« הקודםהמשך »
felf, as Tanaquil Faber suspected, or some other Chriftian about his time, composed the paragraph under consideration.
Adóoxx2.05 cv SOUT WV tūv vidorn 'annt in dexquévwy: literally, A teacber of such men as received the truth with pleasure. Mr. Bryant, in support of his interpretation, having repeated from Daubuz some instances of a fimilar phraseology in Josephus, observes that our Saviour and his Apostles use the word aan Isrce for the Gospel doctrine, and that Josephus may be supposed to act as an historian of Greece would have done, if he had been to mention Zeno the Stoic, and had described him, as diddoxo205. avgustawy, TW ndoun to xulov, xj TO TOSTI OV, dexouerwv.' But not satisfied with this account of the matcer, he proceeds to inquire into the different senses in which the words, true and truth, are used in the Old and New Teftament, and in the Septuagint, and concludes that by T.2.7,ġn, Josephus may be supposed to intend religion and morality in general. Upon this representation and reasoning we beg leave to remark, that we believe Mr. Bryant would find it difficult to produce a passage from any writer, who was not a Christian, in which the Chrií. tian doctrine is filed to oan Iss, or ánn Selx ; that it would have been more to his purpose to have produced some instances out of Josephus, in which to annis is put for religion, or morality in general, than to have searched for them in the Scriptures; and that in the Scriptures, wherever they may be supposed to fignify religion, they intend the true religion, in oppo. sition to false ones, and are never equivalent in their fignification to morality, any further than justice and integrity may imply a regard to moral obligation in general.
By có 'Enaruixòy in the next sentence Mr. Bryant, as we have seen, understands the Hellenista, that is, according to his Interpretation, the devout men mentioned Acts ii. 5. as opposed to ledaior or native Jews. It is generally translated, Gentiles. And it has been ohjeeted, that we have no account of our Saviour's making any profelytes among the Gentiles. Upon this subject Mr. Bryant has the following note, which we recommend to the attention of the curious.
i But after all, do we not go too far in this notion? The principal object of our Saviour's mission was certainly the house of Israel. But we cannot suppose that he excluded others, who believed and desired to be of his fold. What are we to think of the Centurion, whose servant was healed : and of the woman of Syrophenicia ? St. John mencions a nobleman (ayne Carinox ) of Capernaum, who believed, and all his house. Are we certain that he was a Jew? Even among the Apostles, was not Simon the Canaanite originally a Gentile? By his recondary name there is room to suppose it. It is said, Matth. iv. 24. that our Saviour's fame went (not only through all Jue
dea, but) throughout all Syria : and they brought him all fick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments—arid he healed them. Were none of these believers ? He went more than once across the Lake into the region of the Gadarenes, and of other people half Pagan. Here he probably made some proselytes.
'O Xpisos osTOS ñu. • By this,' says Mr. Bryant, the author did not mean, that he esteemed Jesus as the Mefliah ; but only that he was the person called Christ. We may form a judgment of his meaning from the manner of his expresfing himself in another place, when he is speaking of James, who was put to death by Herod. He styles him * adencov 1998 72 aeyoueve Xpose: the brother of Jesus, who was called C hrift.' Buc if we form a judgment from the manner of expression in the latter passage, we should expcet, in case the author's meaning in the former had been what Mr. Bryant supposes it to have been, that he would have written OITOS Mv ó nsyouevos X$1505.
The most plausible argument which our Author has advanced in favour of his interpretation is as follows:
• It is necessary to consider farther, to whom Josephus ado dressed himself in this history. Does he not tell us, that he wrote principally for the Greeks; and in the next place for the Romans ? To what possible purpose could it have been, if he had told either of those nations that Jesus was the Melliah? They would not have understood the term : and it would have served only to have embarrassed the history. But of Chrift, whom they often ftiled X09505, and Chreftus, they had heard.'
Even this reasoning is, in our opinion, more specious than folid; and, indeed, includes in it a Petitio Principii.
In the course of his observations on this part of the paragraph, Mr. Bryant takes occasion to consider che objection that has been made to the whole from the filence of Origen, and endeavours to prove, that he must have had it in his copies of Jofephus. His reasoning on this subject is too fingular to pass unnoticed. There are two pallages in which Origen asserts that Jofephus did not look upon Jefus as the Christ. Mr. Bryant, having quoted one of these passages t, argues thus : • Now it is to be obterved, that there is no part of Josephus, excepting the passage in cispute, from whence Origen could have made this inference, that the author did not look upon Jesus as the Christ. In this para sage the historian says, that he was the same person as Chrift; and that a set of people called Christians still remained: in which account he tacitly excludes himself from being of chas
• Antiq. L. 20. C. 9. p. 976.
+ Comm, in Macth. xiii. 55. In translating this passage, he renders Tin 'lycin machine Jefus, whom we worsh.p. Whether this be through design or carelessness is is equally onjuilifiable.
number. There is not a syllable elsewhere mentioned, from whence Origen could have made such a deduction. He must therefore, of a certainty, have seen this history of our Saviour.
Mr. Bryant's observations upon the other passage in Origen, are still more extraordinary. We give them at length, as a striking instance of the effect of prejudice, and the love of paradox, in confounding the ideas, and casting an obscurity over the reasoning of a man of sense and learning
But let us proceed,' says he, 'to a stricture upon Josephus, similar to that above, from another part of Origen. * This wri. ter, though he did not believe in Jesus, as the Christ, or Meffiah, yet when he was searching out the cause of the city's ruin, and of the destruction of the temple, ought to have acknowledged, that all this happened on account of their injustice towards Jefus ; and of their having Nain the Chrift, who had been foretold by the prophets. But he, ai. ceding in fome degree, though, as it were, unwillingly, to the truth, Says, that all this evil came upon the Jews as a judgment from God, for their behaviour towards James the Juft, who was the bro. ther of Jesus, called Chris. For they put him to death, though he was confessedly a man of the most consummate virtue. If then he could attribute the destruction of Jerusalem to James, with how much more propriety might he have ascribed it to the death of Jesus-Chris? We find here, that Origen seems to blame Josephus for not at. tributing the evils which the Jews experienced to Christ, rather than to James ; for he was a person of more consequence; änd their outrage to him more heinous. But how could he have expected any such thing from this historian, if he had never shewn that he was at all acquainted with Christ; but only had mentioned his name incidentally ? Origen thinks the behaviour of Josephus upon this occasion ftill more strange, as Christ had been foretold by the prophets. But the historian must have thewn that he was acquainted with our Saviour's character, or how could he have known that it was conformable to the pro. phecies which had preceded. When this learned father tells us, that Josephus did not believe in Jesus, as the Chrifl, fome may perhaps think, very juftly in our opinion, that he formed his judgment from the words adenpos Inox T8 reyoueva X2158: which by a person who believed, would have been rather expressed. 1968 TO X2158. From hence he may be thought to have concluded, that Jofephus was not a Christian. But St, Mate thew uses the same terms, § Ing85. ó nsyouevos Xposes; and no one can suppose him to have been an unbeliever.' Origen must therefore have formed his opinion upon other grounds; from the evia dence of the historian in the passage, wbich is the subject of debate,
• Cont. Cell. 1. 1. p. 35. Edit. Cantab.
Rev. Dec. 1981. Ff
$ C. i. v. 16.
The very words of Origen, 'O M'AUTOS XA1 Torge OTISWW TW 17,63 us X015w, wherein he intimates, that yosephus did not believe in Telus, as the Christ, thew plainly that the historian did in tome degree believe, and that he had afforded evidence of his belief, This is manifest past all dispute.
• We may then be assured that Jofephus had given an hila tory of this divine person ; and Origen had certainly seen it, as is plain from what has preceded; otherwise he would not have blamed the historian for not mentioning Christ as the 'cause of these calamities, but for not mentioning him at all.
The first was only a wrong inference, not so much of Josephus, as of his countrymen, and of little consequence. But the latter, had it been true, would have been a fatal omiffion, and an unpardonable defect; for he who knew so much of the Disciple, could not well be ignorant of the Master; and should have taken proper notice of his character. All which in reality we find done. Origen therefore was acquainted with this paflage; and as he tells us more than once, that Josephus never admitted Jesus to have been the Saviour of the world, he thews plainly how he interpreted the words 'O X 91505 AUTOS TV.
' And when Pilate upon an accusation of the principal persons among the Yews, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had from the beginning thewed their regard for him, fill persified in their affection ; for he appeared to them upon the third day restored to life, according to the prediétions of the sacred prophets, who had foretold this, and many other wonderful circumstances concerning him.'
It has been juftly thought that the la: ter sentence could not have been written by any one who was not a Christian. Mr. Bryant, on the contrary, is persuaded, that many would have given a like testimony, had they been called upon, though they were not of the Christian community. For, fays he, all that we have here told us, is, that Jesus was an extraordinary pero fon, and wonderfully endowed : one who had this immunity above others, that his body was not confined to the grave, but was raised upon the third day. Is this all that we are here told ? Is it a circumstance of no account that the resurrection of Jesus took place according to the predictions of the prophets, and that they foretold many other wonderful things concerning him? Mr. Bryant, in support of his opinion, mentions Herod's suspicion that he was John the Baptist risen from the dead; and 'the repeated declaration of the people, .This is of a truth thi Prophet,' &c. Dat who does not see the difference between the cafes ? Herod's fufpicion arose from an opinion which prevailed äinong the Jews, that they who were put to death upon a religious account, woutu-rise from the dead, and appear again upon che carth. And the perfuation of ile pcope was founded upon
his miracles and doctrine, and not upon the fulfilment of the
The chief strength of Mr. Bryant's argument upon this part of the paragraph is, we think, contained in the following quotation. Having observed that many of the Jews were as inveterate against him, as his disciples were zealous in his cause;' he goes on, but there was a third fort between these two ex-. tremes ; which consisted of a large party in the nation. These faw the sanctity of his manners, the excellency of his doctrines, and were astonished at his miracles ; and though they could not allow him to be the Christ who was to come, yet they esteemed him as something more than man. Many imagined that there were two different persons pointed out in the sacred writings ; the one a great prophet, a worker of miracles, and preacher of righteousness; the other a victorious prince, who was to free, them from the bondage of the Romans, and whose dominion was to be over the whole earth. They thought that the former character might be applied to our Saviour; though they were still Itaggered about many appearances, which they knew noc how to reconcile. Such, I imagine, was Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea ; fuch also Gamaliel, and many of those disciples who upon a time deserted their Mafter*. Many of the first converts after his death had been previously in this state of mind. These, though they were not confirmed in their faith, yet yielded to the evidence of their senses. In consequence of which they believed in part, and admitted the prophecies par.tially; and had they been called upon to give an account of Christ, they would have afforded much the same history as is given by Josephus.'
Such was the middle party among the Jews. It consisted of a set of people in a state of suípence; who, though they were not enemies to the gospel, yet couid not bring themselves to accede to it. Amongst the people of this claus we may ilace the Jewish historian. He saw the truth, but at a distance;' &c. : There are many things in this piffage to u hich just objections may be made. The greater part of it is affertion and conjecture, uníupported by evidence. Some of the Jews, no doubt, thought mote favourably of Jesus than others. If he had ap