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Heathen Writers have given of the Rife and Original, Laws, Manners, and Religion of the Jews. In this the Egyptians, the Grecians, and the Romans have agreed, and have endeavoured to caft all the Scandal and Afperfion, and all the Dirt they could, upon that once-flourishing, but now unhappy, Nation. This is what I propose at prefent to confider, and to make the Subject of these following Sheets. 'Tis what has been touched upon, I must confefs, by feveral Writers, en paffant, and as it came occafionally in their Way; but has not, that I know of, been treated of ex profeffo by any one before me. What gave occafion to thefe Remarks, and drew my Thoughts into this Track, was a Book I have lately had the Pleasure to read, called The Calumnies of the Heathens upon the Chriftians accounted for by Mr. Turner: A Piece penn'd with fuch Learning and Judgment, fuch Fairness and Impartiality, that it is hard to fay whether it is more useful and inftructive, or more curious and entertaining; and to which I own myself much obliged for feveral Hints and judicious Remarks I have made ufe of in the Courfe of this Effay. I might perhaps have found farther Affiftance from a Book written by a learned German, called, Tractatus de Calumniis Paganorum in veteres Chriftianos; but after all the Search I made, I could not get a Sight of it. Before I proceed, I fhall beg Leave to make an Obfervation or two, which may clear the Way, and lay the Scene more open to the Readers. The firft is, that whereas, in the Hiftories of other Nations, the earliest and most antient Writers, for want of clearer Light and better Information, are often in the Dark, apt to give into the Fabulous, and to commit many Miftakes which following Authors may more eafily avoid; in the Matter before us the Cafe is exactly the Reverse, fince the oldest Writers, as Tully, Strabo, and Tro


gus Pompeius, have given fairer and more impartial Accounts, than Dio, Plutarch, Juvenal, and Tacitus, who lived fo long after them, and had feveral Helps and Advantages which the other did not enjoy; and who, befides the Septuagint Tranflation, written in a Tongue which was the fafhionable and univerfal Language of the World, might have confulted, and had a full Information of the Laws, Customs, Antiquities, and Religion of that People, from that vaft Number of Jews whom Titus brought with him from Jerufalem; and who reforted to Italy and Rome after the Destruction of their City and Temple; and might also have had recourfe to Jofephus, who gives a full and exact Account of the Hiftories and Antiquities of that Country. It will perhaps be faid that Jofephus was of a Nation which the Romans flighted, and look'd upon with Contempt, and fo might fhew no Regard to that Hiftorian, or perhaps have never feen or heard of his Works. But this laft is by no means the Cafe; for Jofephus had been in Favour with two of the best and greatest of their Emperors, Vefpafian and his Son Titus, which laft received his Hiftory as a very agreeable Prefent, and fhewed fo great a Regard for it, that he ordered it to be transcribed, and repofited in the Publick Library at Rome. This, I confefs, was only the Hiftory of the Jewish War; but it must have led and directed them to the Reading of his Antiquities; a Book, fi non alio nomine faltem propter ftylum legendus; which tho' it had nothing elfe to recommend it, was worthy their Perufal upon the Account of the Beauty and Eloquence of the Stile; which was fo valued by the Antients, and particularly by St. Jerom, who was a very competent Judge, that he called Jofephus the Livy of his Time. The confulting this Author would have faved 'em many egregious Blunders and Miftakes,

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and the Shame of blushing for them afterwards. My other Obfervation is, that the chiefeft and heavieft Calumnies that have been caft upon the Jews, are chiefly owing to the Egyptians. For fince the old Grudge between the two. Nations, fince the heavy Plagues and Judgments they had fuffered upon the Account of that People, they had conceived fuch an inveterate Hatred against 'em, that it became Πατροπαράδοτον odie fudæos; it was hereditary for the Jews to be hated and detefted by the Egyptians; and to this old Grudge and Refentment we may add national Jealoufy in Point of Antiquity, between the two Nations. This was the main Reason of Manetho's writing fo virulently against them. Manetho was an Egyptian Prieft, who lived in the Time of Ptolomy Philadelphus, in the 450th Year of Rome; who, out of this Pique in Point of Antiquity, (as fome learned Men have thought) undertook his Hiftory, to blaft and difcredit the Account that Mofes had given of the Creation of the World. 'Tis certain the Egyptians were very jealous in this Point, and great Boafters of the Antiquity of their Nation; as appears by the famous Difpute between them and the Scythians, which is recorded by Justin. The Egyptians believed that Men and other Creatures originally fprang from the Slime and Mud of the Earth, heated and impregnated by the kind Warmth and Influence of the Sun; and pretended that when the Nile fubfided, and left the Mud, the Power of the Sun was fuch in their Country, that it animated thofe Clods of Earth, and filled that Part of the World with Animals before any other. The Scythians on the other Side (not being Philofophers enough to difprove equivocal Generation, which would at once have deftroyed and knock'd o' the Head the Syftem and Pretenfions of the Egyptians) alledged, that as the Earth at prefent lay all under


Water, where thefe came to fall and fubfide 'twas but natural to fuppose these were the firft Parts of the World that were fettled and inhabited. I once thought this Notion of the Scythians might come from fome dark Tradition of the Creation, and the Account that Mofes gives, that the Spirit of God moved upon the Face of the Waters; which I make no doubt gave Occafion to fome Philofophers to imagine, that Water was the Materia prima, the primitive Matter from which all Things were created and formed. This, as Porphyry relates, was the Sentiment of Numenius, that all Things fprung out of the Water, borów OVT, being divinely inspired; and this long before him, was alfo the Opinion of Thales, the * Milefian, who, according to Tully, maintained that Water was the Beginning of all Things; and that God was the Mind which formed all Things out of that Element. But I am now inclined to believe this Notion of the Scythians proceeded from fome Tradition of the Deluge, and the Ark's fettling and landing in that Country. I know the common received Opi- . nion among learned Men is, that it fettled upon Mount Ararat in Armenia. But fome ancient Writers, and one particularly (quoted by Portius Cato) who lived two hundred and fifty Years before the Time of Ninus, faith, that the Earth, which had been over-flowed with Water, began firft to appear in Saga Scythia, and thofe Northern Parts of the World; and this I find, with Pleasure, is the Opinion of a learned and judicious || Writer, in

* Thales was not born at Miletus, but was by Birth a Phænician, but was fo called from his living and refiding in that City; as Clemens Alexandrinus affirms, Θάλης Φόινιξ ὢν τὸ γένει Αιγυπτίων προφήταις συμβεβληκέναι εἴρηται. Clem. Alex. Edit. Potteri, p. 354.

†Thales dixit aquam effe initium rerum, Deum autem mentem quæ ex aqua cuncta finxerat. Tully Lib. i. de Nat. Deorum. Mr. Shuckford, Vol. III. p. 209.

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his Connectiou of the facred and profane History; who says that the Ark, upon the subfiding of the Waters, ftopped upon the Mountains of Scythia, or at Bactria, which is contiguous to it; that Noah made his first Settlement there, and that those who travelled to Shinar, and there built the Tower of Babel, were only fome Colonies of Men that departed from him, left they fhould incumber and overstock the new Settlement; or rather that they might find fome more fruitful and temperate Countries to dwell in. This that learned Man, by the Help of fome Traditions, and the perfect Analogy he finds between Noah and the first Chinese Kings, has fet in fo clear a Light, as he does indeed every Thing he takes in Hand, as not to leave any Room for a Reply. But to return to the Hiftory which Manetho pretends he composed from fome Infcriptions upon Pillars, and other Records in the Temples: Thefe learned Men look upon as mere Fables and Fictions, to fet off the Original of his own Country, to difcredit the Account of Mofes, and to fink and depreciate the Antiquity of the Jews. If he had gone no farther, he would have been lefs to blame, his romantick Account would only have been look'd at as a Gafconade, and vain Boaft, proceeding from national Love, the patrii dulcedine foli, and would rather deferve to be laugh'd at, than seriously confuted. But not content with this, he has carried his Malice farther, giving a deeper Wound to the Jewish Nation, by reprefenting 'em as a vile, naity, and defpicable People, who, upon the Account of Scabs and Leprofy, were expelled out of Egypt, left they fhould poifon and infect the Country. Manetho is reckoned the firft Author and Broacher of this Calumny, which Jofephus, with his ufual Exactness, has examined, and fhewed the Falfhood and Abfurdity of it from the Laws and and Inftitutes

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