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what the Historian would have fpoke, and what Advice he would have given, if he had been in their place. It is ftrange to fee the Difference between a Cafar's own Speeches in his Commentaries, and thofe which Dion Caffius makes for him, both in the Circumftances and Reafons of things. But the Hiftorians left their proper Bufinefs, and play'd the Orators upon these occafions And therefore Diodorus Siculus found fault with this way of inferting fet Orations into Hiftories, and Trogus Pompeius blam'd it particularly in Livy and Salluft, But Herodotus has much of the Simplicity of Ancient times his Speeches are Natural, containing for the most part but a bare Narrative of what was said or done, only the Perfons tell their own Story. But of all the Speeches which are to be met withal in any Hiftory, there are none fo Natural, or which have fuch plain Characters of Truth in them, as thofe in the Scriptures.

The Antiquities of China were deftroy'd about two hundred years before Chrift, and from the feveral Relations given of that matter by different Authors, it appears, that the Chineses are rather willing to have it believ'd, that their old Books were in fome ftrange manner or other preferv'd, than that they are able to make it


It was the Custom of the Ægyptians to omit the mention of thefe Perfons, of whom they

a Cæfar. Comment. 1. vii.
Diod. Sic. lib. xx. init.

Dion. Caff. 1. xxxviii.

Juft. 1. xxxvi. c. 3.



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had any Diflike, or who had made themselves odious to them. Thus in the xxth Dynasty of their Kings, there is a total Vacancy for the fpace of GLXVIII Years, which the Learned. Mr. Greaves, with great Probability, fupplies with the Names of thofe Kings, who built the Pyramids, two whereof, Cheops and Chephren, as a Herodotus fays, the Egyptians, out of Hatred to them, would not fo much as name, but call'd the Pyramids, which they had erected, the Pyramids of Philition, a Shepherd, who in thofe days fed his Cattle there: The which Hatred, fays Mr. Greaves, occafion'd by their Oppreffions, as Diodorus alfo mentions, might caufe Manethos to omit the reft, especially Sabachus an Æthiopian, and an Ufurper. But whatever account is to be given of the Ægyptian History in that particular, this makes the Hiftory of that Nation in general very uncertain, and may afford a fufficient Reason, why the Jews are either omitted, or mifreprefented by Heathen Hiftorians, who had what they relate of them from the Ægyptians, and the Hebrews neither liv'd with the Egyptians, nor left them, upon fuch terms, as to have their Story faithfully told by a Nation, who would fuffer nothing to pass down to Pofterity, if they could help it that was difpleafing to them, when it happen'd, but if any thing were fo notorious, as not to be capable of being wholly ftifled, they would

Herod. lib. ii. c. 128.

Diodor. Sic. 1. 1. Greaves Pyramidographi


be fure to vary and deface it with false Circumstances in the Reports, which they gave out concerning it.

And here I must once more complain of Mr. Blount, who, as if he had been an Ægyptian Historian, that had an implacable Hatred. of our Religion, profeffing to translate that place of Tacitus, which concerns the Original of the Jews, cuts his Tranflation fhort, and goes no farther than the vilifying and falfe part of the Account, which Tacitus gives: for his Character of their Religion, and the Relation of what Pompey discover'd upon his Entrance into the Temple, is omitted. And befides that which he has tranflated, is far from being exact but as I obferv'd before, that in speaking of the Ark, he had made Sir Thomas Brown say, that will not appear feasible, which the Learned: Knight had faid, will appear feasible; fo he has. dealt no better with Tacitus, making him likewife deny what he had affirm'd: Tacitus f fays, Hi ritus, quoquo modo inducti, antiquitate defen. duntur: Thefe Rites, by what means foever introduced, are defended by their 'Antiquity. Which 5 Mr. Blount tranflates thus: But by what means foever they have been introduc'd, they have no Antiquity for their Patronization. This is to use the History of Tacitus as ill as he doth that of the Bible, and much worse than Tacitus himself has. done the Jews. For if it be rightly understood, what Tacitus has written of the Jews proves a

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very remarkable Vindication of their Religion. He says indeed that they confecrated the Image of an Afs, but he fays it only as a Report, which he confutes afterwards himself by acknowledging, that Pompey, when he entred into the Temple, found no Image in it; and giving an Account of their Religion, he fays: Ægyptii pleraque animalia, effigiefque compofitas. venerantur. Judæi mente folâ, unumque numen intelligunt. Profanos, qui Deum imagines mortalibus materiis, in fpecies Hominum effingunt. Summum illud, æternum, neque mutabile, neque interiturum. Igitur nulla fimulachra urbibus fuis, nedum templis funt. Which is fo contrary to what this Hiftorian writes before in these words, Effigiem animalis, quo monftrante, errorem fitimque depulerunt, penetrali facravere; that fome have charg'd him with contradicting himself : But it is evident, that the Story of their worfhipping an Afs, is related as a Tradition, which is afterwards fufficiently confuted by his own Account of their Doctrine and Worship, and by what Pompey found, Nullà nitus Deum effigie, vacuam fedem, & inania arcana. Whatever his Defign was, and however his obfcure way of writing has made him to be misunderstood, there can hardly be any thing faid more for the Truth and Honour of the Jewish Religion, than what Tacitus has deliver'd of it.

And if any one will compare that which Tully hath faid in the fame Oration of the Greeks


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and of the Jews, he must conclude, that what is fpoken against the Jews, is rather to their Commendation, than to their Difgrace. Tully there declares the Greeks to be of no Credit nor Efteem, but unfaithful, and of the worst Reputation, even to a Proverb in their Teftimonies and Oaths. He is careful not to involve the Athenians and Lacedæmonians in the common Scandal, who appear'd for his Client, and gives a high Character of the Maffilians, and would feem to confine his Difcourfe to the Afiatick Greeks, by whofe own Confeffion, he fays, the People of Phrygia, Myfia, Caria, and Lydia were proverbially infamous. When he has exprefs'd this Contempt of the Greeks, he falls next upon the Jews But what has he to fay of them? He calls their Religion a barbarous Superftition, and Jerufalem a fufpicious and railing City, and he pronounces the Jewish Religion to be unsuitable to the Splendor and Gravity, and the Customs of the Romans; he infinuates that they were a People not well affected to the Roman State, and urges the Conquest of them by Pompey, as an Argument against the Truth of their Religion. When fo very Learned an Orator had nothing but these common Topicks of Slander to charge them withal, tho' it was for the Interest of his Cause to speak the worst he knew of them; what could be a greater Juftification of the Jews and their Religion? One of the Accufations laid against Flaccus, whose Defence Tully had undertaken, was, that Sums of Gold having been wont to be fent out


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