacred books; and having divers illgrounded things receiv'd among them to supe port and maintain; to say nothing of their ignorance. And accordingly, if we may be govern'd in this case by seeming fact, the Septuagint seems the work both of ignorant and unfaithful translators, as will particularly apa pear in the sequel of this article.
- He argues that agreement from the Septuagint's reception (k) among Jews and Christians, as a faithful version; infomuch, that it was made use of in their publick, worship, where it would be imposible to introduce a verfion, unless it were known to be a juft and accurate version ; and he argues, from its reception among the former as an (1) inspir'd verf101. In which last he might also have join'd the (m) christians, who for many ages after the rise of christianity, receiy'd the Septuagint, as an inspird vers1012 ; but that such junction would have spoil'd his argument: for Mr. W. dates the corruption of the Septuagint in the hands of christians long before the chri. ftians quitted their original notion and constant tradition of the divine inspiration of the Septuagint verf1012; and consequently must have fuppos’d them to have look'd on what he deems, a greatly corrupted book, ás divinely inspir’d. But nothing seems more easy, than to get ill versions of books to be receiv'd as faithful or divine, and to be read as fuch in places of publick worship,
(k) Ib. p. 5.
(m) Simon Hift. Crit. du V. T. 1. 1. c. 18, & 19. 1.2. c. 2.
Ferardentii Annot. in Irenæum, p. 137. Edit. Massuet.