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The Sufferings and Martyrdoms under the Maeçaibees, and the Refolution and Constancy which they Thew'd upon all Occafion's, in defence of their Religion, render'd the Justus renowned over all Nations:: And besides, their: Conquests were very considerąble; and the Advantages which aceruedsco Religion by reafon of them. In the time of Joannes Hyrcanus, Call Idumea embraced the jewish ReligionAriftobulus having conquer'd great part of Itură din caus'd all their Males fto be Circumcis?d, and to observe the Law of Mofes, as Strabo testifies. Under Alexander Hannæus,
the Jews took twelve Cities from the Arabians; and became possess'd of many Cities in Syria, Irlümæa, and Phoenicia, all which they brought over to the Proferfion of their own Religion, and demolith'd Pella, for - refusing to embrace it. .:!r, out
The h Temple built by Sanballatofor Manafes, who -ħad marry'd his Daughter, was an occasion of the Samaritans leaving their False Gods. in Epiphanius and *Theophylant. clear them from the Imputation of 1. Idolatry; andik that they now are either Idolaters or
Sadduces, is a Calumny of the Jews 9 The Zeal of the Scribes and Pharisees, though they were Hypocrites, did exceedingly conduce to the Propagation of their
Religion; for they compaffed sea. rand landido make one Plósélyte, and so far they were to be commended; but - then they made him two-fold
mores.the dhild of hell.than themselves, Mat! xxi. nr. yet still they taught the neceflary Points of Do&rine, tho' in Hypocrisy, and with the mixtures of Superstition. Our Saviour, commands his Disciples to obferve and do what they. bid them, but not to do after thein worksun. And it was itquired of the Fathers of the Sanhedring that they
e Jof. Ant. 1.13. 6:17.
- Ibid. l. 13.C.19.
g. Ibid.l. 13: c. 23. I. 14. C. 2. h See Mr. Mead's Discourse 12.
i Epiphan. Hær. 9. § 2. In Joh. k F. Simon's Suppl. to Leo of Modena. ! Lightf: Exercit. on 1 Cor. xiii. 1. p.783.
fhould understand many Languages; that the Sanhedrin might hear nothing by an Interpreter ; 'which qualify'd the Scribes and Pharisees, who aspired to that Dignity, to be the better able to make Profelytes.
The Jews were difpers'd over all the World, but chiefly seated themselves in Rome, and Alexandria, and Antioch, the three principal Cities of the Empire; in all which they had great and peculiar Privileges; In Alexandria they had Magiftrates of their own, mand livid under a peculiar Government by themselves. In Ægypt they had a Temple ? like that of Jerusalem, built by Onias, which * drew mighty Numbers of the Fews thither, and continued for the space of three hundred and forty three Years, till the Destruction of Jerufalem by Titus. And after the building of that Temple, the Babylonian Talmud says, that the Fews in Ægypt were double the Number of those that came out from thence under Moses. Never any other Naçion had such various Changes and Revolutions, to mix them with the reft of the World; and never any People were so industrious and zealous, and so successful in the Propagation of their Religion. They had their Synagogues at Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Thessalonica, and in all the Chief Cities of Greece, dets xvii. 1, 17. xviti
. 7. xix. 8. They had their Profeucha, and their Synagogues for: Divine Worship, and for Reading and Explaining the Scriptures; which Men of P all Religions were admitted to hear, in all places | wherever they dwelt; and in the Synagogues the Scriptures were read in the Greek Tongue, which was the most universal Language then in the World. Some have affirm'd, that as much of the Scriptures as was written in Solomon's time, was then translated into the Syriac Tongue ; and there is little doubt
m Jofeph. Antiq. I. 14. C. 12. Philo in Flacc. Jofeph. Bell. Jud. I. 7. C. 30.
* Hieron. in Dan. xi. o Lightf. Harin. p. 205.
P Atts xiii. 42.
9 but that at least part of the Bible was translated into Greek, before the time of Alexander the Great : But the Version of the Septuagint became soon dispers'd into all Hands, which was made at the Command of Ptolemeus Philadelphus; to whom likewise, and his Father, Ariftobulus dedicated an Exposition of the Law of Moses. The Jews in their Kalendar appoint a Faft upon the Eighth Day of the Month Tebet, which answers to our Twenty Sixth of December, because the Law was then translated into Greek at the Command of this King, and they add, that there was Darkness all over the World for Three Days upon that account. But this must have been a Contrivance of the Jews since the Propagation of the Gospel, when they found this Translation cited against them, and were urg'd by Justin Martyr and others with its Authority. The Jews of Alexandria kept a Day of Rejoicing, in Remembrance of this Translation, in Philo's time, and v Josephus speaks with Approbation of the making it. But w when the Jews fent Men purposely cholen, into all Countries, to blaspheme Christ and his Religion, and inferted Imprecations upon
Christians into their Forms of Prayer; it is no wonder, that they should appoint a Fast in Detestation of a Translation, which prov'd so happy an Inftrument in the Conversion of many to Christianity.
By all these means, vast Multitudes of Proselytes were made to the Jewiss Religion in all Parts of the World. What Numbers there were at Rome of this Religion, we know from the Roman Poets and Historians; and we have as good Evidence of the spreading of it in other places. Not to repeat what has been already related, nor to mention particular Per
9 Just. Apol. 2. Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. Eufeb. Fræpar. Evang. 1. 9. c. 6. 1. 13. C. 12.
Euseb. Eccl. Hift. 1. 7. c. ult.
lots of the greatesť Note and Eminency, nor particular Cities, as Damascus, befides those already mentioned, * where it more remarkably.prevail'd, it is evident what Numbers of Persons, in all Nations, profefs'd this Religion, from the incredible Treasures which Crassus found in the Temple of Jerusalem, being Ten Thousand Talents, amafs’d there by the Sums of Gold sent from all Places by the Jews, and such as became Profelytes to their Religion: And for the Truth of this, Fosephus cites Strabo's Authority, who fays,'y that the Jews were everywhere dispers’d, and every where gain'd Men over to their Religion and that in Alexandria they had their Ethnarche, or proper Magiftrates, by whom they were govern’d: And another Proof of the Multitudes of Profelytes made to the Jewish Religion, may be had from the great Numbers assembled z at their Passovers, and at the Feafts of Pentecost, out of every Nation under Heaven:
Thus mightily prevail'd the Religion of the Hebrews, till their City and Temple, by a Divine Vengeance, as Josephus often confeffes', was destroy'd; and the Law a it felf, with the Utensils of the Temple, 'was carry'd among the Spoil in Titus's Triumph. And when the Fewills Religion had its full Period and Accomplishment, the Christian Religion, which suc= ceeded in the room of it, and was prefigur'd by it, foon spread it felf into all Corners of the Earth, and is at this Day preach'd among all Nations.
But before I proceed to consider the Propagation of the Christian Religion, it may be requisite, i. To produce some Testimonies of the Heathen, concerning the Fews' and their Religion. 2. To fhew, That there have been always remaining divers Memorials
* Jofeph. de Bell. Jud. 1. 2. C. 25.
y Joseph. Antiq. 1.14. C. 12. Vid. Phil. in Fiacc. & de Legatione ad Caium. z Jofeph, de Bell. Jud. 1.7. C. 17. Act. ii. s. a Ibid. c. 24. pag. 979.
of the True Religion among the Heathen. 3.
To consider the Authority of the Sibylline Oracles:
1. As to the Testimony of Heathen Authors, id were no more an Objection againlt what has been alTedg’d, though they had taken no notice of the Hiffon ry of the Jews, than it can be supposed to be an Obit je&ion' against the Truth of the Taking of Troy, of the Building of Rome; that the Scriptures make no mention of either of them: Nor than it can invalidate the concurrent Testimony of Historians, concerning the Antiquity
and Fame of Tyre," that b. Homer makes no mention of it, tho' he often takes Occasion to extol its Neighbour City Sidon. The Greek Historians were fo ignorarit of Foreign Affairs, as c' Jofephus has obsery'd, that Ephoras, one of the best of them, thought Spain to be but one City; and neither Herodotus nor Thucydides,' nor any Historian of their Times, made any mention of the Romans. The Roman Authors are but of a very late date, in comparison: And the Greeks, besides their Ignorance in Antiquity, and in the Affairs of other Nations, are known to have been a'vaint People, 'who despised all besides themfelves, accounting them" Barbarians, and taking little notice of Rime it self before they fell under its Power. Nothing more memorable ever befel the Romans than the taking of their City by the Gauls: this happened, says e Plutarch, if we may credit their Chronology, which is fo confused in things of much later Date, a little after the Year CECLX, from the building of Rortie. He thinks an obscure Report of this went far as Greece; for which he cites Heraclides Ponticus, an Author of no Credit; as he confesses; and Aristotle, who faid that Lucius preferved the City; tho' the Pre
6 Strabo lib. 16. "ΟμηρG- και δε μέμνη 5 τ τυρ8. c Jofeph. contra Ap. 1. 1.
d Nos quoque dictitant Barbaros, o fpurciùs nos, quàm alios, Opicos appellatione fadant. Cato maj. apud Plin. Hift. Nat. 1. 29. e Plutarch. in. Camill.