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upon so honourable an Account, and are so clear and express in all the rest, relating to the Life and Character of our Saviour; and especially, since there are such abundant Concessions made of it, by Men of all other Persuasions, and particularly by those, with whom we are principally concern'd.

For the Deists have prov'd to some purpose, That they believe all that we have here said of Jesus Christ.

And the Jews know it to be true, and are as free to own it as the former.

The reproachful Name of inn (or the Person who was hang'd) which they so commonly bestow on him, as also that of H3ly 'l^sl (the Servants of him who was hang'd) which they give the Christians, shew sufficiently, if there were no more, That they are no Unbelievers in this Point. But they have other Proofs of it amongst themselves, which we hope there will be a time for their so seriously considering, That they jhall come to talk of him whom they crucify'd, in a more respectful manner, and instead of >l7n, by way of Reproach, Jhall call him IWp, in profound Honour and Devotion.

The Testimony of their fam'd Countryman * Jofephw, concerning our Saviour, is well known to all the learned World; who are sensible also, how plain and express it is, not only as to the Life, Miracles, and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but his RefurreEtion also} and the fulfilling of Prophecies in him, and the wonderful Conversion both of Jews and Gentiles to the Faith of his Gospel. I am aware how much

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the Genuineness of this Passage is disputed by some, as also how vigorously 'tis defended by others. And tho I do not know, but that on one fide, there may be those, who perhaps are over-fond and zealous for having it genuine; yet I doubt too, there are others, who are afraid lest it should be so. As for my own part, I freely own, I believe it to be as much Jose" jk's, as any thing in all the Book of Antiquities: And because I would not willingly be rank'd amongst the People that are irrationally fond of it, and will have it genuine, right or wrong, without inquiring into the mattery I shall therefore give my Reasons, why I believe it is not a Forgery.

SECT. IV.

FIRST of all i This Testimony is recorded, and taken notice of, as Josephus*/, by many eld Writers of unquestionable Credit. To begin with one who was early enough \ Eufebius gives it at large in bis * Demonstr. Evangel. Lib. 3. Pag. 124. Edit. Paris. 1628. He likewise repeats the fame, Hlstor. Ecclesiast. Lib. 1. Cap.

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ii. Pag. 30. Edit. Paris. 1659. £in vita Tiber ii.]

We have the fame Testimony recorded and quoted by Nicephorut CÆstm, Histor. Eccles. Lib. 1. Cap. 39* Fag. 84. & 85. Edit. Parts. 1574. And Soz.omtn introduces it with a particular Elogy of Josephus himself, Histor. Eccles. Lib. 1. Cap. Pag. 399. Edit. Par. 1668. Kai Idum©* b 0 (Ltas8l» 0 hpvK, a'vitp w i»

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And then he goes on, and repeats exactly to the fame purpose, what we find in Eusebiut, and Callistus, and the Josephus we have at present. Suidas also sets down the very fame, in the word 'ic5cx7r(§H, with this particular Remark, that Josephus gives it in the l8ffc Book of his Antiquities {Edit. Cantab. 1705.3 And this agrees perfectly with the Account given by St. Jerom, De Scriptor. Ecclesiast. where he refers us to Josephus for the foremention'd Account of our Saviour.

Lastly, We find it repeated by Jsidorus Pelustota to the fame purpose, as in all the rest, Lib. 4. Epist. 225. Pag. 549. Edit. Paris. 1638. These are those which I have taken notice of; tho I know there are more reckon'd up, who attribute this Testimony to Josephus, and have put it out of all doubt, that they firmly believ'd it to be his.

On the other hand, it is objected. That this Passage is not taken notice of at all, by those antient Defenders of the Christian Cause, Justin Martyr, Qr.igen, Tertullian, &c, who one would think, Ihould not have fail'd, upon some Occasion or other, to have put the Adversaries they dealt with (which were of all forts, Jews as well as Gentiles) in mjnd of so remarkable a Testi'" ''' 'P. 4' many mony as this, and that from so remarkable an Author too, and one who was not a Christian. So that here is positive Testimony alledg'd on one side j and the wans or defect of it on the other. And tho it be true, that the want of Testimony, from some Persons, in some particular Circumstances, may be look'd upon as a pretty strong Presumption, that a thing was not so or so, as 'tis reported to be; yet all things being well consider'd, on bot.h sides, in this Cafe; 1 think 'tis plain, that this defect is not in Reason to be esteem'd equivalent to all the positive Testimony, which is, and may he producd\ especially, face it may be shewn vpon some good grounds, that this Passage of Josephus may be genuine, and yet that those Christian Writers before' mentioned, should not take notice of it neither. In a word, if this Testimony be a Forgery, foisted in by any Christian Hand, all that we can fay, is, That such Practices are infinitely unworthy of the Christian Name, and hateful to the Divine and Holy Author of it, who has condemn d all manner of Fraud and Deceit by the Laws of his Religion, and will punish it (by whomsoever committed, and ■upon what Pretence soever, without sincere Repentance.) But if it were really penn'd by Josephus himself, and extant in the first Copies of his History; yet for all that, there is a fair Account to be given, of the silence of the forementiond Christian Fathers concerning it.

If you ask how? I answer; from the Abuse of the Copies they chanc'd to make use of, in which this famous Testimony was very probably wanting. ' Aad if you ask still, How it should come about that such a Passage should be wanting in those Copies? I answer; that in all likelihood it was raz'd out of as many Copies, by the Jews (or those in Confederacy with them) as they could get fair Opportunities to debauch: By the Jews, I fay, from whose known Malice and Hatred to Christianity, nothing less than so vile a Practice was to be expected. For Jofephus liv'd in the very Times of the Apostles themselves, when the Story of Christ Jesm and his mighty Works, was fresh in the World. And, besides being an Author of so great a Reputation, he was one of their own Country and Religion too.

Now let any Man but think with himself, under what Notion these People must be represented to the World, when one of their Countrymen should come and give such a Character of a Person, whom they had treated with the utmost Indignity, and put to death as a vile Malefactor. Would it not set them out as a most forlorn and execrable Generation of Men, and justify all that our Saviour had said of them before, in the several sharp Rebukes he had given them? How could it be imaging that they would ever suffer the Seal of such an Author as this, to be set to the Truth of Christianity, and to go along with it thro the World; if Pains and Watching, if Falshood and Bribery^, in short, if any sort of Artifice possible to be made use of, could avail to the taking of it away? There is no doubt to be made therefore, but they did the utmost that their Power and Policy could effect. And as they could not compass the razing this Testimony, out of all the Copies dispers'd up and down the World; so they took care to do it in those, which they and their Emissaries had the Opportunity of managing. For what they could not do by,themselves openly, and as Jews, they might accomplish by other hands, less suspected and sitter to do that

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