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where (if we will reflect on the practise of the popish church, to say nothing of other churches, where people seem little to understand what is read and sung) we may judge, that nothing is too absurd and too gross to be in use. And I am surpriz'd that Mr. W. who charges both Jews and Christians with receiving into their canon of fcripture a most obscene fong, (12) which they both fo grolly mistake as to take not only for a moral but divinely inspir'd song ; who charges the Jews with wilful and great corruption of the Old Testament, part of which is read in fynagogues, and almost all read in christian churches; who has so abject an opinion of the primitive christians, as to think them capable of having their bible taken from them, and of receiving a false bible in its stead; who takes all the ancient christians to be (l) deceiv'd in believing MATTHEW's gospel to be written originally, and extant among them, in Hebrez ; who thinks the christians reject the most sacred book of the New Testament, viž. The Apostolical Constitutions from their Canon as well as other canonical books ; who thinks the primitive christians for many centuries almost wholly (p) ignorant of the hebrew tongue, from which language the Septuagint was translated, and in which only the grounds of christianity could be authentickly contain’d; who is so deeply sensible of the anti-christianism of popery, and of the numerous and gross impositions in most churches; and who thinks the Athanafian creed, not only to be a modern, forg'd work, but to be contrary to the most express and plain meaning of the gospel, to all primitive antiquity, and to the clearest dičtates of reason, tho it be receiv'd by almost all christians as the faith once deliver’d to the Saints, and repeated in churches with the utmost devotion by the people, and contended for with the greatest zeaf by the clergy ; I am surpriz’d, I say, Mr.W. should not think the Jews and ancient christians capable of receiving the Septuagint, and reading it in their religious assemblies, on supposition, that the Septuagint was not an accurate version of the hebrew, and that there was so great a difcordance then between the Septuagint and hebrew as now appears to be? This will yet feem more surprizing, when it is consider'd ; that the copies (9) of the Septıagint in the apostles times differ'd greatly from one ano
(n) Suppl. to Esay.
ther ; that Luke himself cited (r) á false copy of the Septuagint ; that the whole chriftian world fought Ys) one against another about three different editions of the Septuagint, as says JEROM ; that the Septuagint (t) had been corrupted by the Jews, and by them deliver'd to ORIGEN, upon whose credit their corrupt copy became in time to be generally receiv'd; and yet, that during these first - ages the christians look'd on the Septuagint as
divinely inspir'd, and as such read it in their churches."
He (2) argues the same agreement from the extravagant applauses given to the Septuagint translation by the ancient Jews, But these applauses plainly proceeding from their ignorance and partiality, are of no more weight, than the excess of disparagement they afterwards run into; for, notwithstanding those excessive applaufes, when they found the christians used the Septuagint in their controversies with them, they readily took hold of all advantages they could; and not contenting themselves with showing, that the christians did not argue literally and logically from the Old Testament,
M4. . they
they charg‘d them with arguing from pafsages of the Old Testament falfely translated in the Septuagint ; about which passages they were little or not at all concern'd, till the christians, by citing and applying them, made them review the Septuagint Translation, and gave them this advantage over them.
He argues (201) it from the miraculous story of the several interpreters being but up in cells apart; each whereof translated the whole by inspiration, and concurred word for word with one another. Which story he himself allows cannot be justify'd ; and tho it shows a great approbation of the work, yet it shows the approvers to be weak men, and their approbation to be of no weight, to say nothing worse of this matter. ,
He argues, (x) from the silence of authors before the second century, and especially of the enemies of the gospel, as to any differences between the Hebrew and Septuagint ; as also (V) from the conversions wrought by the apostles, in virtue of citatins, or proofs brought from the Septuaging, among the Jews; who, in consequence of their
(w) Whison, Ib. p. 10,
Ib. p. II. (y) Ib. P. It:
conversions, muft, according to him, have own'd those citations for genuine and agreeable to the then known bible among them; it being (z) impossible, as he says, for them to have been converted, if the citations had been as different from what they found in their bibles, as the like citations frequently are now from what we find in ours.
But both these considerations will seem of little weight, if it be consider'd:
That we have no jewish authors of that time extant who treat of these matters :
That perhaps no jewish authors did at that time treat of these matters:
That the Jews did, in general, approve of the allegorical way of reasoning used by the apostles, tho' they might dillike the application of it to Jesus CHRIST:
That Philo the Jew, who wrote in the apostolical age voluminous works, wherein there is not the least notice taken of christianity (which seems surprizing) cites, and reasons from, the Old Testament in the same allegorical manner with the apostles ; wherein it may be suppos’d that he follow'd the method of his nation, and especially of the prevailing feet of Pharisees, who first introducid it:
(2) Ib. p. 15.