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in his notes upon this work; for they represent Titus as exceeding impious and profane, as we also have seen. . How the learned Jews can reconcile these contradictions is not easy to comprehend; but they continue to pay respect to this author as well as to the Talmudical doctors. Reland,” likewise, in his Notes upon the Triumphal Arch of Titus, takes notice of the grievous reproaches and scandalous reflections upon him in the Jewish writers; whereby they have shown that they are skilful in the art of slandering, and spare not when they attempt it. Moreover, in this their enmity to Titus, they bear witness to that great event, the overthrow of their city and temple, of which he was, under God, the instrument. IH. I may now make some general remarks; but they need not to be many nor long. l. This writer is evidently an impostor, a detestable character, which cannot be too much disliked, nor too much censured : he did not live in the time of Vespasian and Titus, as he pretends; nor is he Joseph the son of Gorion the priest, who was appointed to preside in Jerusalem, or to govern in Galilee. 2. Nevertheless he is a witness to the burning of the temple and the taking of Jerusalem, and the conquest of Judea, by the fore-mentioned emperors: to those events he has borne his testimony, and his testimony is received by the people of his own nation; especially by the learned among them. 3. He says that “Titus was compelled by necessity to destroy Jerusalem, and that all this evil had come upon Jerusalem because of the robbers and their wickedness.” He therefore does not ascribe the calamities which befell the Jews, in the time of Vespasian and Titus, to their sin in rejecting Jesus, and not receiving him as the Messiah. Their calamities he owns, and thereby bears witness to the fulfilment of our Saviour's prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem : but he does not acknowledge any guilt contracted by his people in crucifying the Lord Jesus, and persecuting his followers: nor does Josephus : nor” in
* Hebraei narrant, sed ex odio Titi, quem illum impium vocant, ac sihominem longe post homines natos sceleratissimum diceres, non modo velis sacris eum vasa templi imposuisse, sed et contaminásse adytum impio facinore, in Gemara Gittin. fol. 56. 2. Cepit meretricem, eague inductà in sanctum sanctorum, stratoque legis volumine, facinus patravit super illud. Dein stricto gladio velum perrupit, unde Sanguis, facto miraculo, missus est, sic ut exiens Titus putaret se Deum ipsum peremisse Reland. de Spoliis Templi in Arcu Titiano. cap. 13. p. 130, 131.
* It is said by some learned men, that Maimonides ascribes the destruction deed can I well see how any unbelieving Jews can make such acknowledgments. Rabbi Isaac, in his Munimen Fidei above quoted, which is written against the christians, quotes John xix. 15, “The chief-priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.” Upon which he remarks in this manner: ‘This" shows that, before Jesus was crucified, the Jews were ‘subject to the Roman emperors. The emperor here intended ‘ was Tiberius, who sent Pilate to preside at Jerusalem, as “appears from the third chapter of Luke at the beginning. ‘This may suffice for an answer to an objection of the Naza“renes, who say the Jews lost their kingdom for their sin in ‘hanging Jesus.’ This, though it be no better than an evasion, shows the Jewish temper and principles. I say it is no better than an evasion. The Jewish people, as we know very well, were subject to the Romans in our Saviour's time: but the case was much altered with them afterwards. They were then very happy, and were so for some good while after that, enjoying, under the mild government of the Romans, the free exercise of their religion, and the temple-worship, and many other privileges. The distress, and other circumstances of the siege of Jerusalem, were very uncommon, sufficient to raise the attention of all serious men, and the long duration, and other circumstances of their captivity and dispersion ever since, are also very uncommon and extraordinary; but this is not a time or place for me to enlarge upon them any farther. But it is reasonable to think that unbelieving Jews must endeavour, some how or other, to evade the argument in favour of christianity, taken from the destruction of Jerusalem, and their long-continued captivity and dispersion. And beside the passage just now alleged, the same Rabbi Isaac, in the place before referred to, relating to the death of Agrippa, says, “That the * differof Jerusalem to our Lord. So Dr. Sharpe in his argument, &c. p. 38, 39. And De Voisin in Pr. Rugion. Fidei. p. 127. Certe R. Moses in tract. De Regibus, et De Bell. cap. 11, propter Jesum Christum excidium Jerosolymitanum contigisse fatetur. Idest, “Ille, qui visusest esse Messias, et occi‘sus est sententiã judiciali, &c. ille fuit causa, cur Israël gladio perierit, et reli“quiae Israél dispersae sint, et depressà, et curlex mutata sit.' But how this is to be understood, I cannot well say. I have not the tract of Maimonides here referred to. * Haec ibi. Ecce hoc dicto ostenditur, ante Jesu cruci affixionem jam tum Caesares Romanos Judaeis imperitàsse. Atque is Caesar [de quo ibi sermo) Tiberius fuit, qui Pilátum Hierosolymis praefecerat, ceu constat ex capitis iii. Lucae initio. Valebit hoc pro responso adversus objectionem Nazaraeorum, quá clamitant, Judæos propter peccatum suspensionis Jesu perdidisse regnum suum, &c. R. Isaaci Munimen Fid. p. 446. Conf p. 55, 56. ibid. * Caeterum, ob illam, quae inter regem Agrippam et improbos duces factiosorum exorta fuerat contentionem, denigoe desolatum fuit templum, uti ex Josepho constat. Munim. Fid. p. 417. And see before, p. 538, note ".
‘ences between king Agrippa, and the wicked leaders of ‘the factions, at length brought on the desolation of the “temple.’
4. This work of Josippon confirms the history of the Jewish war written by Flavius Josephus, son of So, and it must induce us to set a real value upon Josephus, and raise our esteem for him. They are both fond of their own people: but Josephus was indeed contemporary with the events which he records, and with the principal actors in them, and therefore he must have the preference. This author is a plagiary, and knows nothing of the war of which he writes, but what he has stolen from another, without naming him : and, with all his Greek politeness, Josephus has more the air of sincerity and simplicity than this Hebrew writer. Indeed, it would have been a bad exchange, if, instead of the History of the Jewish War, written by Flavius Josephus, we had palmed upon us the History of the Wars of Jehova, written by Josippon; who neither was the son of Gorion who presided at Jerusalem, nor the son of Matthias who governed in Galilee.
A RECOLLECTION OF THE FOREGOING ARTICLES, AND REFLECTIONS UPON THEMI.
I. The preceding articles recollected. II. Reflections upon them. III. Concluding observations.
I. I QUOTE no more Jewish a writers. I therefore now proceed to recollect what we have seen, and to make re
* Some learned men have of late appealed to a book entitled Toldoth Jeschu. I am of opinion that christianity does not need such a testimony, nor such witnesses. I have looked it over several times, with an intention to give some account of it; but, after all, I could not persuade myself to attempt it: for it is a modern work, written in the 14th or 15th century, and is throughout, from the beginning to the end, burlesque and falsehood; nor does the shameless writer acknowledge any thing that has so much as a resemblance of the truth, except in the way of ridicule. I shall however put down here the short censure of Grotius upon this work, though he does not mention the title of it; not thinking it, as I suppose, worthy to be named. * Some of the Jews ascribe the miracles of Jesus to a certain secret name,
marks; but I need not recollect the first two chapters: I hope they have not been improperly premised to this work; but they need not to be brought in here in the way of recapitulation and recollection : I shall recollect only what we have seen in Jewish writers, beginning with Josephus. Two things are to be regarded by us—their testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the destruction of Jerusalem. In Josephus there is a paragraph where JESUs is mentioned very honourably, and agreeably to his true character: but it is not universally received by learned men as genuine. Many are rather of opinion that it has been inserted in his works since his time. There is in him another paragraph concerning John the Baptist, which is generally received as genuine: and it is a valuable testimony to his preaching, and therein calling men to the practice of virtue. He likewise says that he was put to death by Herod the tetrarch; but he says nothing of that part of his character, that he appeared as the forerunner of the Messiah. He likewise acknowledgeth that there was then in Judea a general expectation of a great person to arise from among them, who should obtain the empire of the world ; and that this expectation was one great occasion of the war with the Romans, and that it was built upon an oracle found in their sacred writings; and that many of their wise men embraced it, and acted upon it in their engaging in the war. He has also spoken of many false prophets who appeared at that time, promising great advantages to the people if they would follow them, and that many were deceived by them. If they did not call themselves Christs, as well as prophets, they did in effect take upon them the character of the Messiah. In the Mishna it is allowed that there is no express mention of Jesus Christ, the design of that work being to make a collection of the numerous traditions which hitherto were unwritten ; but I have alleged a paragraph" which I think contains an invidious representation of the state of things under the gospel dispensation, in the second century.
‘which was put in the temple by Solomon, and kept by two lions, for above “a thousand years, but was conveyed thence by Jesus; which is not only false, “but an impudent fiction, [non mendaciter modo, Sedet impudenter confictum ‘est.] For, as to the lions, so remarkable and wonderful a thing, neither the “books of the Kings, nor the Chronicles, nor Josephus, mention anything of “ them. - Nor did the Romans, who before the times of Jesus entered the tem‘ple with Pompey, find any such thing. Grotius, Of the Truth of the Christian Religion. B. 5. Sect. iv. in the version of Dr. John Clarke. And I refer to Wagenseil's Confutation of the Toldoth Jeschu. * See above, p. 511–516
In the Talmudical writings Jesus is mentioned : but as Lightfoot, who was well acquainted with them, says, it was chiefly with a view to wound and reproach him. They call his mother by the name Mary; but they have aspersed her character, and have assigned to Jesus a spurious nativity. They have mentioned several of our Saviour's disciples, who, as they say, were put to death. They say our Saviour suffered as a malefactor at one of the Jewish Passovers, or in the eve of it, as the expression is. They seem in some places to acknowledge the power of miracles in Jesus and his disciples: and if they had not known that many miraculous works were ascribed to him, they would not have insinuated that he learned magical arts in Egypt, and brought them thence in a private manner, and then set up himself among his countrymen as an extraordinary person. That is the sum of their testimony upon this article. It would be in vain to expect a great deal from Jews upon this head, who are our enemies. Such are their prejudices, that they are, and always have been, the most inveterate enemies of Jesus and his followers. Concerning the other point, the destruction of Jerusalem, their testimony is more material, indeed very valuable. Josephus, without intending it, has borne testimony to the fulfilment of all our Saviour's predictions concerning the miseries of the siege of Jerusalem, the desolation of the land of Judea, and the dispersion of his nation. We have above transcribed his account at large. His testimony has been repeated, with some variations, in Josippon's History of the Jewish War: and the Mishna, and the Talmuds likewise, acknowledge the conquest of Judea by Vespasian and Titus, the burning of the temple, or the second house, and the overthrow of Jerusalem, which was dug up to the foundation. II. But how should this be 2 How could this come to pass? What should be the reason of it? Does not this deserve serious consideration ? Amos iii. 6, “Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord has not done it !” Such things are not the effect of chance, but are owing to the direction of Providence. Is. xlv. 7, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” . But if God inflict calamities upon any people, it is not without reason; for all his works are done in truth. So again, in the fore-cited chapter of Amos, ver. 1 and 2: “Hear this word, that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family, which I
brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: You only have