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work, than theirs. Nor have there ever been wanting amongst Mankind, some so degenerate, as for worldly Considerations, to yield to be employ'd in such base Work.
Again, This ought to be consider'd too, Tljot 7tis a far easier way of abusing an Author, to rob him of something he has said, than 'tis to foist any thing into him, and make that pass for his which he never did fay. For befides the Care incumbent on such Impostors, to observe exactly the Laws of Transition and Connection, in order to make their Forgeries all of a-piece with the Author's Text, that they may look neatly and handsomly, and not discover the Fraud by the Botch: Besides this, they must have studied the Author so well, as to be perfect Masters of his Stile and Diction, and be able to express themselves with that fort of Air, and in that Mode which is peculiar to the Author they pretend to counterfeit. Which I look upon to be a difficulty superable, but by very few \ I mean so as not to leave the Cheat discoverable, by some Criterions or other afterwards. However, 'tis apparent, That this would be a far more difficult and troublefom piece of Knavery-, than barely to omit or leave a Sentence out of a Set of Copies, and by that means represent the Author (to such Persons as had the Fortune to light on them) as never having written any such thing at all. In short, if upon Examination it should appear, That there is the very Spirit of JosephusV Stile and Diilion in this famous Testimony concerning our Saviour; then I hope the Genuineness of it will be out of Dispute with all considering Persons, whatever plausible Objections have- been, or ever may be urgi
BUT I mast! say farther, it is the more credible, That this noted Testimony^ concerning Jesus Christ, may have been raz?d ovt of some Cosies, by some wicked Hands because there are slain Indications of such soul Pratt ices, in other Cafes relating to the fame Author.
For it is notorious, that Jofephtu is actually quoted and refer'd to, for Paflages which do not now appear in him. Now 'tis never to be imagin'd, that Men who had the least Sense of Honour and Reputation, if they had no regard to common Honesty and Truth, nor to the Cause they maintain'd, which was so much disputed and despis'd in the World; would ever have quoted a celebrated Author, (in the Face of all Mankind, and in the midst of Foes as well as Friends, and those very acute and learned ones too) I fay, that they would ever have appeal'd to such a Person, as saying such and such things; if those things had not been actually in the Copies they made use of, and been universally receiv'd as genuine in their Days. For as such an egregious Piece of Knavery could not possibly ?scape being discover'd, by some one or other of the contrary fide-, so the Discovery of it must have fix'd such a Blot of Scandal and Reproach on those Persons, as no Time could ever have wip'd of£ but would have been remembred by all Posterity, with Indignation and Contempt.
What I stall mention to this purpose, in the first place, is that Testimony of JosephTM, concerning James the Brother of Christ, This we have in Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. Lib. 2. Cap. 23. Pag. 65. And he does not only quote Josephtu for it, but tells us exprefly his very words.
For having Ihewn (in words of his own) how just and righteous a Man James was, and that the sober and more considerate Men amongst the Jews believ'd the Destruction of Jerusalem to be a Punishment inflicted on them, for murdering of him: He then brings in this famous Author, saying the very same thing in these Words. T«ut« 3 6V(i&i&&tM ia<5Woi$, J^it' QacSiionoiv 'iemcSG* w jixdiis, os ^ a'c^Acpos ino-»
But Origen, a more antient Writer, gives the very fame Account of the matter, for which he refers to JosephTM., Antiq. Lib. 18. And this he does, Contr.Cels. Lib. 1. Pag.35. And St. Jerom, L>e Script. Ecclesiast. refers to the fame Author' and Book of him, for the Passage quoted by the other two.
. Now 1 think, all People are agreed, That no such Passage as this is to be found in Jofephus now a-days. 'Tis true indeed, he does not pass over in silence the Death of a Person so remarkable for Piety and Vertue, as St. James was. For he tells us (Antiq. Lib. 20. Pag. 698.) That this FatT was highly displeasing to all the just and good People j and that Application was made to the King, to lay his Commands on the High Priest Ananus, that no such things might be done for the future. But there is no sign of any such Account, as we have out of Origen and Eufcbius, which however they came by, I think 'tis plain to any Man, that they did not, nor could not invent it.
IKnow it is said, That they made use of cor* rupt and vitiated Copies cf Josephus. But this is gratis dittumy and they have nothing that I could ever fee, like Proof, to support it. And 'tis plain, they espouse the most improbable and unnatural Hypothesis of the two, by far} for 'tis easier to abuse an Author by taking from him, than by adding to him. However, I think it is intolerably precarious, and in Ihort downright trifling, to suppose, as some do, that Origen, in mentioning this Passage, trusted his Memory too far, and quoted what he had never at all read in Josephus. For at this rate, what Author is to be depended upon, if such Suppositions as these are to take place, without plain and particular Proof, of such a degree of Heedlesness in a Man that writes? And I would fain know, what Privilege these Moderns who talk after this manner, have, to escape this Distemper of dreaming, and fancying they read what they do not read \ any more than the Antients? 'Tis true, there are strange things laid to the Charge of some of the old Christian Writers: for Heathen Philosophers and Historians are easily pardon'd for whatever they do amiss; nay, their very Blunders are made Beauties, and serve to discover something very rare and excellent. But let those Writers be what they will, I make no doubt, but there are Modern Authors who have vastly out-done them, in all Points of Whimsy-, Fanaticism, and Enthusiasm, or whatever else can be call'd vain and extravagant. Afte
After all is said, I shall mention one more, who (like Origin) trusted his Memory too far, with respect: to this very Passage j and that is Suidat. He (in 'iaxro7r(gH) tells us, that Josef bus (in the 18th Book of his Antiq.) asserts, That that terrible Judgments the Destruction of Jerusalem, was brought upon the Jews for the Murder of St. James.
And these Persons all of them, seem to me, to talk of the matter, not as if they had borrowed the Quotation one from another; but as if they were sure, their Author had said those things they quoted from him: Eufebius especially, who speaks with an Assurance, as if his Author was then lying by him: o ySv 'igsoutt©^,
c/Y S>v <pm \i|e6)V, in Loc. citat.
THERE are other Passages also, for which Jofephus is quoted by some of-thostr that we have mention'd; but do not appear in him at present. Such is that of St. John Baptist, whom Jofephus is said, expresly to have confess'd to have been a Prophet; and that in the Book so often menticn'd (Antiq. Lib. 18.) This is particularly recorded by St. Jerom, De Script. Ecclestaft. Kor can I forbear observing, what the same Author says too there, cho it be not with respect to John Baptist, but to Jefit Christ. He tells us, that Jofephus himself owns, That Christ was stain by the Jews, for the Multitude of his Aiiracles, And Suidat (in J6.'<W7r®-) affirms both the fame things, vix* Tnat concerning John Baptist, and that concerning