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long before the Christian era, so was it customary to give Greek names to persons who were Hebrews. Thus Salome, the widow of Aristobulus, was also called Alexandra; the first a Hebrew, the second a Greek appellation. Josephus, in giving an account of his family, says, "My grandfather's father was named Simon (Hebrew) with the addition of Psellus (Greek). This Simon Psellus had nine sons. Matthias had a son called Matthias Curtus (the first Hebrew, the second Latin). I have three sons, Hyrcanus, Justus, and Agrippa," and not one of them a Hebrew name. Nay, the very name, John the Baptist, which you have endeavoured to press into your service, is decidedly against your supposition. John was a Jew; his surname Baptist, therefore, does not establish the Grecian, but, according to your reasonings, the Hebrew origin of the Christian religion; whilst this name also confirms my proof, that it was usual to give Greek names and surnames to persons who were Jews by faith. And, besides, no Heathen would have borne a Hebrew name, John. [L. ii. pp. 33, 34.]
Mr. C.-But I question if the Hebrew names that you adduce are really Hebrew, because they are not found in the Old Testament.
Mr. B.-This is the first time that ever I heard that the only way to prove a word to be of Hebrew origin, was by finding it in the Old Testament. Following this your method of determining what is Hebrew, I might prove Chaldee and Coptic, to be Hebrew words. It is not, however, the discovery of a word in a particular book, that decides its origin, but the letters of which it is composed. And by this rule, it is that Schleusner decides, that the words before adduced, are of Hebrew origin. But you will find, that more than "either of the names,' is read in the books of the Old Testament, by referring to Gen. xxix. 33, xxxiv. 25, &c. where Simon, or Simeon occurs; to Gen. xxv. 26, 27. &c. where James, in Greek Jakob, Jacob, occurs; to 1 Chron. iii. 24, 2 Kings xxv. 23. (Alexandrine version and Schleusner,) where John occurs. On your own showing, the first and immediate disciples were not Greeks. And as you "hold the good foundation of Christianity to require the circumstance, that they were Jews," this condition is fulfilled-they were Jews; and again, on your own showing, Christianity rested on "a good foundation." [L. ii. pp. 34, 35.]
Mr. C.-Save the Toldoth Jeschu, an answered Jewish production of the second century, there has not been handed down to us a single Christian document in the language of Jesus, and his pretended Jewish disciples.
Mr. B.-The Toldoth Jeschu, is not a Jewish production of the second century, but a modern work, written in the fourteenth or fifteenth century. And supposing there has not been handed down to us a single document in the language of Jesus and his disciples, this will not disprove the existence of Christ. Refer me to the documents handed down to us, written by Lycurgus, Zoroaster, and Pythagoras, or their contemporaries, in the language in which they severally spoke. Our Saxon and Norman kings, whose lives and deeds have been recorded in Latin, would all be annihilated by you. But now again as to facts. The language in which Jesus and his disciples spoke, was not Hebrew. A dialect of this, called the Aramean, and the Greek and Roman languages, were those chiefly used in Judea, after the Babylonish captivity. Now, it so happens, that we have the whole of the New Testament transmitted to us, in a dialect most closely similar to that in which Jesus spoke. I allude to the New Testament in Syriac. But the very Greek of the New Testament, is the strongest confutation of your position. It is the production of foreigners, and those foreigners Jews. It is the clothing of Hebrew ideas and phraseology in Greek letters; and proves that these books originated in Judea, before the destruction of Jerusalem. At no later period could it have been written. [L. i. pp. 5-7.]
Mr. C.-As to the existence of Lycurgus, Zoroaster, and our Saxon and Norman kings, it is a matter of indifference.
Mr. B.-In other words, the history of the past, is no guide for the future, and consequently worthless. And yet you require these great ones of antiquity, to trace back to them the moral precepts of the Gospel, in order to maintain your hypothesis of the origin of Christianity! [L. ii. p. 37.]
Mr. C.-But I have reason for believing in Lycurgus, &c. in preference to Jesus Christ. They are not wonderworkers, and pretenders to preternatural powers.
Mr. B.-You are certainly an unfortunate man in the way of assertion: the comedy of errors you enact over and over again; for read these extracts from Enfield's Brucker:
"Several miracles are ascribed to Zoroaster, such as an artful impostor would naturally attempt. He suffered melted metal to be poured upon his bosom, and held fire in his hand, without suffering injury." "Lycurgus committed no leaves to writing, but issued them forth as the edicts of Apollo, from the oracle at Delphi." And Pythagoras repaired to Delos, and after presenting an offering of cakes to Apollo, then received, or pretended to receive, moral dogmas from the priestess, which he afterwards delivered to his disciples, under the character of divine precepts." [L. ii. pp. 37, 38.]
(To be continued.)
ETERNAL Spirit! Majesty Supreme!
On this thy day, thy Son, our Saviour brought.
Now swell the notes of thy glad children, Lord;
And then, if power were given, I might unfold
Father Supreme! 'tis thine, who knowest the heart,
But age to age, my gladsome song be this:
To Him who sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever.
Causes of the Progress of Liberal Christianity in New England.-Printed for the American Unitarian As
WHERE a people for a long succession of years have been making a steady, continual, and unexampled progress in religious inquiry, it is but reasonable to refer it to causes deeply seated in those institutions which distinguish them from other nations, and in their fixed and peculiar habits of thinking and acting. The history of religious opinions in this section of our country, presents, as I conceive, a striking illustration of the justness of this remark. Never has there been a change greater or more remarkable; but the careful and attentive observer will be able to trace it, without much difficulty, to the operation of the same
general causes, to which we are likewise indebted for almost every thing else, that distinguishes the condition, or the character, of the people of New England. I have thought it would be useful to consider some of these causes; and to point out the bearing and influence they have had on the progress of Liberal Christianity.
I do not mean by this, that the progress of Liberal Christianity has been confined to a particular spot. Owing to the liberal tendencies of our government, and all our public institutions, and to the general diffusion of knowledge and a spirit of inquiry through the community, it has undoubtedly been making progress in every part of our country; and owing, also, to the liberal tendencies of the age, and the advancement of society and the human mind, it has, at the same time, been making progress in every part of the world. My only object, therefore, is, to mention some of the causes, which have made this progress more rapid, and more observable here, than elsewhere; and to show, that these causes are the same which have contributed to the advancement of New England in all other respects.
The first of these causes may be found in the character of our Puritan ancestors, and in the impulse which their example gave to religious inquiry, and religious liberty.
They were consistent Protestants, called Puritans, says a cotemporary, because they "would have the church thoroughly reformed; that is, purged from all those inventions, which have been brought into it since the age of the apostles, and reduced entirely to the Scripture purity." "Nothing was more disagreeable to them," says the author of the New England Chronology, "than to be called by the name of any mere man whatever, since they renounced all attachment to any mere human systems or expositions of Scripture, and reserved an entire and perpetual liberty of searching the inspired records, and of forming both their principles and practice from those discoveries they should make therein, without imposing them on others." It is not pretended that the rights of private judgment were understood then, as they are understood now. Even Hume, however, though he despised their superstition, and detested most of their political leanings, is yet constrained to pass on the Independents, the high eulogium, that "of all Christian sects, this was the first, which, during its prosperity as well as its adversity, always adopted the principle of toleration."