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"We have already demonstrated, that our laws have been imitated by all nations, who continually more and more shew greater zeal in embracing them. For, first, the wise men who cultivated wisdo:n among the Greeks, have sanctioned institutions which in appearance are their own, but which in reality they have copied from our law-giver; cherishing with him the same notions of God, and like him inculcating simplicity, frugality, and mutual beneficence. Moreover, multitudes are for some time inflamed with eager zeal for our worship; nor is there a city among the Greeks, nor a nation among the barbarians, to whom many of our customs have not been extended; and who do not endeavour to imitate the cordiality and harmony, the distribution of their property, the industry in their callings, the patience under tortures in support of our laws, which are evinced among us. And what is most worthy of admiration in this respect is, that this zeal for our law is awakened, not by any allurement from pleasure or profit, but by the internal excellence of the law itself. And as God per vades the whole world, so his law has at length pervaded all mankind; and whoever reflects on his own country, and even his own family, will find evidence of the assertions now made by me. Let then those invidious men cease to accuse the Jews: or let them accuse those multitudes
among all nations, who have incurred the voluntary guilt of zealously embracing base and foreign, in the room of their own honourable institutions. We do not pursue any invidious object in admiring our legislator, or adhering to those promises which he has predicted that God would fulfil. And if we ourselves were not sensible of the superior excellence of our laws, we should fall below that multitude of converts who glory in them*."
* Υφ ύμων τε δηλέγχθησαν οι νομοι και τοις άλλοις ἅπασιν ανθρωποις, αει και μαλλον αυτών ζήλον εμπε ποιήκασι. πρωτοι μεν γαρ παρα τοις Ελλησι φιλοσοφησαντες, τῷ μεν δοκειν τα πατρια διεφύλαττον εν τοις πραγμασι και τῳ φιλοσοφειν ἐκείνῳ κατηκολούθησαν, όμοια δε περι θεου φρονουντες, ευτελειαν δε βιου και την προς αλληλους κοινωνίαν διδασκούντες. ου μην αλλα και πλήθεσιν ηδη πολυς ζηλος γεγονεν εκ μακρού της ήμε τερης ευσεβειας. ουδ' εςιν ου πολις Ελληνων, ουδητίσουν ουδε βαρβαρος, ουδε έν εθνος, ενθα μη το της ἑβδομαδος ἦν αργουμεν ἡμεῖς, το εθος ου διεπεφοίτηκε" και νηςειαι, και λυχνων ανακαυσις, και πολλα των εις βρωσιν ήμιν ου· νενομισμένων παρατετηρηται. μιμεῖσθαι δε πειρώνται την προς αλληλους ήμων ὁμονοιαν, και οντων αναδοσιν, και το φίλεργον εν ταις τέχναις και το καρτερικον εν ταις ύπερ των νόμων αναγκαις. το γαρ θαυμασιώτατον, ότι χωρις του της ήδονης επαγωγου ου
After the many instances, in which we have seen Josephus speaking of the gospel in terms expressive of the Jewish religion, and of the converts to it from among the nations, under that of converts to the Jews, this passage can require no comment to illustrate, or to justify its meaning. About twenty years after its first promulgation, Philo asserts, that the doctrine of the Esseans, the life and immortality brought to light in the gospel, was communicated to the Greeks and to the barbarians; that by the example and zeal of its teachers, it was wafted, like incense on the breeze, to every quarter of the habitable
δελεαςος αυτος καθ ̓ αυτον ἴσχυσεν ὁ νόμος" και ώσπερ ὁ θεος δια παντος του κόσμου πεφοιτηκεν, όντως ὁ νόμος δια παντων ανθρωπων βεβαδικεν. αυτος δε τις έκαςος την πατρίδα και τον οίκον επισκοπων τον αυτού, τους ὑπ' εμου λεγομενοις οὐκ απιζήσει. χρη τοινυν πάντων ανθρώπων καταγνωναι πονηριαν εθελουσιον, ει τάλλότρια και φαυλα, προ των οικείων και καλων ζηλουν επιτεθύμηκασιμο παύσασθαι βασκαίνοντας ἡμῖν τους κατηγορουντας. ουδε γὰρ ἐπιφθονου τινος αντιποιούμεθα πραγματος, τον αυτών νομοθέτην τιμωντες, και τοις ὑπ' εκείνου προφητευθεισι περι του θεου πεπιςευκότες. και γαρ ει μη συνδεμεν αυτοί της αρετής των νόμων απαντων, υπο του πλήθους γους των ζηλούντων μέγα φρονειν επ' αυτοις προήχθημεν. §. 39.
gl be. During the course of forty years after Philo, or sixty after the resurrection of Jesus, the same system grew mighty, and prevailed; and Josephus, near the close of his life, was able to say, that there was no city among the Greeks or barbarians, where it was not known; that the word of God, like God himself, had pervaded the world, not a country, nor hardly a family existing, where its influence was not felt and acknowledged; that those heathens who had embraced it, practised the same virtues, and evinced, in support of it, the same patience and constancy with the Jews, who taught it, and died in attestation of its truth.
I SHALL now conclude with a few observations suggested by the facts brought to light in this volume, and worthy, it is presumed, the attention of mankind.
First, the providence of God has preserved the means of filling up, to a considerable extent, the chasm, which has occasioned so much regret, doubt, and uncertainty, in ecclesiastical history, from the apostolic age to the days of Justin Martyr. The writings of Philo and Josephus comprehend, one after another, the leading events which befel the Jews, from the advent of Christ
to the close of the first century; and these, in an eminent degree, illustrate and confirm the truth of the evangelical records. These authors were men of distinguished probity and talents; they were not only spectators of, but agents in, the great transactions which they record; and as they could not themselves be mistaken, they were raised by their integrity and honour above the wish of deceiving others.
Secondly, the gospel, when first published to the world, was far more rapidly and extensively diffused the grounds on which it rested, namely, the miracles and resurrection of its founder, operated far more powerfully on the minds of men, whether Jews or heathens-the consequences of a political and a moral nature which it occasioned, in Judea and in other countries, were vastly more stupendous and lasting, than the generality of modern enquirers have hitherto imagined. This observation was particularly true in regard to the Jews. However small might have been the number of those who believed in Jesus at the period of his crucifixion, that number continually increased, as the genius of his religion, and the evidences of his divine mission gradually developed themselves, till about the destruction of the Jewish state, the nation was divided into two parties--the more virtuous and enlightened, who enlisted under the banners of Christ-and