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Samaria he astonished the people by his magical artifices, and professed to be the great power of God. It cannot appear improbable, that he held out the same profession in Rome, where he exercised the same wicked arts; nor is it less probable, that the enemies of the gospel should avail themselves of his pretensions, in order to ridicule or to defeat the claims of Jesus. Philo has noticed the honours bestowed by the people of Alexandria on Apelles, Helicon, and others, merely because these last distinguished themselves in opposition to the advocates of the faith; nor can we reasonably doubt, that similar opponents, however low in a political, or base in a moral view, met with the same support and encouragement in the metropolis of the empire.

The similarity of Semon to Simon was a lucky coincidence and his artifice in claiming a name which was so like his own, is well illustrated by what he pretended concerning the prostitute, whom he led about with him. She was called Helen and from this circumstance he gave it out, that she was the wife of Menelaus, whose conjugal infidelity had occasioned the Trojan war. The objection of Middleton, that the deification of Simon is not noticed by any of the Roman writers, is equally frivolous. Of whom could such notice be expected? Tacitus, Suetonius, and Dion, were well acquainted with the

character of the Samaritan impostor. They also must have known the unworthy motives, which induced the senate to countenance him at Rome; and was it likely, that they should record the deification of a man, who, being a vagabond and an impostor, disgraced his supporters, and whose elevation bespoke only the malice and baseness of those who sought to elevate him.

3. The fact, asserted by Justin, is also noticed by other early authors, who directly or indirectly bear testimony to the statue raised in honour of Simon. Among these are Irenæus, Eusebius, and Theodoret, writers of the highest credit in ecclesiastical history.

4. Some years after the claims of Jesus and of Simon had been discussed at Rome, Josephus was brought as an illustrious captive to that city. He witnessed the reproaches thrown upon Jesus and his faithful followers; and he felt it his duty to meet them, by a full and explicit testimony in his Antiquities. In doing this, he took an opportunity to contrast these very opposite claimants, by bringing them together, and placing them before the reader in the same page. “And about this time existed Jesus, a wise man, if indeed he might be called a man: for he was the author of wonderful works, and the teacher of such men as delight in the truth.Nor did the nation of the Samaritans escape disturbance.

For they were stirred up by a man, who made no scruple of telling falsehoods; and who, influenced by the desire of popularity, imposed on the multitude by various artifices*," &c.

Nothing could be more wise and effectual than this conduct of Josephus. After having attested the wisdom, the love of truth, and the wonderful works, which distinguished our Lord, he holds


Ουκ απηλλακτο δε θορύβου και το Σαμαρεων έθνος, συσρέφει γαρ αυτους ανηρ εν ολιγω το ψεύδος τιθεμενος, και εφ ήδονη της πληθυος τεχνάζων τα παντά,

&c. While Justin serves to unfold the reason which Josephus had for thus contrasting our Lord and the Samaritan impostor, he in return is confirmed by Josephus; though modern critics have all given him up as mistaken, and even the learned Thirlby has virtually abandoned him as indefensible. "I shall not undertake," says Jortin, Remarks on Eccles. History, vol. ii. p. 159. "the vindication of Justin concerning the celebrated statue erected to Simon Magus: I am inclined to think that he was mistaken, and that the proud Romans would never have deified a Samaritan knave and a strolling magician. It seems more proba ble that they would have sent him to the house of correction, or have bestowed transportation on him, or a stone doublet (λaiver XiTwv) sooner than a statue." Dr. Thirlby's note concludes thus: "Si quis autem quærat quid de hac re ipse sentiam, patroni me potius quam judicis partes egisse, negare non possum, quæque dixi, non tam veritatis gratia quam Justini dixisse, cujus mihi cum editione defen șio ex veteri more necessario suscipienda erat."


up to public infamy, as a liar, an impostor, and a disturber of the public peace, the man whom the senate, from hatred against the truth, had raised to divine honours. It is observable, that Josephus, whose transitions in general are easy and obvious, has here violated the natural order of time and place: Jesus from Judea, and Simon from Samaria, are brought to Rome, and connected with the transactions which occurred in that city. The cause of this apparent abruptness is to be sought in the circumstances, in which this cautious advocate published his history. In Rome, Jesus was vilified as a magician; in Rome, Simon was advanced to divine honours. In Rome, therefore, Josephus was called upon to justify the one, and to expose the other. And it would have been more creditable in modern critics to explore the design of the writer, than to reject the passage as spurious, from its appa rent want of connection.



WE have already seen the great commotions, which attended the introduction and prevalence of the gospel at Damascus, at Antioch, and even in the capital of the empire: I now proceed to unfold a scene of far greater distress and magnitude--I mean the sufferings of the Jews, or as I shall presently shew them to have been, the Jewish believers in Egypt.

These sufferings are related by Philo, who was himself a spectator of all the transactions which he has recorded. This country had shared in the happy order and tranquillity, which the salutary measures of Tiberius had established in all the provinces of the empire. At the death of that emperor, Flaccus had been governor of Egypt nearly five years, during which period he conducted the affairs of that nation with great wisdom and equity, administering justice with impartiality, protecting the Jews, as well as the Egyptians, in the exercise of their civil and re

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