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The Sufferings and Martyrdoms under the Maccabees, and the Refolution and Conftancy which they Thew'd upon all Occafions, in defence of their Religion, render'd the fees renowned over all Nations: And befides, their Conquefts were very confiderable; and the Advantages which accrued to Religion by reaffon of them. In the time of Joannes Hyrcanus, all Idumæa embraced the Jewish Religion Ariftobulus having conquer'd great part of Ituraa, caus'd all their Males to be Circumcis'd, and to obferve the Law of Mofes, as Strabo teftifies. Under Alexander Jannæus, g the Jews took twelve Cities from the Arabians, and became poffefs'd of many Cities in Syria, Idumaa, and Phoenicia, all which they brought over to the Profeffion of their own Religion, and demolish'd Pella, for refusing to embrace it. Sadak off TAK
The Temple built by Sanballat, for Manaffes, who -had marry'd his Daughter, was an occafion of the Samaritans leaving their Falfe Gods Epiphanius and Theophylat clear them from the Imputation of Idolatry; and that they now are either Idolaters or Sadduces, is a Calumny of the Jews The Zeal of the Scribes and Pharifees, though they were Hypocrites, did exceedingly conduce to the Propagation of their Religion; for they compaffed fea and land to make one Profelyte, and fo far they were to be commended; but then they made him two-fold more the thild of hell than themselves, Mat. xxii. 1yet ftill they taught the neceflary Points of Doctrine, tho in Hypocrify, and with the mixtures of Superftition. Our Saviour commands his Difciples to obferve and do what they bid them, but not to do after their worksum And it was required of the Fathers of the Sanhedrin, that they of what cont
Jof. Ant. 1.13. c.17.~
Ibid. 1. 13. C. 19... g.Ibid. 1. 13.
h See Mr. Mead's Difcourfe 12.
* In Joh. k F. Simon's Suppl. to ! 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 Pharifees, who afpired to that Dignity, to be the better able to make Profelytes.
The Jews were difpers'd over all the, World, but chiefly feated themfelves 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, and liv'd under a peculiar Government by themselves. In Egypt they had a Temple a like that of Jerufalem built by Onias, which drew mighty Numbers of the Jews thither, and continued for the space of threehundred and forty three Years, till the Destruction of Jerufalem by Titus. And after the building of that Temple, the Babylonian Talmud fays, that the Jews in Egypt were double the Number of those that came out from thence under Mofes. Never any other Nation had fuch various Changes and Revolutions, to mix them with the reft of the World; and never any People were fo induftrious and zealous, and so successful in the Propagation of their Religion. They had their Synagogues at Athens, Corinth, Ephefus, Theffaloniand in all the Chief Cities of Greece, Ats xvii. 1, 17. xviii. 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 univerfal 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. Jofeph. Bell. Jud. 1. 7. c. 30. • Lightf. Harm. p.205.
Philo in Flacc.
* Hieron. in Dan. xi. P Acts xiii. 42.
9 but that at least part of the Bible was tranflated into Greek, before the time of Alexander the Great: But the Verfion of the Septuagint became foon difpers'd into all Hands, which was made at the Command of Ptolemeus Philadelphus; to whom likewife, and his Father, Ariftobulus dedicated an Expofition of the Law of Mofes. The Jews in their Kalendar appoint a Faft upon the Eighth Day of the Month Tebet, which anfwers to our Twenty Sixth of December, becaufe the Law was then tranflated 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 fince the Propagation of the Gofpel, when they found this Tranflation cited against them, and were urg'd by Juftin Martyr and others with its Authority. The Jews of Alexandria kept a Day of Rejoicing, in Remembrance of this Tranflation, in Philo's time, and v Jofephus fpeaks with Approbation of the making it. But w when the Jews fent Men purposely chofen, into all Countries, to blafpheme Chrift and his Religion, and inferted Imprecations upon Christians into their Forms of Prayer; it is no wonder, that they fhould appoint a Faft in Deteftation of a Tranflation, which prov'd so happy an Inftrument in the Converfion of many to Chriftianity.
By all these means, vaft Multitudes of Profelytes were made to the Jewish Religion in all Parts of the World. What Numbers there were at Rome of this Religion, we know from the Roman Poets and Hiftorians; 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 Juft. Apol. 2. Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. Eufeb. Præpar. Evang. 9. c. 6. l. 13. c. 12.
Eufeb. Eccl. Hift. 1. 7. c. ult.
f Scalig. Ifagog.
↑ Phil. de Vit. Mos. I. 3.
fons of the greatest Note and Eminency, nor parti cular Cities, as Damafcus, befides thofe already mentioned, where it more remarkably prevail'd, it is evidént what Numbers of Perfons, in all Nations, pro fefs'd this Religion, from the incredible Treafures which Craffus found in the Temple of Jerufalem, being Ten Thousand Talents, amafs'd there by the Sums of Gold fent from all Places by the Jews, and fuch as became Profelytes to their Religion: And for the Truth of this, Jofephus cites Strabo's Authority, who fays, that the Jews were every where difpers'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 affembled at their Paffovers, and at the Feafts of Pentecoft, 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 Jofephus often confeffes, was deftroy'd; and the Law a it felf, with the Utenfils of the Temple, was carry'd among the Spoil in Titus's Triumph. And when the Jewish Religion had its full Period and Accomplishment, the Chriftian Religion, which fuc ceeded in the room of it, and was prefigur'd by it, foon fpread it felf into all Corners of the Earth, and is at this Day preach'd among all Nations.
But before I proceed to confider the Propagation of the Chriftian Religion, it may be requifite, 1. To produce fome Teftimonies of the Heathen, concerning the Jews and their Religion. 2. Tofhew, That there have been always remaining divers Memorials
Jofeph. de Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c.
y Jofeph. Antiq. 1. 14. c. 12. Vid. Phil. in Flacc. & de Legatione ad Caium. z. Jofeph. de Bell. Jud. 1. 7. c. 17. Act. ii. 5. a Ibid. c. 24. pag. 979.
3. To con
of the True Religion among the Heathen. fider the Authority of the Sibylline Oracles I. As to the Teftimony of Heathen Authors, it were no more an Objection against what has been al Tedg'd, though they had taken no notice of the Hifto ry of the Jews, than it can be fuppofed to be an Ob jection against the Truth of the Taking of Troy, or the Building of Rome, that the Scriptures make no mention of either of them: Nor than it can invalidate the concurrent Teftimony of Hiftorians, concerning the Antiquity and Fame of Tyre, that Homer makes no mention of it, tho' he often takes Occafion to extol its Neighbour City Sidon. The Greek Hiftorians were fo ignorant of Foreign Affairs, as Jofephus has obfery'd, that Ephoras, one of the belt of them, thought Spain to be but one City; and neither Herodotus nor Thucydides, nor any Hiftorian of their Times, made any mention of the Romans. The Roman Authors are but of a very late date, in comparison: And the Greeks, befides their Ignorance in Antiquity, and in the Affairs of other Nations, are known to have been a vain People, who defpifed all befides themfelves, accounting them Barbarians, and taking little notice of Rome it felf before they fell under its Power. Nothing more memorable ever befel the Romans than the taking of their City by the Gauls: this happened, fays Plutarch, if we may credit their Chronology, which is fo confufed in things of much later Date, a little after the Year CCCLX, from the building of Rome. He thinks an obfcure Report of this went a's far as Greece; for which he cites Heraclides Ponticus, an Author of no Credit, as he confeffes; and Ariftotle, who faid that Lucius preferved the City; tho' the Pre
b Strabo lib. 16. ὍμηρΘ ἢ ἐδὲ μέμνη) τ τύρδ. Jofeph. contra Ap. 1. 1.
dNos quoque dictitant Barbaros, & fpurciùs nos, quàm alios, Opicos appellatione fadant. Cato maj. apud Plin. Hift. Nat. 1. 29. C. 7. e Plutarch. in Camill.