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5. As to the antiquities of Josephus ; the (k) greatest liberty is taken therein to recede from the manifest fenfe of the Old Testament according to all copies thereof; the Old Teftament is cited in fuch manner, as makes learned men dispute, whether he used the Hebrew or Septuagint text, or sometimes one and sometimes the other, or a different tranflation from the Septuagint ; they have been (0) accommodated to the Septuagint, as the Septuagint has been accommodated to him ; and (m) the chronology has been greatly chang d'and alter'd: fo that it would be dif. ficult to settle any certain readings of the Old Testament in virtue of his (12) antiquities. And as to the works of Philo, there are but few citations therein out of the Old Testament; and those only out of the Septuagint Pentateuch, whereof he had a very b) inzcorrect copy. So that neither Josephus nor P.Ailo concern the important citations in
() Simon Hift. Crit. du V. T. 1. 1. C. 17.
(n) For the State of Josephus's Antiq. See Fabricii Bibliotheca Græca & Hueriana, p. 94.
Ib. p. 372.
question: nor does Mr.W. () pretend to . restore a truei text of the Old Testament from these two authors, in respect to any important citations made from the Old in the New Testament.
6. As to the Hebrew copies, that have never come into the hands of the MASORETES, and the Greek copies of the vulgar Septuagint version, read in churches all the first ages of christianity, or any parts of them, they no where appearing, and being themfelves (9) to be recover'd, cannot, till recover'd, be of any use towards restoring a true text. They are themselves to be restor’d, in order to restore a true text. 37. As to the apoftolical constitutions, the fathers, and the hereticks ; it is sufficient to observe of them, as I have done of several of his former means (without taking notice, after what manner they cite the Old Testament) that Mr. W. is not able to settle by their help any apostolick quotations in the Old Testament, so as to make them pertinently apply'd, which now seem, according to him, to be impertinently apply'd. And I add, that these and all the foregoing means, will be so far from effecting what he proposes, that they will on the contrary show,
that the apostles cited, and reaton'd from the Old Testament, just as they now appear, from our prefent view of the Old and New Teftament; to have done, All which must be unaccountable on Mr. W's bypothefis : for it cannot be fuppos'd, that if the Jews have so greatly corrupted the Old Testament as Mr. W. pretends, but it would appear in some one instance at least, in fome one copy or author exhibiting to us what would justify the pertinency of the application of what now Leems impertinent.
8. The last means äre, making alteratims by the force of criticisms, which, tho he has omitted among his means, is by the use he makes of it, and by the necessity he has of it, his, principal, and, indeed, onlý means, and will, if any can, serve his purpose. For that extends to every quotation made from the Old in the New Testament; and gives him liberty and scope to chop and change the whole Old Testament as he pleafes. Besides, the books of the Old Testa. ment feem to give a just occasion for making many alterations, and especially to him, as will appear, if we consider the original condition of those books, (of whose method and order the Rabbins (r) had this common max
try Lightfoot's Works, Vol. z: p.666.
im, that there is no first and last in the Holy Scripture); if we consider the great changes and alterations which from time to time they have receiy'd ; if we consider his opinion (s) of the corrupt state of those books, and especially of the books of the prophets; which were not only corrupted, according to him, in common with the other books of the Old Testament, before the coming of CHRIST; but have since the coming of Christ been corrupted by the Jews with express defign to render the quotations made by the apostles from thence, feem impertinent; and lałtly, if we consider his rejecting the (t) Song of Songs from the Canon, as an impious, loose, and obes scene' book, which pious (ú) Christians in all ages have esteemid an allegoricah dia. logue between God and his church. And it is not to be doubted but that his own inclina. tion to admit the most precarious hypothesis; which he thinks necessary to support religion; will carry him to great extreams in alterations with the respect to the whole, as it has done already with respect to some parts of the Old Teftament. For can there be, for example, a greater liberty taken in making alterations than by the mere force of criticism to strike
6) Whiston's Boyl. Let. p.67; and Elsay; &ic.
ööt passages, which evidently determine the sense of prophesies to persons living in or near the suppos'd times of the prophets, and the applying those prophesies to Jesus as the Messias, or to very remote events from the times when the prophesies were deliver'd ; as Mr. W. does in several (2) instances ? For herein Mr. W. makes propbésies, which being miracles, and not things naturally to be suppos’d and credited, are at all times liable to sufpicion, without the best proofs, that they were really made at the time they were faid to be made. A man may fairly, with many christian divines, strike out the last chapter in Deuteronomy, and suppose, that Mos es did not write historically of his own death, and burial, and of matters which came to pass long after his death; but to strike (x) out a passage in SAMUEL; which limits a prophely to SOLOMON, and to strike out a passage in ISAIAH, which limits a prophesy to a year or two from the time ISAIA H deliver'd it, in order to make á prophefy of the Messias in the first case, and a prophesy about the birth of Jesus of the virgin Mary in the latter, is directly to make prophesies relate to perfons, not only
(w) Boyl. Lect. p. 256. Effay, p. 229, Sc.
(x) Bóyl. Lect. p. 247, Sc 2 Sam.9.14. Elay, 0. 229. isaiah 7. 1316.