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F A BRIC.I U S
HE Learned Allix supposes this Book
of Esdras was written by a Monta. T nist, who was a Jew : But this is
not probable; since Barnabas's Epi. pistle quotes the Fourth of Esdras,
ch. 12. v.4. and Barnabas wrote long before Montanus ; and Josephus quotes the Third Book of Esdras.
This is a Quotation from Picus Mirandula, containing the Mysteries of the Cabbala, in his Apoo logy, pag 82. Hi funt libri scientiæ Cabbale, in quibus Esdras merito venam intellectus, id eft, ineffa. bilem de super fubftantiali Deitate theologiam sapien. tiæ fontem, id eft, de intelligibilibus angelicisque formis exactam metaphyficam, & scientiæ flumen, ideft, de rebus naturalibus firmiffimam philofopbians elle, clara imprimis voce pronuntiavit.
Hi libri apud Hebræos hâc tempestate tanta reli. gione coluntur, ut neminem liceat, nis annos quadringinta natum illos attingere. Hos ego libros non me. diocri impersa mihi cum comparaslem, Summa diligen, tià, indefesis laboribus cum perlegiffem, vidi in illis (testis eft Deus) religionem non tane Mosaicam quam Christianam ; ibi Trinitatis mysterium, ibi Verbi incarnatio, ibi Meshæ divinitas, ibi de ginali, de illius per Chriftum expiatione, de cælesti Jerusalem, de casu.Dæmonum, bos 70 libros evolvise se jactavit Picus Mirandula.
And from hence I may infer, that the Fourth of Esdras is divided in the Cabbala into 70 Books : And this ought to be inquired into by them who can read them; and then there will remain 134 of the Old Scripture compiled or revised by Esdras, and divided into so many Books by him. But now we count 39 ; and the reason of that Number, is, Haggai, Zachary, Malachi, Ezra, Nehemiah, were added to the 34, after Esdras's Return from Babylon ; where the 134 were tran, fcribed by his Order.
Note, That since Barnabe, Josephus, and the
Cabbala quote Esdras; and all the Old Fa. thers acknowledge him to be a Prophet, and to have restored the Scripture: (Vide Iren. lib. 3. 6.25.) Euseb. Hift. Ecclef. has pre. served the Greek; and Theodoret, in his Prefation on the Psalms, Clem. Alexandrinus, Strom. p. 329, and 342. Tertullian, de cultu fæm. cap. 31: St. Jerome, pag. 134. Bafil, Epist
. ad Chilonem, p. 142. Cbryfoftom, Hom. 8. in Epist. ad Hebræos, p. 785. Athanafius junior, in Synophe sacræ Scripturæ ; Leontius Byzantinus, de Se&tis, p. 428. I may certain. ly infer, that Esdras was never written by a Christian Montanist; since all these Authors affirm what is writ Chap. 14. of transcribing and amending the Copies of Scripture. Some object, that it cannot be true, as Justin says in his Dialogue with Tryphon, that the Jews took away what Esdras had said of their rejecting the Messias. I may reply, That they did not reckon Esdras among tie Canon of Scripture ; but it was a Book kept in their Archives, as an Ecclefiafick Writer, in the Ages after their Canon was settled; and afterwards it was admitted into their Cabbala; and whether the Words eras'd by the Jews, are in that Copy, we may inquire to justifie Juftin.
Epiphanius, concerning the 72 Prophets, rece kons Esdras the 57th Prophet ; and his Prophecies
were writ in the first and second Apocrypha, and in Malachi; and none in Ezra and Nehemiah.
The Author of the Middle State of Souls depara ted, p. 11. affirms of this Book of Esdras, that it has a much better Claim to be reckoned amongst the Canonical Books of the Old Testament, than any other of the controverted Books, which are called Apocryphal, for many reasons he menti. ons: there is nothing in it contrary to the Analogy of Faith ; nothing Romantic, neither in Substance nor Stile ; orthodox and pious, worthy of a noble and holy Penman : It was printed in all the Roman Bibles, as facred, till the Council of Trent. 'Tis cited by the Fathers, with the Canonical Prophets : 'Tis often quoted in the New Testa, ment; Luke 11. V. 49. from ch. 1. V. 32. by our Saviour, St. Matthew 23. V. 37. Efdr. ch. 1. v. 30.. and Caftalie, had a good Opinion of this Book.
Selden in his Table Talk, pag. 10. says, The Apocrypha is bound with the Bibles of all Churches that have been hitherto: Why Should we lcave it out ?
20. line 19. a Comma after coming ; 1. 20. no Stop after time; p. 22 line ult. for Diftination read Deftru&i. on; p. 26. I. 27. t. 70 Weeks; p. 31. 1. 7. r. many others; p. 37. 1. 40. r. Rev.ch. 19. p. 39. 1. 1. for Sin, r. bis ; p. 54.
for Distinction r. Destruction ; p. 55. 1. 6. for Ways, r. Wars; 1. 13. r. Sion is built ; p. 56. 1. 28. r. First Beast is; 1. 32. r. This Sion ; p. 75. 1. 19. for Proverbs r. Prophecies ; p. 78. 1. 32. for 15th r. 1206; p. 79. 1. 7. add Times after Time ; p. 99. 1. 7. dele Captive; p. 109. I. 33. r. fought with the Syrians; p. 116. 1. 24. for Money r. many; p. 144. 1.'s. for Land r. Laws; p. 153. 1. 15. for Sight r. Light ; p. 159. 1. 17. r. unwalled ; p. 165. 1.6. for disguised read disgraced.