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the writer of Toldeth Jesu. Though espoused to JOHN, a man of great probity, she engages the affections of a soldier, named Joseph Pandera. Being unable to obtain his wishes, he languishes in sorrow; till a woman who was not indeed his slave, but his mother, encourged him to persevere; and he at length proved successful, being admitted into her chamber in the guise of her husband. Saturninus, on being informed of the snare into which his wife had been innocently betrayed, made the matter known to Tiberius, who caused Mundus to be banished from the city. In the same manner John, when informed of the disgrace brought on his wife, made the affair known to his master Schetachides; and after this retires to Babulon. The event is said to have taken place in the reign of King Jannæus. This anachronism is a wilful misrepresentation. But Jannæus is Sejanus in disguise, who, while the favourite of Tiberius possessed absolute power in Rome; a thing which, with other circumstances, shews that the transactions in that city is the source of the above malicious fiction.

The Christian fathers, from Justin to Photius, in the eighth century, understood that Josephus holds forth the doctrine of the miraculous birth. of Jesus, as having originated with certain impostors in Rome. The paragraph respecting Jesus Christ," says, Lardner, vol. vii. is not quoted, nor referred to by any Christian writers before Eusebius, who flourished at the beginning of the fourth century and afterwards.-It is never quoted by Justin Martyr, or Clement of Alexandria, nor by Tertullian, or Origen, men of great learning, and well acquainted with the

works of Josephus. A testimony so favourable to Jesus in the works of Josephus, who lived so soon after the time of our Saviour, who was so well acquainted with the transactions of his own country, who had received so many favours from Vespasian and Titus, could not be overlooked or neglected by any Christian Apologist." Now, if Josephus has subjoined to his testimony respecting Christ, the origin and the base authors of his supposed miraculous birth, would the Christian writers in the first and second centuries, while things were as yet fresh in the memories of men, and many sources of information were before the public, which long since have ceased to existwould the Christian writers, I say, who believed or affected to believe the story, as the genuine productions of Matthew and Luke, have ventured to quote the Jewish historian respecting our Saviour, however important they might deem his testimony to the great transactions of his life? Assuredly not; their not quoting it therefore, in support of Christianity, is a proof that they, as well as the early Jews, understood Josephus in regard to the miraculous conception. By citing the passage, the attention of the public might be drawn to the context, and thus would be brought to light the origin of a doctrine, which they were most anxious to conceal. It is evident at the same time that the danger of detection diminished with time. And Eusebius, in the fourth century, felt it safe to cite the testimony of Josephus: most ecclesiastic writers after him followed his example, though it is observable that no one ever noticed the sequel, though they all well know that it respected the affairs of Christianity in

Rome. Justin Martyr has noticed the statue erected to the Samaritan Simon; nevertheless, he is profoundly silent respecting the deification of Christ, as connected with matters which were recent, but which he wished not to agitate. Tertullian, who lived more than a century afterwards, is more bold, and ventures to mention the proposal of Tiberius; but even he says not a word of the magicians, who had instigated the emperor to make that proposition. His narrative implies that at this time there were Christian Jews at Rome. Nevertheless, he is silent respecting the Jewish historian, who has given, as he well knew, an account of the men who taught the Gospel, and of the great effects which it produced in that city. Orosius, succeeding Tertullian, after an interval of three centuries, advances a step farther, and directly asserts that there were under Tiberius Christians at Rome; but he too declines to say that those Christians were Jews, or that Philo and Josephus have given an account of them. After this period there was no fear or reserve in quoting Josephus, which made Lardner say, "It is certain we ought to be very cautious in admitting quotations from Josephus by later Christian writers; for they had a great regard for him, and were fond of his testimony, whether there was ground for it or not." Vol. vii. p. 131.

The following passage of Origen, (comment on Matthew xiii.) is here worthy of notice: "Josephus," says that learned writer, "though he did not believe Jesus to be the Christ, enquiring into the cause of the overthrow of Jerusalem, and the demolition of the temple, when he ought to

have said that their attempt upon Jesus was the cause of the ruin of that people, for as much as they put to death the Christ before prophesied of; he as it were unwillingly, and not erring far from the truth, says, these things befel the Jews in vengeance of James, called the Just, who was the brother of Jesus, called the Christ; forasmuch as they killed him who was a most righteous man. That James is he whom Paul, that genuine disciple of Jesus, says he had seen, and calls the Lord's brother, not so much for the sake of consanguinity, as their common education, and agreement in manners and doctrine. If, therefore, he says the destruction of Jerusalem had befallen the Jews for the sake of James, with how much more reason might he have said that this had happened for the sake of Jesus, who was the Christ, to whose divinity so many churches bear witness; who being now recovered from the pollutions of vice, have given up themselves to the Creator, and endeavour to please him in all things." Apud. Lard. vii. p. 121.

This passage is calculated greatly to mislead the reader; and is perhaps the principal source of the erroneous opinion which modern critics have entertained in regard to the writings of Josephus. Origen says expressly that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Christ. This is a misrepresentation, and I am sorry to say it of so great and good a man, a wilful misrepresentation. The only reason that he had for it was, that Josephus was an Ebionite Christian, who did not believe the doctrines of our Lord's divinity and miraculous birth. As the rigidly Orthodox sometimes say of the Unitarians, Origen has said of Josephus, that

he was no Christian,because he had different notions of the person of Christ. He explains his meaning in another place. " Persons," says he, “may believe, and not believe at the same time, Those who believe in Jesus who was crucified in Judea under Pontius Pilate, but do not believe that he was born of a virgin, believe in him, and do not believe in him," &c. Comment. vol. ii. p. 322. Here Origen declares in distinct terms that those who rejected the miraculous conception of Jesus, though they believe in him, might be said not to be Christians. Origen is amongst the worst calumniators of the Jewish believers under the name of Ebionites. He would not allow them to be followers of Christ, but when it suited his purpose. Josephus was one of the number of the Jewish believers, and entertained the same sentiments with them respecting the person of Christ. Origen knew this, and it suited him in this place to say that he was no believer in Christ.

Origen is not correct in saying that Josephus represents Jerusalem as destroyed on account of James the brother of Jesus. He says that it was destroyed, because the temple was polluted by the blood of innocent men. By these he meant the followers of Jesus. Origen rightly comprehended his meaning; but he was not justified in saying that the event took place solely because of James, though it must be allowed that James by name is presently expressed: and Origen could not but know that Josephus in representing the Jews as punished on account of their cruelty to the Christians, must have been one of that number, according to his own views of the Gospel, See Eccles. Resear. p. 521,

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