« ForrigeFortsæt »
That men might be satisfy'd then, as divines and others are now, notwithftanding the citations made by the apostles out of the Old Teftament are fo different from what we now find therein :
That it appears from almost every part of the New Testament, that the Jews and the apostles were perpetually difputing about the myftical fenfe of the Old Testament; which, as it was the fole foundation of christianity, fo it was the fole fubject of difpute; tho' we know not how the Jews, who were not converted, answer'd the apostles:
That St. Paul argues against fome Jews, as much concern'd for the letter of their law, in opposition to the spirit of the law, which he contended for ; and that his enemies and accufers (a) among the Jews were the Sadducees, who contended for the literal interpretation of the Old Testament; the Pharisees, who contended for allegorical interpretations of the Old Testament, finding no evil in him :
That the first converts among the Jews to christianity were Pharisees, it not appearing that any (b) 01?e Sadducee was ever concerted to the faith in the whole new TeAament :
(a) Acts 23. 8.
That the body of the Jews did rejea Jesus, whom they knew not to be the Christ, and whom they rejected as pretending to be the Christ, in virtue of their interpretations (whether ļiteral or allegorical) of the Old Testament, which they took to be perverted and misapply'd in behalf of him: * That it would have been no wonder, if the Jews had not at first made objections to the apostles for their not citing, and reasoning from, the letter of the Old Testament, when they had for a considerable time before the days of Jesus and the apostles, (c) neglected the literal sense of, and used to allegorize the bible :
That when the Jews did attack christianity by writings and books, they did cenfure the apostles and christians (d) for citing falsely, and for arguing falsely, because not literally from the Old Testament; and to expose them more effectually they caus'd other and more li teral and faithful translations to be made, than the Septuagint, which was much used by the christians, and greatly receeded from the hebrew text by its additions, omissions, and false translations
(c) Simon Hift. Crit. du V. Teft. p. 97.
(d) See Justin Martyr, Origen and Jerom, as cited in PEZRON Defense dę ?? Antiquite des tems, p. 136, 137, 174, 337, 398, 400,
"That (e) Festus, the Heathen, did, upon hearing St. Paul declare his manner of arguing from the Old Testament, and proving from thence, that Chrift should suffer and rile from the dead, tell Paul that he was beside bimself, and that much (Jewish) learning bad made him mad; wherein Festus has the fame thoughts of the manner of arguing of Paul, which Mr. WHISTON has of the prefent, apparent, reasoning of the apostles from the Old Testament: (f) and that AGRIPPA, who was expert in all customs and questions among the 7ews, and believ'd in the prophets, was almost perswaded to be a christian by that very way of reasoning whereby Festus concluded St. Paul mad: · That Celsus, who seems the oldest heathen author, that has attack'd christianity, whereof we have any remains, did not only attack (3) christians for their allegorical interpretations of the Old Testament, who, he said, by a most astonishing folly, and á
tupidity without example, endeavour'd to "find out relations between things, for which there was not the least foundation, but for
* () Aets 26. 6,7, 22, 23, 24.
LéClerc sur cet endroit. · Of A&ts, Ib. V..3, 27, 28. . (3) Origen contra Cell. p. 187, 196--198.)
their application of the prophesies in the Old Testament to Jesus, which, he (b) faid, agreed to a thousand other persons with equal or more probability than to him, and were apply'd by forc'd interpretations ; feveral of which prophesies ORIGEN (i) yields to Celsus to be enigmatical and allegorical, and to be so apply'd by the christians:: and that Celsus, speaking of some of the prophesies cited by the apostles, says, (k) most satyrically, that they are unintelligible, enthusiastical, and perfc&tly obscure Sayings, which no wise man can understand a tittle of but only occasion fools and jugglers to apply to their purposes:
That PORPHYRY, a most acute pagan philofopher, wrote a voluminous work (now loft) against christianity, to which EUSEBIUS of Cesarea wrote, an answer (now loft); wherein the said PORPHYRY thus charg'd the christians in general, and Origen in particular (1) with allegorizing the Old Testa ment. Some being resolv'd, says he, to find out solutions for the difficulties which occur in the writings of the Jews, rather than reject them, bare recourse to incorrii .
· (b)" Ib. p. 39, 44, 78. i .i i ii..] . (i) p. 39. , (k) Origen contra Cell. as cited and translated by Na shols in his Conference with a Theift, Vol. 3. p. 1o.
(!) Apud Eusebii Hift. Ecclef. 1.6.c. 19.
Fiftent interprétations, nothing relating to what is written; and which are not fo much in defence of those strangè do&trines, as in confirmation and praise of their own. For vaunting in great words, that what Moses spoke with all imaginable plainnefs, are dark riddles, they enthusiasticalby give them out as so many divine oracles pregnant with hidden mysteries ; and after confounding the judgment with this sublime language, they deliver their own explications. For an example of this folly; let us take ORIGEN, a perfon, with whom I had fome acquaintance, when I was very young. He was then and still remains in great esteem with the teachers of this doctrine, who loudly spread bis fame for the volumes he left bebind him. As for his opinions concerning the divinity and other things, he was a disciple of the greek philosophers, and endeavour'd by their principles to support the exotick fables of the Jews. Moreover the writings of Plato were never out of his hands; nor those of Numenius, Cronius, APOLLOPHANES, LONGINUs, MODERATUŞ ; nor those of NICHOMACHus, and the most celebrated pythagoreans. He read likewise the books of CHEREMON, the stoick; and of Cornutus; of whom baving learnt the allegorical method of explaining the grea